07 Apr 2022 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Scott's advice for Masters rookie Min Woo Lee

by PGA of Australia

Min Woo Lee and Adam Scott during their practice round at Augusta National.

By Tony Webeck

Australia’s only Masters champion has urged debutant Min Woo Lee to ignore the ghosts of Augusta National and create his own slice of history when the tournament begins on Thursday.

Playing in his first Masters by virtue of his ranking inside the top 50 in the world at the end of 2021, Lee will be the first Aussie out in the opening round at Augusta, teeing off with Americans Hudson Swafford and Cameron Young at 10.55pm AEST.

He will be followed by Australia’s leading hope Cameron Smith at 12.23am with 2013 champion Adam Scott drawn with newly-anointed world No.1 Scottie Scheffler and Tony Finau.

One of three Australians on debut this week, Lee has been absorbing every ounce of Masters magic since arriving at the property including a Monday practice round with a countryman who knows what it takes to succeed.

Scott was tied for ninth on debut himself in 2002 yet it wasn’t until 2011 that he supplanted that as his best finish at The Masters, tied for second behind South African Charl Schwartzel.

So while history suggests that first-timers rarely win, Scott didn’t want to hold Lee back from contending.

“I told him I showed up here, didn’t know anything, and finished ninth. It’s not that hard. Just go out and play golf,” Scott said.

“I get it is an overwhelming experience being here. (Monday) is the first kind of day of Masters week, and Min’s played a couple times already.

“He’s got the next three days to kind of get comfortable, and that’s all I can really tell him to do.

“I don’t know his game, so that’s about it. He’s just got to figure a way to get comfortable for Thursday.

“I’d be surprised if he’s not the most nervous he’s ever been on the tee on Thursday.”

After Scott and Lee’s Monday round, three other Aussies beat the weather by playing the back nine together on Tuesday morning.

Top five at both Scott’s 2013 triumph and last year’s win by Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman has long been considered an Aussie well-suited to Augusta and played with close mate Cam Smith and debutant Cam Davis before the storms hit.

This year also marks seven years since Leisman missed The Masters to be by the bedside of his wife Audrey as she battled a life-threatening illness, that experience helping to quell the nerves others may feel each April.

“It did bring things into perspective, and I think that helps with the nervous factor,” Leishman explained.

“If you do play well, it’s awesome. If you don’t play well, it’s not like you’re going to be shot at the end of the day or anything. It’s just golf, but it’s obviously a golf tournament that I really want to win.

“I think I’ve always had a pretty good perspective, and I think when you go through something like that, it makes it better possibly.”

Although all eyes are this week on The Masters Whitney Hillier is among the eight Aussies taking part in the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup in Thailand.

The first of consecutive tournaments co-sanctioned between the Asian Tour and Ladies European Tour, the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup will see 60 Asian Tour players, 60 LET players and 24 invites all competing for a share of the $750,000 prize pool.

Three Aussies are also trying to play their way onto the PGA TOUR Canada season at Q School in California, Queensland’s Lawry Flynn 1-over through his first nine holes to be the best placed in a tie for 39th.

Round 1 tee times AEST

The Masters Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia Round 1 10.55pm             Min Woo Lee, Hudson Swafford, Cameron Young 12.23am             Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey 12.56am             Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau 1.40am  Cameron Davis, Bernhard Langer, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 2.24am  Lucas Herbert, Patrick Reed, Seamus Power 2.57am  Marc Leishman, Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im

Round 2 10.22pm             Cameron Davis, Bernhard Langer, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 11.06pm             Lucas Herbert, Patrick Reed, Seamus Power 11.39pm             Marc Leishman, Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im 2.02am  Min Woo Lee, Hudson Swafford, Cameron Young 3.30am  Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey 4.03am  Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau

Defending champion: Hideki Matsuyama Past Aussie winners: Adam Scott (2013) Top Aussie prediction: Cameron Smith TV schedule: Live from 5am on Fox Sports 503, 9Gem and 9Now Friday, Saturday, Sunday; Live from 4am on Fox Sports 503, 9Gem and 9Now Monday.

Asian Tour and Ladies European Tour Trust Golf Asian Mixed Cup Siam Country Club (Waterside Cse), Thailand 9.40am  Josh Younger, Arpichaya Yubol, Olivia Mehaffey 9.51am  Whitney Hillier, Kyongjun Moon, Witchayapat Sinsrang 10.13am             Travis Smyth, Natipong Srithong, Pasqualle Coffa 10.35am*           Scott Hend, Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Johanna Gustavsson 11.41am             Jake Higginbottom, Florentyna Parker, Phannarai Meesom-Us 2.30pm*             Todd Sinnott, Wassawan Sangkapong, Kim Metraux 3.36pm  Andrew Dodt, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Liz Young 3.58pm*             Daniel Fox, Ben Leong, Parinda Phokan

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Andrew Dodt

PGA TOUR Canada Q-School USA West 2 Soboba Springs GC, San Jacinto, California Round 1 scores T39        Lawry Flynn (1-over thru 9) T64        Grant Booth (75) 104        Jeong In Park (84)

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