April 11, 2009
Following up a disappointing 78 on Thursday, the FSU sophomore totaled a even-par 72 during the second round of the Masters on Friday. Kittleson’s 6-over tournament total kept him five shots away from making the cut, but two birdies and two eagles were more than enough to make Friday memorable.
Kittleson hit seven of 14 fairways, nine of 18 greens and needed 26 putts to get home.
And considering the higher winds compared to Thursday, a 72 was better than most. Kittleson’s round ranked 27th in the field and it even tied a guy named Tiger Woods.
Going out in 2-under 34, Kittleson bogeyed No. 10 and eagled the 505-yard par-4 11th — the second-hardest hole on the course — when his 6-iron approach shot from 193 yards out dropped. Kittleson became the sixth player in Masters history to eagle No. 11, and the shot was replayed on ESPN for most of Friday.
He followed that with an adventurous triple bogey at No. 12, then he bounced back with another eagle at the par-5 15th.
“Everything was just breathtaking,” Kittleson said. “Every turn you make, there were 50,000 people all rooting for you. Everybody knows there’s no place like the Masters.”
Just the name alone means something special. The Masters.
An event unlike any other.
It is golf’s premier tournament held at Bobby Jones’ Augusta National Golf Club that has produced some of the most memorable moments in sports history.
It is where Tiger Woods’ chip in for birdie on the 16th hole in 2005 landed him his fourth green jacket and Phil Mickelson displayed his famed short game en route to two Masters’ titles. It is where legends like Jack Nicklaus left their mark on the golf world at Amen Corner.
And it is where Florida State sophomore Drew Kittleson will debut on April 9 in the first round of the 2009 Masters.
After finishing second in the 2008 U.S. Amateur Tournament at Pinehurst No. 2 last August, Kittleson earned a spot to play in both the Masters and 2009 U.S. Open–one of the greatest honors in Florida State golf history.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Kittleson said. “It’s something you work for as a golfer and it’s the highest level, so it’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
The Scottsdale, Ariz. native will not only become the youngest player in Florida State history to compete in the Masters, but he will also be paired with some former tournament champions in practice rounds leading up to Thursday’s opening round.
Kittleson will play alongside former champions Mark O’Meara, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods from Monday through Wednesday’s practice rounds, and will also share the course with PGA professionals Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy as well.
Drew Kittleson Masters Scorecard
|Legend||Eagle and better||Birdie||Par||Bogey||Double Bogey and higher|
“The level of competition and professionalism that the guys around him will have, he will take that to every event he plays in from now on,” head coach Trey Jones said. “Without a doubt, it’s something that not only himself, but the program and the school will remember forever.”
And a Florida State connection will also join Kittleson at Augusta National. Former Seminole and PGA tour professional Jeff Sluman has played in multiple Masters tournament and won the 1988 PGA Championship. His caddie, PGA tour veteran Jimmy Walker, will join Kittleson at Augusta for the sophomore’s first major tournament.
“To play Augusta and to play the Masters, I don’t think anyone could really understand what it is until you’re there,” FSU men’s golf captain Matt Savage said. “Anyone who is a golfer will say that if they play Augusta before they die, they’re complete.”
Kittleson also joins a list of former Seminoles who have played in the Masters, including Sluman and Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger.
“Drew knew that the best way to prepare for the Masters would be for him to have a good spring season, and he’s done that and played well,” Trey Jones said.
“It will be pretty interesting, I’ve had people compare it to trying to chip through a goal post at a football game,” Kittleson said. “But I can’t wait, I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Stay tuned to Seminoles.com for complete coverage of Drew Kittleson’s appearance in the 2009 Masters as the Florida State sophomore makes history at Augusta National Golf Club.