THE STADLERS - Kevin and Craig - will earn a place in the record books this week as the first father and son to play in The Masters in the event’s history.
“It’s a very cool thing,” admitted Craig, the 1982 winner who was joined in the line-up by Kevin after his victory in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.
Kevin was two when his old man donned the Green Jacket and Craig is delighted the pair are getting the chance to share a special family moment.
“I’m so proud of the way he’s played over the last three or four years,” added Stadler Snr. “He’s been close a zillion times and finally got it done.”
CHANG-WOO LEE, the 20-year-old Chinese amateur, has it pictured in his mind exactly how he needs to pick up valuable shots around Augusta National.
“I’ve been watching a lot of videos of the Masters for the past months,” he revealed. “It was image training about which holes I could actually make a birdie.”
Lee, who has played one of his practice rounds with KJ Choi, secured his spot by succeeding Tianlang Guan as the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
Guan, 14, grabbed his chance by becoming the youngest player in the event’s history to make the cut and Lee believes he’ll compete in all four rounds, too.
“I’m quite confident in making the cut,” he insisted.
MATT JONES, the last man to book his spot in this week’s field after winning the Shell Houston Open on Sunday, isn’t embarrassed to talk about how he celebrated as compatriot Adam Scott became Australia’s first Masters champion 12 months ago.
“I was at home watching and I was elated,” admitted Jones, who beat Matt Kuchar in a play-off in Texas to claim his first PGA Tour title. “It was amazing and the way he celebrated I’m sure it gave all the Australians goosebumps. Indeed, it gives them to me now just thinking about it.”
Asked if he was rooting for Scott even though most weeks he’s competing against him, Jones added: “Yes, I’m not ashamed to say I was!”
STEVE STRICKER is keeping his fingers crossed that a fit and healthy Tiger Woods is back chasing majors before too long.
This is the first time that Woods has missed the Masters since 1995, having undergone surgery last week on a pinched nerve in his back.
“I think him not being here is tough of the tournament as he any time he’s in the field it draws so much more attention,” said Stricker of the world No 1.
“Players to some extent will miss him but then they are like, ‘hey, he’s not here, so it’s one less guy you have to beat.
“We need him back playing good golf again and being healthy - that’s the biggest thing.”
PATRICK REED, winner of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral last month, reckons the Eisenhower Tree would have claimed one of his drives in practice - if it had still been there.
The tree named after the former US President was removed after being damaged in an ice storm earlier in the year, making the tee shot at the par-4 17th less demanding.
“If the tree was there, I would have hit it yesterday,” revealed Reed to a bout of laughter in the media centre. “It was a little into the wind and I hit it down the left side.
“I knew exactly where the tree was and I probably would have caught the top half and would have been underneath it.”