Open mobile menu

#ProJackets Golf Report - Masters Edition

THE FLATS – Four former Yellow Jackets are in the 88-player field for the Masters this week at Augusta National Golf Club. Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink, Larry Mize and amateur Tyler Strafaci are among the 88 competitors who begin competition Thursday.

Kuchar and Cink, both in their 40s and with long histories at Augusta National, look to join Mize (1987) as a Masters champion, while Strafaci attempts to keep a Tech tradition of high-level amateur play in the tournament alive.

Matt Kuchar entered Masters week with some newly found confidence after his strong showing at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play event, in which he swept through group play and reached the semifinals in the match play bracket. The 42-year-old followed that with a tie for 12th last weekend at the Valero Texas Open. The nine-time winner on the PGA Tour is playing in his 15th Masters, having posted his high finish of a tie for third in 2012.

Tech’s other PGA Tour veteran, Stewart Cink, earned his way back to the Masters for the first time since 2019 by winning the Safeway Open back in the fall of 2020. The 2009 Open Champion, 47, will play in his 19th Masters, with his son, Reagan, caddying for him. Cink achieved a tie for third in 2008 for his best finish, and has made 12 cuts in 18 previous appearances.

Larry Mize, the 1987 Masters champion, is back for the 38th time, looking to make the cut for the first time since 2017, when he finished 52nd. In the fall of 2020, Mize opened with a 70, but was unable to stay for the weekend after shooting 77 in round 2. The 62-year-old Mize has made the cut 20 times in 37 previous appearances, and added 1 top-25 finishes.

The major storyline for Georgia Tech this week is Tyler Strafaci, who won the U.S. Amateur Championship last August and looks to join Kuchar (1997 U.S. Amateur champion) and Andy Ogletree (2019 U.S. Amateur champion) in winning low amateur honors. Not only will Strafaci be trying to live up to that standard, but he will be the second Strafaci to play in the Masters, following his grandfather Frank, who played in 1938 and 1950. Strafaci, one of only three amateurs in the field this week, will remain an amateur through the Walker Cup matches in May.

The stories of Kuchar, Strafaci and Ogletree continue a tradition of elite-level amateur golf at Georgia Tech, which began with the legendary Bobby Jones, who co-founded the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club.

Bobby Jones’ Legacy at the Masters  |  Golf’s Renaissance Legend, Bobby Jones

Top photo courtesy of Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tyler Strafaci and his grandfather Frank bridge more than 80 years of the Masters' commitment to amateur golf.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY TEE TIMES

  • 8:24 a.m./11:30 a.m. – Stewart Cink with Ian Woosnam and Jim Herman
  • 10:30 a.m./1:36 p.m. – Tyler Strafaci with Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood
  • 11:18 a.m./8;12 a.m. – Larry Mize with Jimmy Walker and Brian Gay
  • 12:48 p.m./9:36 a.m. – Matt Kuchar with Shane Lowry and Justin Rose

See all pairings

Larry Mize reflects on one of the greatest golf shots in PGA history - one which helped him win the 1987 Masters over Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros.

Storylines for Masters Week

Stewart Cink returns to Augusta National this week for his 19th appearance in the Masters, but the 2009 Open champion doesn’t just bring skill, experience and dedication to this year’s Tournament. He’s also powered by an even stronger force: gratitude.

“The Masters means something a little bit different now than it did when I first started playing,” said Cink, who first played the Masters in 1997. “I played in – I think I’m making my 19th one – and I relish it more now, probably more than I did.

More from Masters.com

The Strafaci family connection to the Masters dates back to before this little flower show was even called the Masters. That said, some traditions Tyler Strafaci won’t be following this week. Like withdrawing in mid-tournament to seek a better place to play.

With the exception of one impetuous turn off the property, Tyler Strafaci will walk in the footsteps of his grandfather this week at the Masters. As an amateur and the taproot of a golfing family tree, Frank Sr. played in two of these. He hung for all of 1950′s event, although it wasn’t pretty. He finished 36 over for four rounds.

More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In early April 1997, Stewart Cink was just a young pup in professional golf, heading to Augusta, Georgia, excited to be teeing it up at The Masters for the first time.

Cink, then just a 24-year-old fledgling pro on the PGA Tour, had yet to celebrate his first of seven career tour wins. Playing the villain in taking down sentimental favorite Tom Watson in the 2009 Open Championship was still 12 years away.

Along with the excitement that comes with getting to compete in The Masters, Cink had more on his mind than just preparing for the tournament.

More from Alabama Golf News

Matt Kuchar has spent the past six months working with instructor Chris O’Connell to eliminate clubface rotation through impact and become more consistent. He credited his wife, Sybi, for helping him remain positive through the rough stretch that saw him miss the cut five times in 12 starts, a very un-Kuchar like performance.

More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The reigning U.S. Amateur champion comes into the Masters with the burden of having to compete for the very first time on golf’s biggest stage against the very best players in the world. But for Tyler Strafaci, the emotional load would appear to be a little heavier given all the connections he has to the Tournament and Augusta National.

Start with his having studied and played golf at Georgia Tech, which is the alma mater of Bobby Jones, co-Founder of Augusta National and the Masters, as well as Matt Kuchar and Andy Ogletree (both of whom also won U.S. Amateur titles and went on to earn Low Amateur honors at the Masters in 1998 and 2020, respectively).

More from Masters.com

At the 2020 Safeway Open, Stewart Cink claimed his seventh victory on the PGA TOUR with rounds of 67-70-65-65 to finish at 21-under-par at the Silverado Resort and Spa North, earning his way into the 2021 Masters.

More Masters Storylines

The Sporting Life takes a look at the three amateurs competing in The Masters, the fewest ever, and says about Tyler Strafaci: “Arguably the most interesting of the amateurs participating at Augusta, 23-year-old Tyler Strafaci was born in Davie, Florida and currently attends Georgia Tech.

He is ranked 12th in the WAGR and won three big events last year: the US Amateur Championship, Palmetto Amateur and the North & South Amateur.

It was his win at the US Amateur Championship which secured his place at the Masters, and Strafaci boasts an interesting profile thanks to his unique family heritage.”

More from The Sporting Life

Golf Digest ranks all 88 competitors in the field for The Masters, with Kuchar the top Yellow Jacket on the list at No. 42, with eight top-25s and four top-eights in his 14 career starts. Stewart Cink is No. 67 ahead of his 19th Masters appearance, Tyler Strafaci No. 82 and 1987 champion Larry Mize No. 87

More from Golf Digest

Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine writes how Tyler Strafaci’s Masters debut will be nothing like that of his grandfather, Frank, who played in 1938 and withdrew with one round to play in order to qualify for the North and South Amateur, which he believed would boost his chances of making the U.S. Walker Cup team. Frank won, as Tyler did this past summer, but never played in the Walker Cup.

More from Golf Channel

Eighty-three years after his grandfather played in the Masters Tournament, Tyler Strafaci will try to do him one better while extending the family’s impressive amateur golf legacy.

Strafaci’s grandfather, the late Frank Strafaci Sr., cast a big shadow. He also was a USGA champion, having won the 1935 U.S. Amateur Public Links title in addition to back-to-back North & South Amateur titles in 1938 and 1939. After his family immigrated from Italy, he grew up in Brooklyn and won 27 amateur tournaments, including a seven-time Met (N.Y.) Amateur champion, finishing ninth in the 1938 U.S. Open and 58th in the 1950 Masters.

More from Golfweek

The reigning U.S. Amateur champion comes into the Masters with the burden of having to compete for the very first time on golf’s biggest stage against the very best players in the world. But for Tyler Strafaci, the emotional load would appear to be a little heavier given all the connections he has to the Tournament and Augusta National.

Start with his having studied and played golf at Georgia Tech, which is the alma mater of Bobby Jones, co-Founder of Augusta National and the Masters, as well as Matt Kuchar and Andy Ogletree (both of whom also won U.S. Amateur titles and went on to earn Low Amateur honors at the Masters in 1998 and 2020, respectively).

More from Masters.com

Golfweek magazine surveyed competitors at the Masters on a number of questions, one of which asked “What one change would you make to the course?” Larry Mize and Matt Kuchar offered responses.

“I would love to see plaques where the different champions won from, like where were the tees when they won, where certain shots were hit from, like Snead, Hogan. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing because it’s such a spectacular place.” – 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize

“I’d take the rough away. I like the old-school, old way where the ball went right into the pine straw.” – Matt Kuchar

In his Round of 16 match in the 2021 World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar defeats Jordan Spieth 1-up.

Masters Social Media

The words Bobby Jones used to describe his first glimpses of the property, paired with images of what Augusta National looks like today.

RELATED HEADLINES

Men's Golf Jackets Advance to Match Play at ACC Golf Championship

Tech to face FSU in semifinal match Monday morning; Lamprecht ties for 3rd individually

Jackets Advance to Match Play at ACC Golf Championship
Men's Golf Jackets Remain in 3rd Place at ACC Golf Championship

Lamprecht fires bogey-free 69, tied for third place, Forrester tied for 5th

Jackets Remain in 3rd Place at ACC Golf Championship
Men's Golf Tech Golf in 3rd Place at ACC Championship

Forrester tied for lead, Lamprecht tied for 3rd individually for No. 16 Yellow Jackets

Tech Golf in 3rd Place at ACC Championship
Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Legends Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets