Aussie Goss extends global Masters amateur run
Oliver Goss of Australia lines up a putt on the first green with the help of caddie Brian Tam during the first round of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia - by Andrew Redington
Goss opened with a 76 but battled back with a one-under 71 at Augusta National to make the cut on three-over 147 on the eve of his 20th birthday.
"That's the last thing I'm thinking about, 20th birthday tomorrow," Goss said. "I'm just absolutely excited to be playing on the weekend."
Goss finished 36 holes ahead of such players as Jason Day, Sergio Garica, Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Angel Cabrera and Jason Dufner.
"It does make me feel like I do belong out here possibly in the future, which is great for the confidence," Goss said.
By being the lone amateur to make the cut, Goss also clinched the Silver Cup as low amateur.
It's the fifth year in a row that a player from beyond the US border has taken the award.
The streak includes wins by 14-year-old Chinese schoolboy Guan Tianlang last year, Japan's Hideki Matusyama in 2011 and 2012 and Italy's Matteo Manassero in 2010.
Goss was aided this week by local caddie Brian Tam, who was Guan's bagman last year.
"He has been invaluable for me the whole week," Goss said.
Goss qualified for the Masters by finishing second in last year's US Amateur, losing the final 4 and 3 to Matthew Fitzpatrick, the first Englishman to win the event since 1911.
Fitpatrick, the low amateur at last year's British Open, also opened on 76 and fought down the final holes trying to reach the cut line but missed a 10-foot birdie putt at 18, to finish on 149, one over the number.
Goss, who was born in England but moved to Australia as a youth and now calls Perth home, is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee.
Goss birdied the par-5 second and eighth holes but ended the front nine with a bogey. He parred his way through Amen Corner and added a birdie at 14 that was offset by a bogey at 16. He closed with two pars to crack par at Augusta National.
"The last drive I knew I had to make par so I was just focusing on hitting it in the fairway. I just hit a great one," Goss said.
"I held it together through my scrambling a little bit the last two days. I'm holing a couple of good par putts and making a couple of good up-and-downs, so that's really good for the confidence."
Other amateurs to miss the cut included South Korean Lee Chang-Woo, the Asian Pacific Amateur Championship winner, Americans Jordan Niebrugge and Michael McCoy and England's Garrick Porteous, the reigning British Amateur champion.
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