Until he was asked, Augusta’s Jeff Knox hadn’t thought about how much longer he’ll be Augusta National Golf Club’s noncompeting marker in the Masters Tournament.
“That’s a good question,” said Knox, an Augusta National member who is called on by the club to be a marker when there is an odd number of players in the field.
Knox, who played during both the third- and fourth rounds in the recent Masters, has been the club’s marker since 2002.
“I still feel good and I’m in relatively good health,” said Knox, who is 50. “As long as I can keep my game in a state where I’m not hindering the other guy’s performance, I’ll do it maybe a few years longer.”
When pressed for a number, Knox said he’d probably serve as marker for “another five years.”
Knox, who holds the course record from the members tee at Augusta National (61), has beat some of his playing partners as a marker. That didn’t happen this year, but he did shoot “about” 76 in the third round with Bubba Watson (he had 70) and 75 in the final round with Keegan Bradley (69).
Knox typically picks up a couple gimme putts each round in order to speed up play.
Knox was among the older players at Augusta National two weeks ago. Only 10 players in the field, which of course included 14-year-old Tianlang Guan, were older than Knox.
“These generations move on,” Knox said. “All these guys are in late 20s and early 30s and I don’t want to get in their way. “
Knox had his hands full trying to keep up Watson and Bradley, two of the fastest players in the field.
“That’s what I told Keegan,” Knox said. “I said, ‘Keegan, slow down, you walk faster than Bubba.’ He got a chuckle out of that.”
REGIONS SCHEDULE: The schedule for the spring/summer Regions Bank Amateur Series has been completed.
There are 10 tournaments, beginning with the Sunbelt Nissan Golf Capital Invitational this Saturday and Sunday at Mount Vintage Plantation.
The other events are the First Tee of Aiken Invitational (May 18-19) at Houndslake Country Club, the Camellia Classic (June 1-2) at Belle Meade Country Club; the North Augusta Exchange Club/Persimmon Hill Classic (June 15-16); the Goshen Golf Classic (June 22-23); the Perry Watson Memorial (July 13-14) at Pine Ridge Country Club; the Augusta City Amateur (tentatively July 19-21) at Forest Hills Golf Club; the Orville White Cup (Aug. 3-4) at Midland Valley Country Club; the Ping Regions Bank Invitational (Aug. 10-11) at Gordon Lakes Golf Course; and the Gordon Chevrolet Jones Creek Classic (Aug. 24-25) at Jones Creek.
MASTERS-TALK: If you listen hard enough, you’ll notice that TV broadcasts of the Masters are different from any other you’ll hear at PGA Tour event.
There are certain set phrases used by announcers when calling the action at Augusta National Golf Club. For instance, only at the Masters are fans called patrons and is the rough called the second cut.
Brad Faxon, who worked for Golf Channel during the Masters in its Orlando, Fla., studio penned a column in last week’s Sports Illustrated where he pointed out some phrases it was suggested he use:
• Instead of saying a player qualified for the Masters, announcers had to say the player was invited to participate in the Masters.
• Instead of saying golfers were in pairings, they had to say they were in groupings.
• Instead of saying the back nine on Sunday, they had to say the final nine in the final round.
I picked up one phrase that Faxon didn’t mention in his article. Instead of saying Web.com Tour by name, announcers called it a secondary tour.
Faxon was not critical of the phrases, saying “it is all part of what makes the Masters difference and special, and the Augusta folks do stick to their own rules.”