Originally created 04/02/00

Thrilling to earn return trip



Brandt Jobe of Southlake, Texas, is compiling a diary for the 64th Masters Tournament. Jobe, 34, finished tied for 14th in his first Masters appearance, in 1999. By finishing among the top 16, Jobe earned an invitation back to the 2000 Masters. The former UCLA golfer played the Japanese Tour from 1995, winning six times, before joining the PGA Tour this year. Jobe is sharing his thoughts this week with staff writer David Westin.

I'm extremely excited about coming back to the Masters. It was a wonderful experience last year. To go there for the first time and to finish high enough to be exempt for the following year, that's a thrill in itself.

I shot 72-71-74-71 or even par 288 last year. The first couple of rounds I tried to play real conservative. First, your goal is to make the cut in your first time there. Once I did that, I tried to play more aggressively.

With nine holes to go, it didn't look very good for me. I just had one of those back nines -- I made six birdies, one bogey and two pars. So I shot 5-under-par 31. You can't predict that. It doesn't happen too often.

The thing I remember the most about last year was coming down No. 18 in the final round. I thinking, Oh gosh, I've to get to even par for the tournament (288), that's what's going to make the top 16. After I hit a sand wedge in there about 15 feet and made the putt, I'm thinking, all right, I get to come back. That was probably the biggest thrill.

The Masters is an incredible tournament. It really separates itself from the other majors by being different. I've played several U.S. Opens, British Opens and PGAs. They take nice traditional courses and put deep rough in there, especially around the greens.

They lose a little imagination in shot-making by eliminating bump-and-run shots and things like that. At Augusta, there are five different ways to hit a pitch shot, including putting it. It just depends on your choke level.

The Augusta National is always challenging you. It gives you a lot of variety, which I don't think we have as much out here.

When you walk out of the pro shop at the Augusta National and onto the golf course, you realize that TV doesn't do the place justice. The amount of green grass, the size of the pine trees and the changes in elevation on the course are incredible. It's like golf heaven when you look at it.

I'll be heading for Augusta after today's final round of the BellSouth Classic in Duluth, Ga. So far, I've shot rounds of 69-70-72 -- 211 and trail leaders Gary Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson by six shots.

I didn't play very well on Saturday. I was all over the place for a few holes and I had a few solid holes. I didn't play as well today as I did the last couple of days. I'm going to do a little work on the range and hopefully get some things back together.



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