AUGUSTA, GA (April 7, 2011) -- In year that has more amateurs in the field than any other since the 36-hole cut was instituted in 1957, these six non-professional players are doing just fine. David Chung, Hideki Matsuyama, and Peter Uihlein are in the clubhouse at even par. Jin Jeong came in with a 73 while Nathan Smith carded a 75. Lion Kim, the US Publinks champion, is tied for 87th with a 76.
US Amateur runner-up David Chung was feeling the nerves and made a last minute caddie change from one of the local loops to his coach Adam Schreiber. It turned out to be just what he needed as Chung penciled a clean card up until the par-3 sixth hole where he made a bogey, but he rallied in the middle half of the course making birdies on all the par five holes in the middle of the course, 8, 13, and 15.
“It seemed like there was no oxygen coming into my lungs,” Chung, a Stanford junior, said. “Not only are there people all around you, but there are people lining the fairways. It's very different."
The top-ranked amateur in the field, Peter Uihlein, got off to a quick start with birdies on two of the first three holes but bogeys on the following two holes would bring him back to even par.
Hideki Matsuyama, the current Asian Amateur champion from Japan was three-under-par standing on the 16th tee but finished his round at even par.
Only one amateur player has made the cut at the Masters in the last ten years. That was Mateo Manassero from Italy. This years group of six is looking to buck that trend.