Six Amateurs will be in The Masters field this week
04 Apr 2016
by Sam Dostaler of

see also: The Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Bryson DeChambeau Rankings

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau

AUGUSTA, GA (April 4, 2016)--Every first week in April the Masters Tournament opens the gates of Magnolia Lane to the best golfers in the world as they compete in the seasons first major. Most of the names in the field are household names--Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, for the final time Tom Watson, Jason Day and Adam Scott--the list goes on and on.

However, the tournament also welcomes a group of amateur players each year, players that right now are lesser known names, but players that in many cases become the household names of the future. This year there are six amateurs from around the world competing in the Masters, here is a look at them and how they qualified.


Bryson DeChambeau (Winner):

The former SMU standout is one of the more fascinating amateurs in recent years, known for his Ben Hogan style hats and clubs all of the same length. Last year DeChambeau became just the fifth player to win the NCAA Individual Championship and U.S. Amateur Championship in the same calendar year. DeChambeau's 7-and-6 win over Virginia's Derek Bard is what earned this future pro his ticket to the tournament grounds.

In recent months DeChambeau has made numerous trips to Augusta National as part of his preparation. An invitee is allowed to play on five days prior to the tournament with a walking guest.

“I’m looking forward to getting more comfortable with the golf course, and the greens are the biggest factor in that golf course, I believe, and how you approach it from the second shot,” DeChambeau told Golf Channel last month. “But the greens are very tricky. You’ve got to understand a lot of optical illusions and what you can and can’t do on the golf course.”

DeChambeau will turn pro next week at the RBC Heritage where he has accepted a sponsor exemption. In recent months he has played various PGA Tour events. Most recently DeChambeau played in the Arnold Palmer Invitational firing a final round 6-under- par 66 to finish T27. He was paired with Rory McIlroy in the final round so DeChambeau is not intimidated by playing with the best in the world.

As the U.S. Amateur champion DeChambeau will be the third member of one of the featured groups in the first two rounds. DeChambeau will be part of a threesome that will include the defending Masters champion Jordan Spieth. It is tradition at the Masters for the U.S. Amateur champion to be paired with the Masters winner from the year before.

Derek Bard (Runner-up):

A junior at Virginia, Bard will be playing in his first professional event at the Masters. Bard, named to the 2016 Ben Hogan Watch List tied for first at the U.S. Collegiate in October, his best finish of the season.


Romain Langasque:

Currently the 10th ranked amateur in the world, Langasque will appear at the 2016 Masters thanks to a 4-and-2 win over Scotland’s Grant Forrest. Langasque became just the third Frenchman to win the British Amateur and the first since Julien Guerrier in 2006.

The win also allowed Langasque to play in last year’s British Open at St. Andrew’s. Langasque made the cut and finished T65 at 2-under par. On paper it would appear that Langasque and DeChambeau will be the two battling for low amateur honors.


Cheng Jin:

Rain shortened the Asia-Pacific Championship to just 54-holes last October but the reward was still the same for Cheng Jin. The native of China won by single strokes over Australians Cameron Davis and Ryan Ruffels. In the opening round Cheng fired a tournament record 62 to take the lead.

Cheng Jin has competed in 15 professional events around the world since the start of 2015. He finished T35 at the Qatar Masters in January.


Paul Chaplett:

At the time of his victory Chaplet of Costa Rico, was the 832nd ranked amateur in the world. A year prior at the Latin American Amateur Chaplet finished a distant T36 but behind a closing day 2-under 70 he was able to claim a one-stroke triumph.

Following the round Chaplet told reporters, “I wasn’t expecting to win. I was expecting to shoot under par, which is my main goal, so that was accomplished. And with that came the win, so I can’t really ask for much more.”

Chaplet, 16-years-old, is eyeing his Masters week as an opportunity to earn a college scholarship.


Sammy Schmitz:

Talk about improbable, Schmitz is the 2,399th ranked amateur in the world and he made it into the field. How you might ask? With a walk-off ace on a par 4 to win the championship match 3-and-2.

“It felt like forever,” Schmintz from Minnesota said in the post round press conference. “We hit it, we knew it was good, we saw it kind of--I think I handed the club to my caddie John. I think I had taken my glove off at that point, and just a couple steps forward, and we heard everybody screaming. You can kind of tell a scream for when it’s close and when it goes in. We knew it went in. Everybody erupted, and it was a really good feeling.”

Schmitz qualified for the Masters in a fashion no one else in the field can claim stake too. This will be Schmitz’s first career professional event.

-CBS Sports, Golf Channel, USA Today and USGA contributed to this story

ABOUT THE The Masters

One of Golf's four professional majors traditionally invites amateurs who have reached the finals of the US Amateur, or won the British Amateur or the US Mid Amateur. Also included are the winners of the relatively new Asia Pacific Amateur and Latin American Amateur.

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