When University of California golfer Michael Weaver tees off at the 2013 Masters Tournament in the Augusta National Golf Club this Thursday, he will be making history in the process. Weaver is Cal’s first active golfer to qualify for the Masters Tournament field, after finishing second in the 2012 US Amateur Championships. Reigning US Amateur champion Steven Fox will also be in the field this week.
Although this will be the first time Weaver will be inside the ropes, his first experience at Augusta was during the 2009 tournament, when he was a spectator, along with his father. As one of the few amateurs in this year’s field of the world’s best professional golfers, Weaver will be able to soak in the special reverence given to amateurs by the club’s exclusive members. Augusta ranks as the most traditional of private clubs, and the relationship afforded to amateurs by members remains one of the most long-lasting traditions. This is perhaps due to Bobby Jones, the creator of Augusta, being an amateur golfer himself.
Weaver has no expectations of being on the leaderboard–or even making the cut on Friday. But given he is even in the field as an amateur is a privilege in itself, Weaver’s clutch performance at the 2012 US Amateur’s proves he has as good a chance as anybody to finish among the leaders. After all, another former amateur named Tiger Woods has done pretty well at Augusta over the years.