In arguably the most anticipated golf tournament on the PGA Tour, former Boise State golfer Graham DeLaet will become the first Bronco to compete in the Masters when he tees it up on Thursday, April 10 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
“If there is one tournament I could play in and be done with golf it would be Augusta and the Masters,” DeLaet said. “I still kind of pinch myself once in a while to know I’m going to be there in a couple weeks.”
DeLaet is not a stranger to the big stage as a professional at this point in his career.
While this will be DeLaet’s first Masters, it will be his third appearance in a major championship, as he finished 83rd in the 2013 Open Championship in his first major appearance, and missing the cut at his first PGA Championship just a few weeks later.
DeLaet earned his first Masters invitation by way of his stellar 2013 season long performance, getting himself into the Tour Championship, a tournament reserved for the top-30 on the PGA Tour money list come mid-September every year, as he finished eighth in the 2013 FedEx Cup race.
“I have been playing well, doing the right things both on and off the course. That’s the goal,” DeLaet said. “You want to get in that winner’s circle and the only way to do that is to keep giving yourself chances.”
Now ranking 30th in the world, the Canadian golfer, who still resides in Boise, has made three World Golf Championships appearances this season, events only the top-50 in the world compete in, and seems to be up for the challenge of Augusta National.
“I think it (Augusta) suits my game pretty well. It’s long. You have to be able to control the ball well, control your ball flight,” DeLaet said. “Into the greens you have to hit the right spots and control your distance and those are things I kind of pride myself on being able to do.”
DeLaet has knocked on the door of his first PGA Tour victory several times in the last couple of seasons, including two runner-up finishes this season. While no first time Masters competitor has won in their Augusta debut, DeLaet’s confidence is high going into the event.
“There hasn’t been a first time winner sine 1979 and I’d like to change that,” DeLaet said. “But that being said, it’s a week I’ve looked forward to my entire life and I want to make sure I have fun. If I can play well, then that would be a bonus.”
DeLaet will tee off on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. MT with 2008 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman, and amateur Oliver Gross. DeLaet’s Friday tee time is scheduled for 7:02 a.m. MT with the same pairings. Coverage of the first two rounds can be seen on ESPN at 1 p.m. MT or at Masters.com.