Unfortunately, there's not a lot of local flavor in the Masters this year.
Augusta's Charles Howell III was so close to making it, finishing 54th in the World Golf Rankings…the top 50 get in. He's also the only player in the top 10 this year on the money list and in FedEx Cup points not in the Masters field.
For Howell, unfortunately, this is the 4th time in 5 years he's not playing in his hometown, but another guy who grew up not too far from here is making his 2nd appearance.
Yeah, Brian Gay grew up just about 50 miles from Augusta, in Louisville, Georgia.
He attended the Masters for the first time as a patron when he was 9-years-old…and now he's preparing for his second tournament…as a player.
“The most different thing is all the people, friends, and family…” Gay said at the time of his first time playing the Masters. And this year? He says the feeling is the same.
“The Masters has always been my favorite tournament, growing up near here as a kid. And, it's the one I want to win the most…” Gays says of this trip as a player.
Gay was a long way from winning in 2010…failing to miss the cut by four strokes after struggling with the long ball. But, over the past 14 months, he's improved his driving distance by nearly 50 yards, so it's the challenging greens at Augusta that will be trouble.
“I'm pretty straight forward off the tee, so I'm just trying to work on my shots around the greens,” he says.
Come Thursday, Gay will use the same strategy he used when he won the Humana Challenge in a playoff…be aggressive and score as low as possible.
“I'm going to hit a shot on the first tee box and see what happens,” Gay says.