By now, you’ve likely heard the legend of Jeff Knox, Masters marker extraordinaire, Augusta’s stick-in-residence and reportedly the amateur course record holder (61!). Whenever an odd number of players make the cut at the Masters, Knox is on call to pair up with the single player going out in the first group. On Saturday morning, that meant Knox was paired with Paul Casey, who was impressed with what he saw.
“Even Tiger said to me on the putting green, he goes, seriously dude. He’s played the last eight weekends at the Masters. He’s got to be a regular.” Sure enough, Knox got off to a hot start. “He knocked it down the first fairway, rolled it up, just misses birdie. Second, just skirted birdie. 3, hardly missed that one. 4, hit it close inside of me. Three and four, it was great stuff.”
Casey’s most shocking reveal? Knox’s, uh, precise approach to playing the par-3 sixth. “He said he aimed left of the pin, because he hates hitting that pin and ricocheting back into the bunker. Then he landed that far from the hole, Ben Hogan style.”
Casey, who shot 3-under 69, also mentioned that he thought he played well because of Knox. “That was the best experience I’ve ever had with a marker,” he said, citing Knox’s “clean” round and the sporty pace of play: the two circled the course in about three-and-a-half hours.
No official score was tallied for Knox, who picked up some gimme-length putts. But he made several birdies, including a 25-foot curler on No. 11 that went in the center of the hole, earning a loud cheer from the Amen Corner crowd. Sixteen groups later, his birdie remained the only one on the hole.
“It was a brilliant birdie,” Casey said. “He played better golf than a lot of the pros will play today.”