Antonio Murdaca can at least leave Augusta National knowing he can match it with the big boys.
The South Australian amateur finished at seven-over-par after shooting 78 and 73 in his two rounds, but the 19-year-old pocket rocket managed to walk away with his chest puffed out after finishing third in driving distance.
Playing with notorious long hitters Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott, Murdaca held his own, averaging 299.75 yards off the tee to be inferior only to Johnson (318.25) and JB Holmes (304.75).
It was just one of the many positives the two-time Australian junior champion will take from his debut Masters as he heads into the amateur summer in the US and UK hoping to continue his progression towards a professional career.
“I am pretty confident with everything. I think I kept my nerves pretty settled, so I think it won’t be too bad playing any other event from now on,” Murdaca said.
“I am pretty happy with how I played and it was a good experience. If I can handle this I can probably handle anything on the golf course. I have never seen this many people in my life let alone hit a ball in front of them.”
Of the seven amateurs in the field, Murdaca was only bested by Canadian Corey Conners (+5) and American Byron Meth (+6) with Chile’s Matias Dominguez (+8), American Scott Harvey (+13), Scotland’s Bradley Neil (+13) and Korean Gunn Yang (+15) finding the going tough.
No silver cup will be awarded as they all missed the cut.
Murdaca plans on staying around for the weekend and turning spectator, looking to get a bit more experience by eyeballing the greats.
“I might get out and follow Scotty some more, I love the way he plays and I might follow Dustin and hopefully a bit of Tiger (Woods) and Rory (McIlroy) also,” he said.