We're under an hour until Sammy Schmitz tees off at the Masters. He's one of 20 first-timers in the field.
Hey - it can be done: Amateur sensation Bryson DeChambeau just missed an eagle putt from about 6 feet on 3. And Derek Bard made birdie on 3 as well. They're 1 under early on
And he's off. Sammy Schmitz, perhaps a tad nervous, hits his tee shot on No. 1 right and into the trees at Tea Olive.
Nice recovery to the fairway. He'll have about 165 yards to the pin
Schmitz plunked his approach to 12 feet at No. 1 but ran the putt past the hole. Taps in for bogey on his opening hole
So Schmitz makes the day's 12th bogey at No. 1. Two players, including Rickie Fowler, made double. Could be worse
Oof. Tough break, as Sammy's short approach on 3 misses into a greenside bunker. He blasted to 7 feet, but ran the putt by the hole just like at No.1. Another bogey
Sammy Schmitz: 1 over through 3 holes
Schmitz birdie try is just short at No. 5, but another par is nothing to scoff at.
Sammy Schmitz: 1 over through 5 holes
Hot dang! Sammy Schmitz plunks his tee shot 7 feet from the hole at the downhill par-3 sixth. Good chance at birdie coming up
Drain-O. Birdie at No. 6 gets Sammy Schmitz back to even par.
Elsewhere: Nothing but pars from Troy Merritt after his opening bogey. He's 1 over through 5 holes, one group behind Sammy Schmitz
Tricky downhill 30-footer for birdie coming up for Sammy Schmitz at the 7th
David Duval on Golf Channel: "If you can just keep yourself in shouting distance and not shoot yourself in the foot, you're doing a good job" That's Sammy Schmitz so far. Another par and he's still even through 7 holes.
No choice but to lay up for Schmitz on the 570-yard No. 8. Third-shot approach coming up
And it's a two-putt par at No. 8. Sammy Schmitz remains even
Schmitz avoids the trees at No. 9 with a 314-yard drive (his longest of the day) that leaves him a clear shot into the sloped green. Can't be short here ...
And Schmitz does just that. Mistake here. Sammy needs a good chip to get it close and save another par.
Oh wow. Schmitz chipped to 9 feet and made the right-to-left putt. That's how you make the turn: He's even par.
Really impressive front nine by Sammy Schmitz. Two birdies, two bogeys and handful of clutch putts
Really only in trouble once: His very first shot into the trees. He's kept it steady since then.
At the tough par-4 10th hole, Schmitz keeps his drive in the fairway. He's still 200 yds from the green but hasa good look
Update on the amateurs in the Masters:
Bryson DeChambeau -1 (14)
Sammy Schmitz E (9)
Romain Langasque E (4)
Derek Bard +4 (F)
Paul Chaplet +4 (7)
Cheng Jin +6 (16)
Here's columnist Jim Souhan's quick review of Schmitz's front nine:
He left his opening drive to the right, chipped out, saved bogey, and has looked remarkably steady since that first swing.
He's at even-par through nine after a nifty up-and-down from the right of the 9th green. He birdied No. 2 with a long, tricky, downhill putt that fell in on its last revolution. At the par-3 6th, he went right at a flag tucked behing a bunker, stuck it at four feet and made the putt.
He's also on the leaderboard, literally if not mathematically. As the Mid-Am champ, on the first day his name will be sixth on the 10-man leaderboards around the course. At even-par, he looks like he belongs up there in a lot of ways on a windy day at Augusta National.
I picked Rickie Fowler to win and thought Jordan Spieth was off his game. Fowler is plus-7. Spieth leads at minus-5. So, nevermind.
Follow Jim on Twitter @SouhanStrib
Sammy Schmitz hit his second shot long and left into the brush behind the green, and 2 putted from 25 feet, and he's now 2 over as he heads to Amen Corner
Schmitz with a clean drive on 11. Let's see if he can stay out of trouble here