To get you ready for the 2013 Masters, we are breaking down the amateurs and first-timers that will play at Augusta National starting on Thursday, April 11.
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Hometown: Las Vegas
How he qualified: Top 30 on 2012 PGA Tour money list; won, 2012 RBC Canadian Open; qualified for 2012 Tour Championship; top 50 in Official World Golf Ranking on Dec. 31, 2012; top 50 in Official World Golf Ranking on April 1
The skinny: Scott Piercy took the long road to Magnolia Lane. He played the mini-tours – with a handful of starts on the PGA and Web.com tours sprinkled in – for seven years before his first full season on the Web.com Tour in 2008. Playing golf’s minor leagues is an expensive pursuit; Piercy said he had a $25,000 balance on his credit cards when he won the $2-million first prize at the 2007 Ultimate Game.
He needed just one year to graduate the Web.com Tour, winning twice in 2008 to finish ninth on the money list. He earned more than $1 million in his rookie PGA Tour season, but dropped to 136th on the money list in 2010. He had just conditional Tour status for 2011, when he claimed his first Tour win at the Reno-Tahoe Open, which was held opposite the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational.
Piercy was No. 376 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the start of 2011. He jumped to 175th a year later. He now ranks 37th. He’s credited the improvement in part to his work with instructor Chris O’Connell, the same instructor who helped resurrect Matt Kuchar’s career.
Piercy, who turned pro in 2001, is making his Masters debut after having a career season in 2012. He won his second PGA Tour title at last year’s Canadian Open and earned a career-high $2,699,205, qualifying for the Tour Championship for the first time. He has two top-10s in nine starts this year, highlighted by a third-place finish at the Phoenix Open. He’s struggled in his past two events, though, shooting a combined 21 over in those four rounds. He shot 73-75 at the Tampa Bay Championship and 81-78 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Nothing like a long-awaited trip to Augusta National to pick up his spirits, though.