Masters 2013: Getting to know John Huh

John Huh posted a 67 in Round 1 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

John Huh posted a 67 in Round 1 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

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.

• • •

John Huh

Age: 22

Hometown: Dallas

How he qualified: Top 30 on 2012 PGA Tour money list; qualified for 2012 Tour Championship

John Huh might not see Augusta National until tournament week.

We know what you’re thinking: Huh?

It’s a bit of a head-scratcher considering that players in the field have the freedom to play the course in advance as much as they want. Huh, 22, had planned to make his first drive down Magnolia Lane on Monday of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He changed his mind, however, and decided to spend more time prepping at Arnie’s Place. It looked like a solid decision three rounds in, when Huh found himself hovering close to leader Tiger Woods. A final-round 80, however, plummeted Huh to T-27, and his rather lackluster sophomore campaign continued.

“I want to play those two Texas events because I played well last year,” said Huh, a resident of Dallas who realized that time was running out for his Augusta preview.

Huh, the 2012 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, switched from Ping to TaylorMade this season and changed every weapon in his bag except one utility club.

“It was a hard time for me," Huh said of changing equipment.

He went through five shafts in his R1 driver – and missed three consecutive cuts – before finding a good fit the week of the Honda.

Huh got his card through PGA Tour Q-School in December 2011 and won in his fifth PGA Tour start in a playoff at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. He also tied for second at the Valero Texas Open.

Huh ended the 2012 season 28th on the PGA Tour money list, thus qualifying him for the Masters.

So far nothing about ’13 has been particularly extraordinary. A five-hour bunker lesson from K.J. Choi in February, however, helped Huh vastly improve out of the sand at Bay Hill, going five for five in the first two rounds. Huh entered Bay Hill ranked 133rd in sand saves, while Choi was second behind Luke Donald. He has moved up to 81st.

Huh played in two majors in 2012, missing the cut at the Open Championship and finishing T-68 at the PGA Championship.

As for going to the Masters for the first time, Huh said he’s looking forward to teeing off of the first hole at Augusta and participating in the par-3 contest.

“It didn’t hit me yet,” said Huh, “but I’m pretty sure it will hit me when I’m driving through that gate.”

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