Masters 2013: Getting to know John Peterson
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: Baton Rouge, La.
How he qualified: T-4, 2012 U.S. Open
John Peterson was playing a practice round at Augusta National when a well-wisher congratulated him on earning his PGA Tour card. Peterson had to kindly correct the man. He may have invitations to the year’s first two majors, but Peterson will spend the bulk of the season on the Web.com Tour.
“It’s probably the first time it’s happened in pro golf,” said Peterson, who’s 18th on the Web.com Tour money list through the circuit’s first four events. He's right. Peterson is the first exempt Web.com Tour player (without any PGA Tour status) to earn a Masters invitation. So while the Web.com Tour is in the west Texas town of Midland, Peterson will be walking golf's hallowed ground.
Peterson earned his Masters invitation, as well as an exemption to the U.S. Open, with his fourth-place finish at last year’s U.S. Open. He shot 3-over 283 (71-70-72-70) to finish just two shots behind winner Webb Simpson at Olympic Club; it was Peterson’s first career start in a major championship. His week was highlighted by a hole-in-one during the third round. A double-bogey at the par-5 16th during the final round cost him a chance at the title. He birdied the next hole before making par at the last to lock up his Masters start. Peterson's earnings that week helped him gain Web.com Tour status for this season after failing to advance out of the second stage of Q-School.
Peterson has made the cut in all four Web.com Tour starts in 2013, finishing no worse than 36th. He was 10th in his last start, at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in his adopted home state. Peterson played collegiate golf at LSU and lives in Baton Rouge.
He’s made the cut in six of nine career PGA Tour starts. His finish at the U.S. Open is his only top-25, though. He had qualified for the U.S. Open less than a year after the organization that runs the event, the U.S. Golf Association, controversially omitted him from the 2011 Walker Cup team. Peterson won the 2011 NCAA Championship and Jones Cup (one of the nation’s premier amateur events) and finished second as an amateur at the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational. His play at Olympic Club gave him a chance to showcase his skills to the people who snubbed him the prior year.
Peterson’s first scheduled start after the Masters is the Web.com Tour’s South Georgia Classic. He’ll likely be the only player traveling from Augusta to Valdosta, Ga., going from one Georgia classic to the South Georgia Classic.