McIlroy on 'marker' Knox: 'He beat me by 1'
AUGUSTA, Ga. – On the official tee sheet that is handed out to patrons, the word "marker" is next to Rory McIlroy's name for the 10:15 a.m. EDT slot Saturday.
Let us go ahead and fill in that name: Jeff Knox.
And he's not a stranger to this situation, making his 10th appearance as said "marker" in the Masters.
McIlroy was mighty impressed by Knox, who is Augusta National's course-record holder with an 11-under 61.
Knox also happened to be a trending topic on Twitter throughout the back nine of their round.
"He beat me by one. So I thought he was going to be nice and 3‑putt the last and we would have a halve, but he beat me by one," a laughing McIlroy said after picking up birdies on his final two holes to muster a 1-under 71 and move to 3 over for the tournament.
"He played really well and he couldn't have been more helpful. He was really nice all the way around."
McIlroy pointed to Knox's knowledge of the greens as the main reason to be impressed by his unofficial 70.
"I don't think I've ever seen anyone putt the greens as well as he does around here," said McIlroy, who played the massive layout in an impressive 3 hours, 5 minutes.
"I was thinking of maybe getting him to read a few of my putts out there."
Knox is no stranger to high-level amateur competition, having won the 2013 Charlie Coe Invitational with partner Tripp Kuhlke. He's also played with the likes of Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Craig Stadler as the "marker" in previous years, having bettered his playing competitor a few times before – well, according to Masters lore.
"He played just like he should be playing in the Masters," said McIlroy.