Devon Bling, a sophomore at UCLA and the runner-up at last year’s U.S. Amateur championship, will blog about his experience at the Masters on Golfweek.com this week. He opened with a 2-over 74 in his Masters debut.
Here’s his second entry:
I had no trouble sleeping last night. Maybe it was because I was so worn down from all the excitement of the Par 3 Contest. So many text messages poured in after that ace that I couldn’t unlock my phone. It was really cool that so many people were watching back home and at school, especially with my team on the road at the ASU Thunderbird Collegiate.
While I’d played Augusta National several times before this week, yesterday was my first time on the Par 3 course. On the seventh tee, a member told me it was 113 yards to the flag, but that I needed to hit it 122 yards at the little crest in the building that was in the distance, which was about 5 feet off the right edge of the green. I hit a sand wedge and it pretty much came off perfectly, had a little spin.
I couldn’t see the ball go in because there were so many shadows around the hole. I knew it had a chance. Everybody around the green went wild. I don’t even remember the first 45 seconds after it went in. It’s amazing to have my third hole in one come here at the Par 3 Contest at my first Masters. It was the perfect way to end the day.
Once I got through the first tee shot on Thursday, I was just playing golf. That’s how I looked at it. It was my first time hitting a tee shot in front of that many people, and it was so exciting.
I fought hard all day. My speed on the greens wasn’t great. I hit a lot of good putts, just not used to 4-footers breaking a cup and a half.
I had a little slip off the tee on 18, missing it left in the trees. I got a little unlucky on the second shot and tried to make a five out of it, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.
I might take an hour or so just to assess the mistakes I made today and what I can change for tomorrow. I plan to have dinner with family and relax this evening.
The dream week continues on Friday at 8:41 a.m. alongside major champs Trevor Immelman and Martin Kaymer.