AUGUSTA – The crowd support was great.
“I was seeing a lot of familiar faces out there, a lot of family and friends,” Wesley Bryan said Thursday after his first-ever Masters round. “A lot of people were cheering when I was coming off tee boxes, so that was pretty cool. I guess being one of the local guys, there might be a little favoritism shown.”
Otherwise, the former University of South Carolina golfer and current Augusta resident said his two-over-par 74 at Augusta National was “a very forgettable first Masters experience.”
Bryan, 28, qualified by winning the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head last April. The victory was worth $1.17 million for a player that had been best known for his trick shot videos.
Thursday, Bryan made the turn even but bogeyed the 11th, 14th and 18th holes with birdie on the par 5 13th.
“All in all it wasn’t bad; hit a lot of good shots,” Bryan said. “But I didn’t capitalize on a couple opportunities that I had. Just didn’t really play good on the back nine, missed a few putts and shot 74.”
The highlight came early: though it was only 43 degrees when Bryan and playing partners Austin Cook and Ted Potter Jr. were first to tee off at 8:30, it made for a convenient look at the ceremonial first shots launched by legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
“It just gave me chills,” Bryan said. “Honestly, it’s one of those moments I’ll never forget.”
Bryan was headed to the driving range after his round, determined to work the kinks out after taking a five-week competitive “sabbatical.”
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff