US Masters: 22-year-old Australian amateur Jasper Stubbs ready to make his Augusta debut

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Jasper Stubbs is a 22-year-old amateur golfer from Melbourne’s bayside suburbs who barracks for the Western Bulldogs and has a life back-up plan to work for his father’s skip bin business.

On Thursday, he’ll tee it up at Augusta National Golf Club alongside Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and co in the Masters.

Stubbs won his place in the field with a win in last year’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

“It’s a completely surreal feeling and has taken a bit of time to get used to but we’ll see how well I can do,” Stubbs said.

A reconnaissance trip to Augusta in February has helped calm the nerves ahead of the biggest week of his life.

Stubbs played two rounds on the hallowed grounds, firing a one-over 73 on the first day and then a three-under 69.

“That will give me a bit of confidence going into the week,” he said.

“The first goal is to make the cut and then push my way back up the leaderboard. The next goal would be to finish inside the top 12 and get an invite back for next year.

“Some strengths of my game would be my iron play and my putting, which I think I displayed pretty well in my play off at the Asia-Pacific – and they are pretty good skills to have around Augusta.

“If you can putt well, you will be doing pretty good.

“Part of the reason to go (in February) was to get a little bit of that awe and aura out of the way. It was one of those drop-the-jaw experiences.”

Stubbs’ earliest memory watching the Masters on TV as a kid in Highett was when South African Charl Schwartzel birdied the final four holes in 2011 to deny a chasing pack of Australians; Adam Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman.

“Schwartzel toppled them over down the stretch but that was pretty inspiring and a couple of years later Scotty got over the line, which was amazing,” he said.

Stubbs, who is a member at Peninsula Kingswood in Frankston, is hoping to play a practice round with Scott this week and as an added bonus will spend two nights in the Crow’s Nest on the second floor of the Augusta National clubhouse – a tradition for Masters amateurs.

Nick Dunlap’s epic victory at this year’s American Express event in California, when he became the first amateur in 33 years to win on the PGA Tour, has given Stubbs another dose of inspiration.

“That was pretty cool to watch and there’s no reason why the rest of us can’t be doing it, either,” he said.

As for the skip bin business, Stubbs said: “I would rather be a pro golfer than do that but it’s always nice to know that there is a back-up.”

Originally published as US Masters: 22-year-old Australian amateur Jasper Stubbs ready to make his Augusta debut

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