Augusta chair enamoured with Royal Melbourne

You hear it often from first time visitors to Augusta National, how despite thinking they were familiar with the course from watching countless Masters broadcasts, the undulations are more pronounced than on TV, the grass is greener and so forth.

It seems Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne has experienced a little of the same in reverse, as he and a number of Augusta National members made the trip to the Australia and to venerable Royal Melbourne to attend the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

Billy Payne Augusta National Chairman – Billy Payne

As competitors in the first Asia-Pacific Amateur to be played in Australia were teeing off, Payne told a press conference that he and his fellow members have been blown away by Royal Melbourne.

“I have been talking to my fellow members about the experience we’re having and what we have seen here. And I think it would be appropriate to say that what we have discovered in Royal Melbourne wildly exceeds our expectations.”

“It is one of the greatest golf courses in the world. It’s great to be here, it truly is.”

“I know I speak for every gentleman here in a green jacket, we have found a place that we would like to call a second home.”

“And I would, therefore, predict that you will definitely see this championship return to Australia in the not too distant future.”

Payne will welcome the 2014 champion to Augusta National next year as the winner receives a coveted invitation to The Masters, the pathway that enabled China’s Tianlang Guan to become The Masters’ youngest ever competitor at age 14 in 2013.