Goss creates history as first Aussie Low Amateur
Fremantle’s Oliver Goss officially created Masters history when presented by Augusta Chairman, Billy Payne with the ‘Low Amateur’ award at the 2014 Masters.
Goss was assured the prestigious award after being left the only non-professional to make the halfway cut in the year’s first Major.
Oliver Goss holds the Low Amateur trophy with 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott (Credit: Matt Harris)
The Surrey-born Australian, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday, was afforded a Masters invitation on the back of finishing runner-up to Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick in last year’s US Open.
But while Fitzpatrick missed the cut, Goss had a double celebration with patrons around the 18th green signing ‘Happy Birthday’ when he ended his third round ahead of the applause in receiving his award.
“I can’t believe it, to be honest with you as I heard that I might be the second Australian, but to be the first is really quite unbelievable,” he said.
In fact, Masters records dating back to the inaugural event in 1934 clearly reveal Goss to be the first Australian, and this despite suggestions Jim Ferrier being the first in 1940. However a check of the 1940 records show two American amateurs finished ahead of Ferrier, who was the leading ‘International’ amateur.
Goss, proudly wearing his Golf Australia cap and shirt, posted a final round 75 to share 49th place among the 51 players to have made the cut.
But the Tennessee University student could not be bothered where he finished as he tried to fathom his accomplishment, a year after Adam Scott became the first Australian-born winner of the Masters.
“I’ve had some great experiences this week and you really can’t pick out one or two things,” he said.
“It’s kind of the overall thing. I’ve just got to step back now and have a look at the entire week and just learn as much as I can from the whole week.”
And while thrilled with his efforts Goss was also physically and mentally drained having played the course each day since arriving eight days earlier.
“I’ve been here for exactly ten days, and I’m absolutely exhausted,” he said.
“You’ve got to play your best golf every single day, it just amazes me. And I can definitely tell I’m going to get back home and hit the cardio a little harder. I really respect these guys for what they do.”
“The second I played really well. And the other days I just played just a little average. And I managed to play fairly average the whole week and still make the cut. It makes me realise that I can get there. And I still have a lot to learn, though.”
Waiting for Goss was his parents, who had moved from Surrey in England to Western Australia just prior to Oliver’s sixth birthday.
Also anxious to embrace Goss was his girlfriend, Jessie who has been instrumental in arranging a birthday cake for him.
“It’s just good to see my whole family out here and I’m thrilled they could all share this with me,” he said
“I’m not exactly sure where it’s from, but my girlfriend organised that and she did a really great job. It was really cool.”
“Probably the last six birthdays I’ve always spent it on the road playing. And I think it’s something I got used to, kind of, through my teenage years. But this has been the best birthday.”
Goss will return to his university studies and also look forward to June’s US Open at Pinehurst No. 2, but with no talk yet when he might turn professional.
“You know, there’s certain points in your career, certain tournaments that do change your game, and I think this is one of them,” he said.
“You dream you might get into a state tournament and do well, and then you get on the national stage or International. This is the pinnacle of golf, so I can’t see how this couldn’t change your game. I’m looking to learn a lot after this week.
“I’m playing the U.S. Open. And after that I’m going to get together with my team and we’ll talk about things and just see how everything is. If it’s the right time, then it’s the right time. But if it isn’t then that’s fine, too.”
“I‘m just looking to turn at the right time because that’s really pivotal when you turn professional in your career.”