Murdaca relishes first Masters experience

Usually a missed cut and a string of bogeys has a golfer lamenting something about their swing, their tee time, the conditions – or maybe even their preparation.

Yet for 19-year-old South Australian amateur Antonio Murdaca it’s been just the opposite.

He may have missed the cut at last weekend’s US Masters at Augusta after two rounds with two of the superstars of the game, Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson.

Yet Murdaca found it one of the great experiences of his life and he left Augusta buoyed by the experience and champing at the bit to put some of what he had learned into practice.

A one-over-par 73 in the second round was not enough to get Murdaca through to play at the weekend, but his effort with several birdies and some “great putts for bogeys” proved to the young Adelaide golfer that he has what it takes to compete with the best of them.

“It was such a great experience,” he said before heading out to follow Scott for the third round – this time as a spectator.

“I didn’t make any double bogeys in the second round, which I thought was pretty cool.”

“And I wasn’t that far behind Dustin Johnson or Adam off the tee, unless Dustin really belted one…so that made me feel pretty good too.”

“I’ve definitely loved the experience and will leave from here a better player knowing I can play under that sort of pressure.”

Murdaca finished up shooting 78-73 but reached one-under for his second round until two late bogeys torpedoed his plans to be there at the weekend.

“After that first round, I got my yardages worked out better and didn’t hit it to spots where you couldn’t keep the ball on the green,” he said.

Murdaca will be talking about his second-round birdie at the notoriously difficult 10th hole for years to come.

He double-bogeyed it in the first round but bounced back with a birdie there on Friday, hitting a six-iron second shot to about six metres and sinking a difficult downhill putt for birdie.