Australia’s current and former contestants share their most vivid memories of playing the Masters at Augusta National.

Australians have always had a special relationship with Augusta National Golf Club. Before Adam Scott became the first Australian to don the famous green jacket in 2013, he and his countrymen had finished second a total of eight times. There have been triumphs, close calls and heartbreaks, such as Greg Norman in 1986, 1987 and 1996.

One thing Australians who have been good enough to play in the Masters in their respective careers have in common is that they walk away with memories for a lifetime. The reigning US Mid-Amateur champion, Melbourne’s Lukas Michel, doesn’t yet have Masters memories but he does have Augusta National memories from practice-round reconnaissance missions. Scott has memories we all know about. So does Jason Day. We asked a few players to share their best memory or two at the Masters, and they are triumphant… unless you’re Greg Chalmers.

“Mine isn’t necessarily great, per se,” Chalmers says. “But it’s definitely memorable and it’s funny now I look back on it. It was the 2001 Masters [Chalmers’ first and only Masters]. I was very nervous on the first tee after watching Sam Snead and Byron Nelson flush it down the middle as honorary starters. That turned out to be Mr Nelson’s final drive at the Masters.

“Anyway, I hit my first tee shot just down the ropeline on the left side and my ball struck a patron right above his eye. I could see a dimple pattern in the lump on his forehead. Now, I’m really out of sorts. That drive nearly went through to the ninth fairway. Then, for my second shot, I get it back through the pines down the right ropeline near the green and hit another guy down there! This time on the shoulder. Clearly shaken, I somehow managed to make a bogey 5. Just incredible.”


Adam Scott 2013 champion
“For me, it would obviously be hard to go past winning in 2013. Because I was the first Australian to win, and with the outpouring of congratulations so big back in Australia and around the world, it kind of becomes this extended, long memory.

“I guess, all the scenes around the 10th green in the playoff, when I had just won, have become this euphoric blur. Just the relief and emotion is what I can remember after holing the putt on 10.

“But the first moment during the celebrations that night when I could really feel the weight of being a Masters champion was being taken up to the Champions Locker Room and seeing that I had been placed in a locker with Gary Player. He’s one of the greatest golfers ever, and a South African who I had already bonded with through Presidents Cups and a mutual love of other sports. It hit me, then and there, that I’m sharing a room with some of the most special players who have ever played golf. It’s an incredible fraternity of players. No one can take that away from you. You’re in there for good.”


Jason Day runner-up in 2011
 “I would say finishing second in my first Masters is probably my best memory so far. As a Masters rookie, you’re hopeful but your expectations are lower than they become because you know only a few guys have won it on their debut. It’s a nice week. Having said that, Swatto and I had prepared meticulously because we still wanted to win. It was an amazing week and an exciting final round. I was so pumped up after finishing tied second. It taught me that, Hey, I can win around here eventually.

“The whole Masters experience as a player is the best. From the start of the week, all the way through until the last putt on Sunday. The patrons and the golf course. Everything that we experience that week is so memorable. It’s so special and it’s even more enjoyable when I have my family with me.”


Nick O’Hern (Masters: 2005, ’06, ’07, ’08)
“I have two great memories and one is just a bit better than the other. The first one is, I had lunch with some friends from Australia one year out on the second-floor balcony of the clubhouse. We sit down, we order, and I look across and at the next table were Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer having lunch together. I looked over and waved and they said hello. The look on my friends’ faces was priceless and it’s something they will never forget. I’ve never forgotten it and I played in the bloody tournament!

“My other favourite memory is playing with Ben Crenshaw for the first two rounds at the 2008 Masters. The putting display he put on was the best I’d ever seen. I don’t recall him missing a putt inside 10 feet. It was like watching Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.”


Lukas Michel (Masters debutant in 2020)
“Well, I don’t yet have Masters memories, but I do have Augusta National memories and they are pretty special. So last year, I was at Royal Melbourne watching the Presidents Cup and then on the Saturday I flew to the US to play my first lot of practice rounds at Augusta National.

“I get in from Atlanta, and I was staying in downtown Augusta. I woke up the next morning and arrived at the club at the gates to Augusta at 8am and told them who I was. So, they lowered the boom gate. But I had my rented car, which was this tiny little Ford Focus. It was so funny and I’ll never forget driving up Magnolia Lane in it.

“I wanted my first round to be about experiencing Augusta for what it is. The assistant pro and I played 18 on the main course, did a lap of the par 3 course. The next day, I was the first group out and I played 36 holes. I teed off at 7.45am, just after the sun had risen because it was December, and there was fog around, so it was this almost religious atmosphere. The fog was lifting as I was going down the second fairway and the sun was shining through the pines. My caddie and I were the only people on the course. I get goosebumps thinking about it. It’s not just my best Augusta memory, it’s the coolest experience of my life to date.”