Your first time is always special. I'm talking to various golfers over the next week about what they're most excited about regarding their first trip to Augusta.
Today is Cal Golden Bear,
Weaver has five top 10s in college events this year and is excited about his first Masters tournament.
Kyle Porter: What are you most looking forward to about going to Augusta?
Michael Weaver: The opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world. It's going to be a good experience to compete against guys like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rory McIlroy. To see how I stack up because you don't really know where you stand until you compete against those guys.
Just playing as an amateur will be pretty cool. Amateurs are kind of revered by the members and that'll be a special experience regardless of how many Masters I play in my career. I'll definitely always remember this one as an amateur.
Porter: What are your thoughts on the history of amateurs at the Masters?
Weaver: It's definitely a big tradition. It seems like the members embrace it quite a bit. When I've been back there they've been friendly and very welcoming. They always say "are you one of the amateurs?"
It seems like the amateurs are very important because it's part of the tradition, what the tournament was founded on. To be part of that is pretty cool. There's not a lot of guys that play as amateurs.
Porter: Have you played the course before?
Weaver: Yes I have.
Porter: What's your favorite hole on the course?
Weaver: Amen Corner is pretty cool -- 11, 12, and 13 is pretty cool just because it's so revered and everybody talks about that.
Porter: What was your first memory of the Masters?
Weaver: I went in 2009 with my dad. My first time watching it was in 1997, I wasn't even a huge golf fan but my dad was at the tournament so I was just watching it because he was there. I think since then I've probably watched it every year.
As far as specific tournaments, I remember 2009 (the one he went to) and the year Chris DiMarco and Woods went to a playoff was pretty exciting. The year when Schwartzel won and there was a huge group of guys within a shot or two of the lead and you didn't really know who was going to win until Schwartzel birdied the last four.
Porter: Were you surprised to finish runner-up last year at the U.S. Amateur?
Weaver: I didn't expect to make it to the finals going into the week. I believed that I could, I believed if I played well I could make a pretty good run, how far that would be, I didn't really know.
I guess I was a little surprised, but it didn't catch me off guard. I knew I was playing well and in match play if you get hot at the right time, it doesn't really matter who you're playing because if you're playing well you can beat whoever.
Porter: Who do you try and model your game after?
Weaver: I like how Phil plays. I've always been kind of aggressive. Make some mistakes sometimes, I always like how Phil's not afraid to take risks. I've been playing that way since I was 10. Every once in a while I get carried away and make a bad decision, but that's just kind of the way I am.
Geoff Ogilvy's swing kind of reminds me of mine, at least the follow through. I've never really had one favorite player that I always looked up to -- I mean, I liked watching Tiger because he's so good at everything. Phil's fun to watch and I feel like I play a style closer to Phil.
Weaver is also my pick to be the low amateur this year.