Aussies will have say in Masters shootout: Earp
CHARLIE Earp has coached and mentored former world No.1 Greg Norman, and helped the careers of many of Australia's finest golfers for more than half a century.
Once described as being as much a part of Australian golf as Vegemite is to school box lunches, Earp said he believe the famed Augusta layout could become 'Ausgusta' this weekend as seven Aussies, led by defending champion Adam Scott, chase the coveted green jacket at the 2014 US Masters.
Queenslanders Scott, Jason Day, John Senden and Steven Bowditch, NSW rookie Matt Jones, Victorian Marc Leishman and little-known US-based amateur Oliver Goss will all fly the Aussie flag at Augusta National.
Earp has tipped Scott - the first Australian to win the Masters last year - to become only the fourth player to defend the title.
And when playing Augusta, he said it was crucial to stick with the three Ps - pace, patience and putting.
Here are Earp's thoughts on the chances of the Aussie contingent who will tee it up in the first round starting tomorrow morning Australian time.
ADAM SCOTT (World No.2)
My money is on Adam. Remember Cabrera put enormous pressure on him last year on the 72nd hole and again in the play-off, and Adam handled it magnificently. He knows how to win now, he'll handle the pressure of defending his title He went bad in the final round of the British Open (bogeyed the final four holes to lose by a shot) a few years ago but he won't bloody do that again, I will tell you.
JASON DAY (4)
There's a bit of Norman and a bit of Palmer (Arnold Palmer) about Jason, and maybe some Jack (Nicklaus) too. He never steers the ball, he attacks. I like that and you know if he is in contention on Sunday afternoon he won't die wondering.
MATT JONES (41)
He's got a real roll going with those two shots he played in Houston hasn't he? If he can take that form into the first round at Augusta he could be a real surprise packet. I had a bit to do with him when he was an amateur playing for NSW. He's got some go in him. He might get carried away with the aura, although he's been on the tour for while now. His moment has arrived.
JOHN SENDEN (59)
The big fella needs some more mongrel, sometimes he looks too bloody relaxed for me. Triggsy (coach Ian Triggs) has been trying to get that into him for a few years now and it just might be sinking in.
MARC LEISHMAN (69)
I like Leishman. He's been up there the last few years and he plays Augusta very well.
He has already come close to having his name on that green jacket.
STEVE BOWDITCH (131)
He's been through the rot with his depression and come through with a recent PGA Tour tournament win, so he knows he can beat all those buggers.
He is a clown and I use that description as a term of endearment because he loves performing and showing how good he can play.
He is a great talent but he can't afford to get too greedy or too pumped up. I know Greg has had a word to him about Augusta.
OLIVER GOSS (Amateur)
I don't know a lot about him but I really hope he is leading amateur. What an opportunity for a young fella.