The Masters

Master of the future: Illinois' elite golfer

Master of the future: Illinois' elite golfer

Andrew Lim stood on those crisp Augusta, Georgia greens ready to compete and represent all of Illinois.

The 13-year-old Naperville resident — and the only Illinoisan in the competition — participated in the Drive, Chip and Putt on Sunday. The contest — founded in 2013 by Master Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America —  invites some of the nation’s best golfers ages 7-15 to suit up and work on some fundamentals. 

He finished in sixth place for his age group. 
 
Lim has been golfing and participating in competitions since he was seven. To get here, he beat out almost 40,000 other up-and-coming young golfers across the country. 

The most exciting part of the tournament? 

Following his favorite golfers throughout The Masters. Oh, and meeting Condoleezza Rice, of course. Lim recently read and enjoyed her autobiography.

The Masters kick off this weekend April 5-8. How many more years until we see Lim there? 

Read more about him here. 
 

Sergio Garcia wins the Masters, ends drought at the majors

Sergio Garcia wins the Masters, ends drought at the majors

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Sergio Garcia finally showed he has what it takes to win a major, and he has a green jacket to prove it.

Needing his best golf on just about every shot in the final hour at the Masters, Garcia overcame a two-shot deficit with six holes to play and beat Justin Rose in a sudden-death playoff Sunday for his first major after nearly two decades of heartache.

No one ever played more majors as a pro — 70 — before winning a major for the first time.

Garcia got rid of the demons and the doubts with two big moments on the par 5s — one a par, the other an eagle — in closing with a 3-under 69. It was never easy until the end, when Rose sent his drive into the trees on the 18th hole in the playoff, punched out and failed to save par from 15 feet.

That gave the 37-year-old Spaniard two putts from 12 feet for the victory, and his putt swirled into the cup.

"Ser-gee-oh! Ser-gee-oh!" the delirious gallery chanted to Garcia, who couldn't contain his emotion.

Rose lovingly patted Garcia's cheek before they embraced. Garcia turned with arms to his side, blew a kiss to the crowd and then crouched down and slammed his fist into the turf of the green.

"If there's anyone to lose to, it's Sergio. He deserves it," Rose said. "He's had his fair share of heartbreak."

Fowler sits 3rd at Masters: 'Right where I'm supposed to be'

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USA TODAY

Fowler sits 3rd at Masters: 'Right where I'm supposed to be'

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Rickie Fowler can't think of a much better position to be in at the Masters — or a better time to try to win his first major championship.

Fowler was part of a four-way tie for the lead when the third round started Saturday. He shot a steady 1-under 71 to remain in striking distance, a stroke behind co-leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.

"It's going to be fun," Fowler said of Sunday's final round. "I'm looking forward to it. This is by far the best I've felt in a major."

The 28-year-old has had some big moments in golf, winning prestigious tournaments like the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship and The Players Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship in 2015. He's had his chances in the four majors, too, particularly in 2014 when he was among the top five at all four majors, including a tie for fifth behind winner Bubba Watson at Augusta National.

This week, Fowler feels even more ready to take that elusive step of becoming a major champion.

A smiling Fowler said he is in a good place physically and mentally not only about his golf game, but about life in general.

"I feel great on the golf course," he said. "It feels like I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

Fowler spent his time in the next-to-last group hitting fairways and greens. He made birdies on the 13th hole — his third of the tournament on the par 5 — and 15th to inch within a shot of the top. He closed with difficult, par-saving 7 footers on the 17th and 18th holes.

Fowler knows he faces a daunting leaderboard Sunday, from Rose and Garcia ahead of him, to 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth, who is in a three-way tie for fourth behind him, to 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott, who is seventh at 3 under.

He believes it will be a thinking-man's game Sunday, particularly on the back nine.

"I think it's going to be tough for someone to really run and distance themselves too much, with the possibilities of what you can do on the back nine," he said.

Fowler believes he has prepared every part of his game for this moment. He's worked with teachers Butch and Claude Harmon, trained regularly to stay in shape and concentrated on making the right dietary choices to stay healthy. The end goal is to play championship golf, something he thinks he'll do on Sunday.

"We've put a lot of work in," Fowler said, "and it's nice to see it pay off."