T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Jeff Knox keeps living the Average Joe's Masters dream
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.
Jeff Knox is a legend at Augusta National.
Though the 49-year-old has never been a competitor in the Masters, he's racked up his share of tee times during tournament week, playing as a non-competing marker.
Essentially, when the field has an odd-number of contestants after the 36-hole cut, Knox fills in with the odd man as a playing partner for pace of play consideration.
Last year, for instance, Knox was paired with Rory McIlroy in the third round... and beat him.
GolfChannel.com's Rex Hoggard reported this week that Knox played a practice round last Friday with Tiger Woods.
And, McIlroy, so impressed with Knox's familiarity with Augusta National, was going to seek him out for advice as he attempts to complete the career grand slam this week.
According to the Augusta Chronicle in 2011, Knox holds the club’s course record from the member tees, an 11-under 61 he shot in 2003.
McIlroy was so impressed with Knox’s game, and his knowledge of Augusta National, he said he planned to solicit advice from him before this year’s tournament, where the Ulsterman will be vying to complete the career Grand Slam.
“Playing with Jeff, it was a treat for me to see how he played the golf course,” McIlroy said earlier this year. “I think I shot 71 to maybe Jeff’s 70. So even though everyone said, ‘Oh, you got beat by an amateur,’ not many amateurs can shoot (70) off the Masters tee at Augusta.”
Below is the story we brought you a year ago of Knox:
Surely you've dreamed about playing Augusta National. You've probably also wondered what it would be like to play with the atmosphere that surrounds the Masters.
Well, Jeff Knox has done both -- more than a few times.
Knox, 48, is an Augusta National member, who serves as a "non-competing marker" during Masters week.
What does that mean? Well, when an odd number of players make the 36-hole cut -- in the case of this year's Masters 51 players made the cut -- the one player who is scheduled to play alone with the first tee time is given the option to take a "marker."
The marker is a non-competing playing partner. He's pretty much there to keep the competitor's scorecard and so that the competing player can keep a nice pace.
Knox has played in a number of USGA events through the years and once shot a 61 at Augusta National.
On Saturday morning, Knox teed it up with Rory McIlroy. McIlroy was the last player to make the cut Friday at 4 over.
Yahoo! writer Jay Busbee wrote today that Knox is no stranger to teeing it up during Masters week, and included some stories from a Guardian article last year, including teeing it up against Craig Stadler and outrdriving Miguel Angel Jiminez.