Jeff Knox
USA Today Images
Jeff Knox is the non-competing marker at Augusta National when an odd number of players make the Masters cut. On Saturday, he played alongside Rory McIlroy.

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.

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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.

Hoggard wrote:

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.

Jeff Knox keeps living the Average Joe's Masters dream
April 8, 2015 - 9:13am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Vijay Singh
YouTube
Here's a look back at a 2009 Masters practice round, when 2000 Masters champ Vijay Singh aced the par-3 16th hole after skipping the ball across the water.

The Masters has so many great, fun traditions.

Two of those fun on-course traditions that come before the actual tournament proper begins are the Par 3 Contest and the skipping-the-ball-across-the-water on the par-3 16th hole during practice rounds.

Basically, after hitting their actual tee shots on No. 16, players go to the front of the tee box right at the water's edge. From there, they drop a ball, take a swing and skip the ball across the water to see who can come closest to the hole. The patrons love it.

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Well, on April 7, 2009, the patrons got an even bigger thrill than they bargained for.

On that day, 2000 Masters champion Vijay Singh did one better than skipping his ball across the water and onto the green.

Instead, he skipped it across the water, onto the green and into the hole.

Luckily for those of us who weren't there in person, a patron captured it on camera:

 

Come on, now. 

Vijay Singh's skip-across-the-water ace at the Masters
April 8, 2015 - 6:07am
Michael.Benzie's picture