Clemson, S.C.—Former Clemson All-American Ben Martin will make his second career appearance in the Masters on Thursday, but it will be his first as a professional. Martin, a 2009 Clemson graduate who played the 2010 spring as a graduate, qualified for the 2010 Masters after finishing second at the 2009 U.S. Amateur.
Martin missed the cut at the 2010 Masters after rounds of 75-80, so he is hoping his first trips around Augusta National as a professional are more profitable. He qualified for this year’s first major by winning the Shriners Hospital Invitational in Las Vegas last October with a 20 under par score of 264.
The native of Greenwood is no stranger to major championships, however, as this will be his fifth. He played in two US Opens and the aforementioned Masters while a Clemson student, the only Clemson golfer to play in three major championships prior to turning Pro.
Last July, Martin finished 26th at the British Open at Royal Liverpool with a 284 score and won over $60,000. It was the lowest score vs. par (-4) by a former Clemson golfer at The Open Championship and the third best finish.
Martin has taken advantage of the new schedule format on the PGA Tour that begins the season the previous fall. He gained the win in Las Vegas, his first as PGA Tour member, and, thanks a tournament best 89 percent drives in the fairways stat line, added a fifth-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks ago.
Entering the Masters, Martin is 13th on the PGA Tour in FedX Cup points, is 15th on the money list ($1,682,452), eighth in greens in regulation (71 percent), seventh in par three scoring average (2.96), and 14th in birdies per round (4.1).
Martin is ranked 66th in the latest World Ranking, just a few spots from making the top 64, which would qualify him for some World Golf Championship events.
Martin’s placement in the field means Clemson has had at least one former or current golfer at Augusta each of the last 10 years and 14 of the last 15. When Martin tees off on Thursday at 11:25 a.m. with Cameron Tringale and Robert Streb it will mark the 20th time a golfer with ties to Clemson has played in the Masters since 2001. Between 1934 and 2000, a Clemson golfer played in the Masters a total of six tournaments.
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