Kelly Kraft knew the situation.
As he walked up to the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday afternoon, he looked at the giant scoreboard and saw that the leaders were at 5-under par.
“That meant 5-over was going to make the cut,” Kraft said. “I needed to make that putt to play the weekend.”
It was an 8-foot, downhill left-to-right putt for bogey that would put Kraft right on the number to keep playing Saturday and Sunday.
“It was a do-or-die situation,” said Kraft, last year’s U.S. Amateur Champion and former SMU golfer. “It was a fast putt. If I missed it, my Masters was over. If I make it, I play the weekend. I hit it a little firm and it went in. Everybody knew what was going on. That putt went in and the whole place went crazy. It was cool.”
Kraft was the final player to get into the clubhouse on the cut number, so he will be first off Saturday morning. And since an odd number of golfers made the cut, Kraft is paired with a marker. The good news for Kraft: He’s already played a round at Augusta National with the marker, Jeff Knox.
“It will be fun to play with him,” Kraft said. “He’s a good guy. We’ll have a good time. We’ll get the best greens on the course. They’ll be perfect.
“It will be nice to go out and free-wheel it and let it all out. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve got two rounds left as an amateur and I’m going to try to go out with bang.”
For Kraft, it’s already been an unforgettable Masters.
“It was good for me to be under the gun like that and make the cut,” Kraft said. “I think that’s going to help me in the future, making that putt. I’ll always remember that.”