‘I’ve Waited My Entire Life To Play Augusta National. I’ve Taken 2 Swings And Hit 2 Patrons’ - Tour Pro Recollects Nightmare Masters Debut

Australian PGA Tour veteran Greg Chalmers shared a hilarious story of his nightmare debut at the Masters back in 2001

Greg Chalmers hits a shot during the 2023 RSM Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s fair to say Greg Chalmers’ Masters debut was nothing short of a nightmare. 

Ahead of the Masters this week, the Australian PGA Tour veteran shared a hilarious story of the first, and only, time he played at Augusta National in 2001 – and what happened was almost unbelievable.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Chalmers said he somehow managed to hit two patrons in the first two swings of his tournament. 

“You are not going to believe what happened the first time I played the Masters," he wrote. "It was in 2001 and my 1st round tee time was around 8:30 and I was a little nervous. I just watched Byron Nelson and Sam Snead hit off only a few minutes prior and the enormity of the event was dawning on me as I stood over the ball on that tee shot.

“I managed to catch it out of the heel which had the ball sliding down the left rope line, frankly I was pleased it was on planet earth. This joy was brief as I saw one of the patrons fall to the ground and my ball ricocheting through the pines to the left.

“I might vomit at this point … couldn’t help but imagine some poor soul has waited 15 years for tickets [to] the Masters and I’ve nearly killed him at 8:30 in the morning.

“It wasn’t great once I got there … I’d hit him right above his eye and you could see the dimple pattern in the lump now forming. I don’t think a signed glove is gonna cut it on this one … Not good.”

Chalmers’ misfortunes didn’t end there, however, as his second shot would also hit another fan.

“If I was nervous before I’m now close to lying in the fetal position and sucking my thumb," he continued. "My 2nd shot I have to slide a 4iron thru about 4 pines and slice it back towards the fairway … I got the 1st part done but failed on the 2nd bit so managed to hit a person in the shoulder on the right rope line up by the green.

“I’ve waited my entire life to play Augusta National. I’ve taken 2 swings and hit 2 patrons.”

He even joked that he might have been the reason for Augusta making a change: “I’m not saying I’m the reason but it’s no coincidence patrons are no longer allowed on the left side of #1.”

Chalmers said he ended up bogeying the first hole and shot 78 for his round. He would end up missing the cut and hasn't featured at the Masters since.

The 50-year-old has one victory on the PGA Tour, winning late in his career at the 2016 Barracuda Championship. He still competes on tour and last played at the RSM Classic in November last year.

Joel Kulasingham
News Writer

Joel Kulasingham is freelance writer for Golf Monthly. He has worked as a sports reporter and editor in New Zealand for more than five years, covering a wide range of sports including golf, rugby and football. He moved to London in 2023 and writes for several publications in the UK and abroad. He is a life-long sports nut and has been obsessed with golf since first swinging a club at the age of 13. These days he spends most of his time watching, reading and writing about sports, and playing mediocre golf at courses around London.