Masters Low Amateur Neal Shipley Given Epic Welcome Home After Eventful Augusta National Debut

The Ohio State student graduate was a big hit at The Masters, and his welcome home was suitably memorable

Neal Shipley returns home after The Masters
Neal Shipley was given an epic welcome home after performance at The Masters
(Image credit: X @NUCLRGOLF)

Neal Shipley made a name for himself in more ways than one at The Masters.

The Ohio State student graduate won the prestigious Silver Cup as low amateur at the Augusta National Major after he became the only amateur in the field to make the cut.  

It got even better for Shipley when he was given a dream pairing with 15-time Major winner Tiger Woods in the last round, concluding an unforgettable tournament for the 23-year-old.

After such an eventful few days, it’s hardly surprising that Shipley received a big welcome when he returned to Ohio State University Golf Club, where, per The Athletic's Gabby Herzig on X, his fellow students gave him a drenching!

Shipley's performance at the Major wasn’t the end of the story, either. Thanks to his heroics, he joined Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley, winner Scottie Scheffler and outgoing champion Jon Rahm at Butler Cabin afterwards for a TV interview that ended up becoming one of the viral moments of the tournament.

During the interview, Shipley spoke about his experience at the tournament, including his round with the living legend, but while he was talking, he continually glanced to his side at something off-camera. That immediately had social media speculating on what he had seen, with images of the side glances soon circulating online in what quickly became an meme.

Shipley has also somehow found the time to appear on The Pat McAfee Show, where he discussed the events of the past week.

On his round with Woods, he said: “That was the coolest day of my life. You can’t beat that. I mean, Tiger was so cool, and that’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime for me. You know, he doesn’t play very much anymore and who knows when I’ll be back in a situation to be playing with him? It was unbelievable.”

Tiger Woods and Neal Shipley at The Masters

Shipley described Sunday's final round, where he played alongside Tiger Woods, as "the coolest day of my life"

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shipley also addressed the elephant in the room - just what on earth had kept distracting him at Butler Cabin? He explained: “I was so nervous. The last thing I wanted to do was swear on national TV or say something stupid, and I also didn’t want to speak out of turn so I was trying to look at the teleprompter so I knew my cues – dumba**!

“I finished up all the presentations and I go back to the party house. I’ve had a few IC Lights, and then all of a sudden, my family is like, “Hey, Neal, have you seen these memes of you?” And I’m like, “What memes? Like, what are you talking about?” And then they start absolutely roasting me for the next three hours about it - it was something else.”

“Something else” neatly sums up Shipley’s impact on the general public, who took to a player with not only the potential for a big future in the game but who brought plenty of fun to the proceedings at the same time.

Fans hoping to see more of Shipley soon are in luck - he's also earned a spot at June's US Open thanks to his runner-up finish at the 2023 US Amateur.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.