The Loop

Herrington: Amateurs Trying to Make the Cut

April 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Having ended his first round on a disappointing note--a chunked approach shot to the 18th green leading to a bogey and a four-over 76--Virginia Tech junior Drew Weaver talked afterward how he had to get off to a quick start if he wanted to achieve his ultimate goal: becoming the first amateur to make the cut at the Masters since Ryan Moore in 2005.

Unfortunately for the 21-year-old who lived through the shootings on the Blacksburg, Va., campus a year ago before going on to become the first American in almost 30 years to win British Amateur title, he did just the opposite this morning, making bogeys on the first and second holes en route to a front-nine 39. Standing 10 over par through 15 holes, it appears he won't be playing this weekend. (Update 2:40 p.m.: A tearful Weaver finished with a second-round 80.)

The cause isn't going much better for another of the three amateurs in the field at Augusta. U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Trip Kuehne is two over through seven holes on Friday but thanks to a 78 Thursday--which included bogeys on the three final holes--he needs to rally.

Kuehne, the anachronistic 35-year-old career amateur, said going into the event this would be the final tournament of national significance, as he intends to spend more time with his family and focus more on his investment management firm, Double Eagle Capital, outside Dallas.

So it is that any hope of having a low amateur collect his award next to the Masters champion Sunday ride on Alabama senior Michael Thompson, whose game appeared to be in the best shape coming into the tournament and who posted the low amateur round Thursday with a 73. "I know if I play to my capability," Thompson said Wednesday, "I can make the cut here."

The soon-to-be 22-year-old from Tucson has his own tale of being forced to grow up more quickly than he wanted, having been a student at Tulane when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005.

--Ryan Herrington