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Profile: Masters Rookie Bart Bryant

By: Prentice Elliott
By: Prentice Elliott

Over 1/3 of the field invited to this year's Masters are over 40.

Of those men, only one is a first-timer.

Success came late to Bart Bryant.

He played his first PGA tour event back in 1986 and had to wait 18 years for his first victory at the age of 41.

What's over the hill for most is the prime of Bryant's career.

The highlight was winning the tour championship last year, beating 2nd place Tiger Woods by 6 strokes.

"Obviously it's a dream come true. First of all, to qualify to be in the top 30 and play was a dream come true, but...to hang in there, and you know to kind of have Tiger Woods knocking at the door behind me and to be able to finish strong is something I'll carry with me for a long, long time," Bryant says.

That win, along with victory at the Memorial over the summer, set Bryant up for a nice little package in the mail...his first Masters invite.

"My agent called and asked me, 'Have you got your invitation yet?' I was like, 'Oh, you get an invitation in the mail?' and he goes, 'Yeah, there's going to be one coming.' And it's funny, the next day it came in the mail, and then it went in the frame immediately. It is sitting in my office framed, and it'll be there for a long time," says Bryant.

Bryant can actually get an inside perspective on the Augusta National.

His older brother Brad, who just got his first win on the Champions Tour, played in the Masters twice in the mid 90's, though he missed the cut both times.

"Yeah, I don't know if he thinks about it too fondly at this point," Bryant says. "He may not be the guy to ask. He may not have the real positive mojo going for me. I may have to ask somebody else about it."

As for Bart Bryant, he's just happy to be making the trip to Augusta, regardless of when it happened.


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