Masters Rookie: Troy Matteson

By: Prentice Elliott Email
By: Prentice Elliott Email

The PGA Tour is made up of men trying to make a living in a competitive field where every shot counts and one missed putt could mean the difference between making money and spending the weekend practicing.

But despite the high-pressure environment, one of this year's Masters first-timers has managed to stay a kid at heart.

"It's going to be a great experience," Troy Matteson said. "It's not just going to be a golf tournament; it's going to be a great experience."

At first glance, Matteson reminds you of '50's icon Beaver Cleaver. Ok, so maybe it's a stretch, but 27-year-old Troy Matteson's wide-eyed excitement about his first Masters does hearken back to a simpler time.

"It's going to be an unbelievable experience," he said. "Obviously this is my first trip to Masters."

But not his first trip to the Augusta National. Matteson won a national championship while at Georgia Tech in 2002, and the team made a special trip each year down I-20 to play the most famous golf course in America.

"First time I went and actually played, it was just like a six-year-old at Christmas. It was unbelievable. I couldn't sleep the night before. And to just go out there and play somewhere the legends have played and hit all the great shots over the years is fun."

Thanks to five top 10's and a win on tour last season, Matteson is now teeing it up in the Masters.

Matteson took home the title at the tour stop in Las Vegas, but true to his all-American image, he didn't feel compelled to venture into the casinos and try and double his big check.

"Actually, that check made me a winner for a week so anytime I can leave Vegas and be a winner, that's good enough for us."

And is it any surprise that Matteson lists the ultimate squeaky clean good guy as his hero?

"I think anytime you have a hero, it's got to be somebody you probably can't attain, maybe not even a real person...but Superman is just, uh, everybody loves Superman. You got to pick Superman as your hero," he said.

From high school where he won state titles to the nationwide tour where he set a single-season earnings record, Matteson has found success at every level. So if anybody can figure out the National in their first Masters, well, leave it to Troy.

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