Kapa‘a’s Casey Watabu met fellow Hawai‘i golfer Dean Wilson and PGA Grand Slammer Mike Weir at Augusta National early yesterday morning for a practice round in preparation for tomorrow’s Masters Tournament.
Both he and Wilson are making their first Masters appearances there.
When Watabu first hit the course on Monday, he was “a little skittish” on the Par 3 holes. But by yesterday, he was getting better.
Art Fujita, chairman of the Kaua‘i Sectionals for Public Links, is in Augusta with an entourage from Hawai‘i, which includes Watabu’s parents. Fujita said Watabu is “driving beautifully” on the fairways and the speed coming down the greens is “lightning quick.”
Watabu, 24, is paired off with Tom Watson, who won his first Masters 30 years ago and is making his 34th appearance at Augusta, and Fred Funk, this year’s Champions Tour winner at Turtle Bay. This is Funk’s 11th Masters.
They are scheduled to tee off at the first hole at 9:28 a.m.
Watabu earned his invitation when he won the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.