Low amateur Neal Shipley plays final round with Tiger Woods during 'dream week' at the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Neal Shipley was feeling pretty bummed on the practice range at Augusta National after a third-round 80 in the Masters.

Then came the ultimate pick-me-up.

The amateur's caddie and good friend, Carter Pitcairn, walked over Saturday night and excitedly asked him, “Hey, guess who we are going to be paired with tomorrow?” The Ohio State player knew right away, responding: “No way. It’s Tiger?”

Talk about the luck of the draw.

“I got pretty excited," Shipley said, “and that’s when the emotions turned around.”

Shipley played his final round with the five-time Masters champion and shot a 1-over 73 on Sunday, winning the Silver Cup along the way as the low amateur — in fact, the only one to make the cut. It was the perfect finish to what he called a “dream week.”

“I think I have to win one of these things to kind of top this week,” Shipley said, pointing to a green jacket.

Shipley tied for 53rd at 12-over 300, but he walked away with some incredible memories.

“Being out there with Tiger, we were chatting. We talked a lot about just golf,,” Shipley said. “He’s such a normal guy and really cool. He was great to me all day. Couldn’t be more appreciative of him just being awesome today, and it was just really cool to be around him and just the attention he gets and the roars. The crowds were phenomenal”.


Bryson DeChambeau's week started so promisingly and ended in disappointment.

DeChambeau shot the lowest round of the week, an opening 65 on Thursday. But the big hitter couldn't do much after that magnificent hole-out for birdie to finish his third round Saturday, ending up nine shots back of Scottie Scheffler in sixth.

DeChambeau played the final three rounds in 73-75-73.

“It was a positive step in the right direction for me out here. Learned a lot about my game and knowing that I can do it out here,” DeChambeau said. “Just got to conquer the putting a little bit more and make sure my speed control is a little bit better. I’d be right up there where Scottie is now if I just wouldn’t have three-putted and made a few more putts.”


Tyrrell Hatton matched his best score at the Masters with a 69 on Saturday, putting him in a tie for ninth and assuring him of a return trip to Augusta National next year. The top 12 players earn another invitation.

That's an important point for Hatton, who is now playing with LIV Golf. While he is No. 19 in the world ranking, LIV events do not earn him any points, so Hatton only has access to them in the majors. And that means he is likely to fall out of the top 50 by the end of the year, which is another benchmark for gaining an invitation to the Masters.

The only other LIV players in the top 12 were DeChambeau and Cameron Smith. Both have exemptions from recent major wins.

Joaquin Niemann finished out of the top 20. He received a special exemption from Augusta National from winning the Australian Open and his willingness to compete outside LIV Golf. Will he be back next year? “We’ll find a way,” Niemann said.


Olympic champion Xander Schauffele shot a 69 to tie for ninth at even par, the latest in a string of impressive performances in the majors. He has been in the top 20 in eight in a row.

Yet the 30-year-old American still has never won a major, let alone a green jacket at the Masters.

“Just not very good golf,” Schauffele said. “Hit some decent shots, missed a few short putts today early, which sort of threw me out of it. I tried to get going there, told myself if I can shoot 6-under on the back nine, it would have been something special.”

Schauffele tied for second at Augusta National in 2019, the year Tiger Woods won his fifth. He tied for third two years later when Hideki Matsuyama won. He's also tied for second in the British Open and tied for third in the U.S. Open.


Will Zalatoris shot a 69 to also tie for ninth. More importantly, he came away from the Masters this year feeling good after a back problem forced him to withdraw a year ago and ultimately resulted in surgery.

The procedure, called a microdiscectomy, was aimed at helping two herniated disks in his back. Zalatoris wound up missing most of last year, but his game is clearly starting to come around again. He shot two rounds in the red this week.

“Weeks like this, you need to make as many 10- to 15-footers as you can. I’ve made a few, but I pretty much needed to make double what I made,” he said. “Just get some momentum going for the next six weeks. I’ve got a busy schedule coming up. I want to win one of these six weeks. I love playing a lot of golf in a row and build up a rhythm.”


AP golf: