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Several years ago, Bill Weaver came home from work in Fresno and found a large schedule spread across the kitchen


island. His son, Michael, had meticulously mapped a summer schedule, highlighting the junior golf tournaments he hoped to play throughout Northern California. He didn’t say anything about one day qualifying for the Masters. That young, ambitious kid eventually morphed into the runner-up in


last year’s U.S. Amateur and a key player on one of the best collegiate teams in history. But MICHAEL WEAVER, now 22, took a break from his season at Cal in early April, for good reason—he had a spot in the fi eld at the Masters. By reaching the fi nals of the Amateur, Weaver landed a spot in the game’s


most exclusive major championship. It made for a unique experience, as the amateur with strong ties to Northern California spent a memorable week at one of golf ’s most storied venues.


Here’s how it went: SUNDAY


PRACTICE ROUND A


Michael Weaver played practice rounds with Rory McIlroy (left), Luke


Donald and Nick Watney (below).


ugusta National was abuzz with anticipation


as Weaver arrived for his fi rst full day of practice. Specta- tors aren’t allowed on the Sunday before the Masters,


but workers purposefully scampered around complet- ing preparations for tourna- ment week. Weaver spotted Ryo


Ishikawa on the range and saw Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott (whose Masters turned out


reasonably well) on the course. Nice company. Weaver played the back nine with 1979 Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller and the front with U.S. Mid- Amateur champion Nathan Smith. Guess which side included more chatter? “Fuzzy was talking the


whole time,” Weaver said, smiling. “Nathan is a pretty funny guy, too, but Fuzzy is kind of in a league of his own. He’s really funny.” Amid the laughter,


Zoeller offered his young companion some sage, suc- cinct advice. Any time one of them hit the ball in a bad spot, from which recovery was next to impossible, Zoeller would turn to Weaver and say, “Don’t hit it here!” Weaver spent Sunday night in the Crow’s Nest, the spartan amateurs-only ac- commodations on the upper level of Augusta National’s stately clubhouse. He savored a quick history lesson. “It’s pretty plain, but


then you think about all the people who have been there,” Weaver said. “There are a


SUMMER 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 39


PHOTO: CINDY VINING


PHOTO: AP


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