Luke List set to make first start since 2005
It has been 17 years since Luke List played a competitive game at Augusta National Golf Club.
But this year the 37-year-old returns to where he earned the Low Amateur accolade in 2005, making his first Masters tournament start as a professional.
“It means everything,” he said. “It’s the best tournament in the world and to be able, especially living in Augusta for the past four years, to be back after so long is really special and it’s hard to put into words what that means to me personally.”
For List, it was a different world in 2005. He was entering his final season at Vanderbilt, occupying his time as a student. Today, he is married and the father of two children. A lot has changed for List in those 17 years, but his love for the Masters is as fresh as it was back then.
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“Those factors obviously play into it, but when it comes to my passion for the game and my love for the Masters, not much is different, which is pretty cool,” he said. “A mate of mine sent me a promotional video for the Masters and I got goosebumps, like I would have had back then. It still means everything to me to play up there.”
Since winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January to earn his spot at Augusta National, he’s tied for 53rd in Phoenix, missed two cuts and retired from the Players Championship.
He is on court for the WGC Match Play event in Austin and is expected to compete at the Texas Open in San Antonio before returning to Augusta.
The discourse on the momentum towards a major differs from player to player. Some enjoy playing some of their best golf, while others are able to compartmentalize courses like Augusta National into their own box. List is admittedly undecided, saying he can see both sides of the debate.
“Golf is a fun game. I mean, I’ve seen it go both ways. I think some guys really want to have momentum and that might get them out of some major tournaments, but for me, I I’ve been playing pretty well this year and battling a few minor injuries and stuff, so I’m trying to be fully healthy for this week,” he said.
“When it comes to momentum, you can catch lightning in a bottle at the right time and we’ve seen that with some of the Masters champions. I can’t wait to play no matter how my game feels.”
List’s life has seen some changes since 2005, and so has the course. He’s spent the last few months learning as much as he can from members and caddies, so things will be much better once the competitive atmosphere sets in.
“I’ve been there a few times and had a really good local caddy who helped me a lot on the golf course,” he said. “I think that’s the most important thing if you can master the golf course, then the entity of the actual tournament is a separate thing to conquer mentally. I feel like I’ve done my homework. ( Augusta National) does a really good job of getting guys who are qualified to come in a few times and see the course.”
Perhaps the biggest experience he looks forward to is the Par 3 tournament. Its winner has never put on a green jacket in the same week, but that fact takes a step back from the experience of players and their families. on the eve of the first round.
“It will be a fun week with lots of friends and family and the Par 3 will be great fun with my family,” he said. “I’ve spoken to a lot of guys with kids and their experiences with it. It’s very fun and chaotic at the same time, so I’m excited to share this memory with my wife and two kids.”
Unlike every tournament he’s played in his career, he has the unique opportunity to sleep in his own bed every night. Now a fixture of the Augusta community, he praised the region for supporting the game and its players.
“I don’t know if anyone lived closer to Magnolia Lane than me, so that’s pretty neat,” he said. “Having my wife and in-laws spend their whole lives here and are local residents now, it’s such a great golf community and all the people are so supportive of their guys. To be one of those guys now, so that people keep with it and cheer, is really special.”