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Carr battles hard at first Masters
Ben Carr
Georgia Southern's Ben Carr competes in Wednesday's Par-3 contest at The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. - photo by FRANK FORTUNE/Special to the Herald

Georgia Southern senior golfer Ben Carr set out with a goal to make the cut at this year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Carr fell a few strokes short of his goal but will always remember his first experience and everything that came with it this week in Augusta.  

“I think my biggest takeaway is I really belong out here,” Carr said. “I feel like I can compete with these guys. It was really a blast and I am honored that I got to play, I just wish it would have gone a little better.” 

After shooting a 2-over 74 Thursday Carr went out Friday morning and made par on his first nine holes. At Augusta National par is usually a good thing, but with players like Brooks Koepka finishing their first two rounds at -12 Carr knew he’d need a few birdies to make the cut and unfortunately a round of 74 left him at +5 and outside the cut line. 

“I played fine, I just never really made a putt which was frustrating,” Carr said. “I definitely think I did a good job of staying patient. I kept thinking if I keep hitting good shots into greens eventually a birdie putt would fall. I thought my putts on 11 and 12 were both going in. 15 and 16 are other holes I thought I had played well and I hit a decent number of good putts but sometimes they just don’t fall.” 

Despite missing the cut Carr feels the opportunity to play at Augusta National this week at The Masters will help him tremendously the rest of the collegiate season at Georgia Southern season and into his professional career. 

“I feel like I proved to myself I can play with the best players in the world,” Carr said. “I don’t mean that in a cocky way, that is just how I feel. I learned a lot here since I came for my first practice round. I feel like I can play in front of crowds and calm my nerves, and even play with a little bit of nerves.” 

Carr was expecting to have some family and friends following him throughout the week, but says he couldn’t believe how many Georgia Southern supporters were on hand. 

“Knowing how many people were cheering for me really helped with the nerves,” Carr said. “I got so many ‘Go Eagles’ ‘Hail Southern’s’ and GATA’s while I was out here this week. I got a ton of support and that was probably the coolest thing about the whole week was just hearing everyone cheer me on. Being so close to school and so close to home in Columbus, you couldn’t write it up any better.” 

Carr would love to get another opportunity to come back to Augusta National as a professional, but will always remember this week regardless of whether that happens or not. 

“This was an incredible experience,” Carr said. “I hope I’m able to get back here one day, but if not, this has been awesome.” 

Carr is now focused on getting back to join his teammates for the Sun Belt Championship beginning April 23 in Jackson Mississippi.