In-form Lamprecht ready for Masters test

World No. 1-ranked amateur and reigning Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht will make his debut in the 2024 Masters at Augusta National on Thursday; credit GolfRSA.

9 April 2024 – The World No 1-ranked amateur Christo Lamprecht might be the tallest person in the field at the 2024 Masters Tournament, but the South African will stand out for more than his 6-foot-8 frame at Augusta National.

In the first-ever Georgia Cup between an amateur and a professional last Sunday, it was Lamprecht who had the upper hand and defeated Nick Dunlap to win the 27th edition of the annual Masters curtain-raiser at the Golf Club of Georgia.

Established in 1998, The Georgia Cup annually pits the reigning United States Amateur and British Amateur Champion against each other in a 18-hole tune-up match ahead of the trip to Augusta National.

The reigning Amateur champion hit a superb 9-iron into the par-5 18th and sunk a 14-foot eagle putt on the final hole to win 1-up and beat Dunlap, the 2023 U.S. Amateur champion, who turned pro on the back of his PGA Tour win in The American Express in February.

Lamprecht was the third South African to play in – and win – the Georgia Cup, following in the footsteps of Jovan Rebula (2019) and Aldrich Potgieter (2022).  South Africa is now 3 – 0 and The Amateur champions lead the U.S. Amateur champions 15-11 in the series.

Amateurs at the 2024 Masters
(L to r) Jasper Stubbs (Australia), Santiago de la Fuente (Mexico), Neal Shipley (USA), Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Fred S. Ridley, Stewart Hagbestad (USA) and Christo Lamprecht of South Africa; credit Chris Turvey | Augusta National

“I had a great time playing Nick in the Georgia Cup, and it was a really good match and a lot of fun. To win it on the 18th was great. Now we are both excited to head to Augusta for the first time,” Lamprecht said.

Still the youngest South African Amateur Championship winner following his triumph at 16 at Humewood in 2017, Lamprecht hopes to continue what has been a watershed year since his historic Amateur Championship victory in June last year.

The Southern Cape golfer became the third South African in six years – and third GolfRSA National Squad member – to lift the prestigious trophy when he beat Swiss golfer Ronan Kleu 3 & 2 in the 36-hole final of the 128th edition at Hillside Golf Club.

A month later he co-led the first round of The Open on debut and became the first South African to receive the Silver Medal as the low amateur at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Subsequently Lamprecht shot to the number one position in the Official World Golf Rankings and became the first South African to reach the summit since the world list launched in 1997.

So far this season, the Georgia Tech senior enjoyed podium finishes in the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational. Consistently strong performances have lifted Lamprecht to second on the PGA Tour University Ranking and he ranks fourth among all collegiate players in the NCAA Golf Rankings. Lamprecht is also a semi-finalist for the Ben Hogan Award and on the spring watch list for the Fred Haskins Award, which are both given to the nation’s top collegiate player.

“I had a great time playing Nick in the Georgia Cup, and it was a really good match and a lot of fun. To win it on the 18th was great. Now we are both excited to head to Augusta for the first time,” Lamprecht said.

Christo Lamprecht won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur in the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 2023; Warren Little | Getty Images

The performance in his debut in The Open fed Lamprecht’s belief that he can compete in the pro ranks, and he would love nothing more than to continue his record-setting year by becoming the first amateur winner of the Masters.

The tallest previous Masters champion was the 6-foot-5½ George Archer, but as Lamprecht told ESPN Senior Writer Sam Borden, it wouldn’t even bother him if they didn’t have a 50-extra long Green Jacket in their sizeable collection.


“Most of my length is in my legs, anyway,” Lamprecht joked. “If I somehow win, whatever they do would be fine; I would gladly take it. They don’t even have to give me one. As long as I win the golf tournament, I’d be more than happy.”

Three other national amateur champions will make their debut alongside Lamprecht in the 2024 Masters, including 2023 Asia-Pacific champion Jasper Stubbs from Australia, 2023 Latin America Amateur champion Santiago de la Fuente from Mexico and American Neal Shipley, the runner-up in the 2023 U.S. Amateur Championship.

Fellow American Stewart Hagbestad, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, tees it up for a third time. Hagbestad tied for 36th in his debut in 2017 and became the first reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion to earn Low Amateur honours since Jay Sigel in 1988.

Although an amateur has never won the Masters, 11 have finished inside the top 10, including runner-up finishes by Frank Stranahan (1947), Ken Venturi (1956) and Charlie Coe (1961). Since the start of the millennium, Ryan Moore (T-12 in 2005) and Casey Wittenberg (T-13 in 2004) posted the best results.

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