Eaton Heads to Augusta
Austin “Ace” Eaton, formerly of Sterling Farms GC, in Stamford CT, and winner of the 2004 U.S. Mid Amateur Championship, is set to take on the big boys at The Masters this week. Eaton, an accomplished amateur golfer who played in the Met Area until relocating to New Hampshire in 2003, has top ten finishes in the Ike Championship and MGA/MetLife Public Links Championships, as well as a quarter final showing at the 2002 Met Amateur at Stanwich. With his win at the USGA Mid Amateur at Sea Island, GA in 2004 Eaton earned an exemption into The Masters. Ace recently took time out to sit down with the MGA to share his thoughts on what is sure to be a week to remember.
Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA): With the Masters approaching quickly, how are you preparing your game? How many practice rounds have you played?
Ace Eaton (AE): I have been down to Augusta three weekends and have played nine rounds. I am gradually getting used to the course, and just taking it all in. It’s an amazing experience.
MGA: Other than excited, what emotions are you feeling?
AE: Anxious, really. Anxious to get down there and play. The course I am playing now will be much harder once I get down there. It will dry out and the greens will get much, much faster.
MGA: How will you play the course?
AE: The course is suited to my game really. I am a right-to-left hitter, and off the tees (at Augusta National) that’s an advantage. I am also high off the tee, which helps. I have a good imagination with the putter, and on these greens I’ll need it.
MGA: If you could make your own group, who would it be?
AE: I actually was partnered with the starter the last time I was down there. He has been starter at Augusta for 54 years. Our twosome won, so I think I am on his good side. He did say I will be paired with a past champion, but who that will be I have no idea. My ideal group? Well, I would love to play with Freddie [Couples] and Tiger [Woods] and Phil [Mickelson] but they would never put those guys together. Actually, its only groups of three, so I guess Phil would be my choice.
Eaton is the fourth Met Area player to win the U.S. Mid Amateur since 1992. The others were: Jeff Thomas (1993), Jerry Courville, Jr (1995), Ken Bakst (1997) and George Zahringer III (2002).