Last week I received a spreadsheet of players competing in the 2012 Masters. You know how I love spreadsheets. There was a column college attended, if applicable. I basically looked for Ben Curtis (Kent State great) and moved on ... then did a double take. Another MAC golfer playing in the Masters?
Yes indeed. A gentleman named Randal Lewis listed as a "Central Michigan" player will compete in the fabled golf tournament as an amateur. Oh, he must be still playing for CMU, I thought!
If he is, he's breakin' all the rules.
For one, Lewis is 54 years old. Secondly, CMU doesn't have a varsity golf team. Nothing adds up here. But amateurism isn't defined by age, I realized.
He won the Mid-Amateur title last year and that basically earned him an invite to play in the 2012 Masters. He mentions his collegiate career in this interview with the USGA, which appeared to be brief — in his words he "wasn't a very good player" for his one season playing college golf for the Chippewas, and it wasn't until after he graduated that he improved. And at 54 years old, he might be the oldest newcomer to the tournament in history.
I can't find a lick of information on the CMU site since there is no golf team, and any records of them probably predate the website. But this is a really neat story nonetheless, and I think this website has its sentimental favorite. Always root for the MAC athlete. Or, if necessary, a foreign player.