Still, advice is often welcomed. Im said he had spoken with K.J. Choi, who finished in the top 10 at the Masters on three occasions, about how to approach the course and had ended the conversation feeling encouraged. On the fairways and the greens this past week, other veterans proved eager to offer counsel about Augusta National, but still stopped far short of spilling every secret of the par-72 course.
“Ray Floyd, Crenshaw, Nicklaus, Palmer — they would all talk about putts, shots, things to watch out for,” Mickelson said, naming winners of a combined 13 Masters tournaments.
But for all the wisdom available to early-career players, there is only so much that can prepare a Masters rookie for the rigors of a course that is far more challenging, Ancer said Friday, than it appears in televised splendor. Besides, there was no guarantee that the tricks devised from successes and regrettable plays in Aprils past would hold up in November.
Tiger Woods, the defending champion, recalled that he had received advice from figures like Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros. But he said that they — and, later, he — had not shared all. Instead, Woods, a five-time Masters winner who is tied for 20th at five under, suggested there was no substitute for raw experience at Augusta.
“That’s just something also that you have to go through,” he said.
Woods’s approach may still represent something of an advancement for rookie-veteran relations.
Bob Goalby, the 1968 champion, recalled on Wednesday that players like Doug Ford and Sam Snead, both of them Masters winners, had offered him advice. Those exchanges, though, were often based in friendships, not necessarily pay-it-forward sensibilities, he said.