Jason Day, the world’s No. 3-ranked player who was No. 1 at this time last year, knew all about Jeff Knox’s history as an Augusta National marker before they teed off Saturday.
Knox, an Augusta National Golf Club member, is used as a marker when there is an odd number of players in the field after the 36-hole cut, as is the case this year.
It was the second time that Knox has played with a former world No. 1. Knox beat Rory McIlroy 70 to 71 in 2014.
“I just didn’t want Jeff to beat me,” Day said with a laugh. “I heard that he beat Rory. He said he was nervous on the first tee, and I’m thinking I’m kind of nervous because I don’t want to let my marker beat me.”
Day said it was “kind of neck and neck” when he bogeyed the second hole and Knox parred to have a one-shot advantage.
It didn’t last, as Day ended up shooting 3-under-par 69 and Knox shot “around” 78. He picked up on a few holes so he didn’t have a score.
Knox, who is known for his putting on the Augusta National greens, didn’t have a good day, according to friends who followed him. His only birdie came on the 18th hole when he rolled in a 12-footer.
Knox crossed paths with Davis Love III, who is working this week for CBS, moments before arriving at No. 1 tee box.
“I’ll trade places with you,” Knox joked to Love as they shook hands under the clubhouse oak tree.
“Teach me how to putt like you and I will,” Love said back to Knox.
This has been an eventful week for Knox, who was honored Monday at the annual Mayor’s Masters Reception. Knox was one of three honorees this year, iincluding other well-known golf figures in Augusta, Laura Coble and Bev Dolan.