The Masters 2014: Augusta a steep learning curve – Justin Rose

gulfEngland’s Justin Rose has warned Masters debutants they face a steep learning curve at Augusta National when the tournament starts on Thursday.

Ryder Cup hopefuls Stephen Gallacher, Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten are among those who have all qualified for the first time.
Only three players have won a green jacket on their debut.

Horton Smith and Gene Sarazen did so in the first tournaments (1934 and 1935) while Fuzzy Zoeller triumphed in 1979.

“The learning curve at Augusta is steep, very steep,” said Rose, the 33-year-old US Open champion, who has never finished outside the top 40 in his eight Masters appearances.

Rose was tied for 39th in his debut and his best result at Augusta is joint fifth in 2007 behind American Zach Johnson.

Although Scotland’s Gallacher, France’s Dubuisson and Holland’s Luiten have performed well enough elsewhere to also be in line for Ryder Cup debuts in September, Rose believes just playing all four rounds in the Masters will be a worthy achievement.

“I think the general rule is that if you make the cut the first time at Augusta, then that’s a successful performance,” he said. “Certainly that’s how it was framed in my mind in 2003.

-BBC Sports

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