We don’t really know Jefferson Knox, but we have the basics. He’s 52. He’s of average height and build. He’s a member at Augusta National Golf Club. And he’s the club’s resident playing marker. Whenever an odd number of competitors qualify for the weekend at the Masters, Knox rolls in to fill the void.
And oftentimes he’ll beat his playing partner.
Last year Knox’s cult status soared when he clipped Rory McIlroy head-to-head on Saturday. A media throng gathered that afternoon to meet the masked man, but he was whisked away without comment. This year 55 players made the cut. Cue Mr. Knox.
In the third round, he drew Steve Stricker, but Knox didn’t bring his A game. The sun was bright and oppressive. Knox took two swings to extract his ball from the right bunker on 18. Stricker also bogeyed it. I knew Knox wouldn’t be invited to the press building. He doesn’t do media. As he trudged from the 18th green to the clubhouse, I asked him how he played.
“Not too good,” he replied, looking hot and forlorn. “A few birdies. Too many bogeys.” Knox shot 77, Stricker 73. I had more questions, but Knox was in a hurry. At least this year I got a quote.
The legend grows.
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