AUGUSTA — At just 24 years old, Smylie Kaufman is contending in the biggest tournament of his life. Kaufman shot a 3-under 69 in the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, the first sub-70 round since Thursday. He’ll now be in one of the final groups on Sunday.
While hardcore golf fans are familiar with Kaufman, he’s an unknown to most people. Here’s what you need to know about him.
1. His first name isn’t Smylie. It’s actually Carter Smylie Kaufman. Smylie is not a nickname but instead a family name. He has a brother named Luckie.
2. He still lives at home with his parents. No, really. He told Jim Nantz after Saturday’s third round.
3. He won in just his fifth PGA Tour start. He was victorious in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October. He shot a final-round 10-under 61 on Sunday and then waited in the clubhouse for hours until he officially became the winner. The Masters is just his second major. He played in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay last year but missed the cut.
4. He’s a PGA Tour rookie, and he’s a top 50 golfer in the world. He was sixth on the Web.com Tour’s regular season money list in 2015, which was good enough for him to secure his PGA Tour card for 2015-16. He entered the Masters ranked 49th in the OWGR. Not long ago, in October, he was 226th but jumped up to 75th after his win at the Shriners.
5. He was the student-government vice-president at Vestavia Hills High School in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, which he graduated from in 2010. Besides being a standout golfer, he was the point guard on his school’s state championship basketball team his junior year. He attended Louisiana State University and graduated with a marketing degree in 2014.