Even if you’ve never heard of Augusta’s own Jeff Knox, you’ve probably seen him on TV. That’s because the amateur golfer and Augusta National member has the privilege of joining the melee of Masters weekend as a marker if an odd number of players makes the cut. Here’s what you need to know about Jeff Knox, who has been performing this sacred duty since 2003:
1. When he played with Rory McIlroy in the 2014 Masters, Knox not only impressed McIlroy, he also came out on top on Saturday by one stroke. “He’s the best I’ve ever seen on Augusta’s greens,” McIlroy said. “He knows every blade of grass. That’s so key—more than anywhere else we play.”
2. It’s not just McIlroy: Knox’s abilities on Augusta’s greens are famous among Tour pros. Here’s Justin Thomas: “I’d take him over anyone in the world on those greens, hands down.” And Kevin Kisner: “If the PGA Tour played every event at Augusta National, Jeff Knox would be on Tour. He doesn’t miss inside of eight feet.”
3. Where does that local knowledge come from? Knox lives just over two miles from Augusta National, and as a member he can play there pretty much whenever.
4. Now in his 50s, Knox also holds the course record from the member tees with a 61. He won the Georgia Mid-Amateur three times and was a runner-up in the Georgia Amateur. Knox’s son Lee later won the Georgia Amateur twice.
5. More than his stunning command of every inch of Augusta National’s greens, Jeff’s polite, pleasant attitude make him a favorite of the pros he’s played with. Keegan Bradley called him “the nicest guy.” Four-time U.S. Mid-Am Champion Nathan Smith called him “a nice, humble Southern guy and a great dad,” and “pretty special.”