When the second round of the Masters ends on Friday, Michigan’s Randy Lewis will have played with four former tournament champions in the past ten days. Last week, he arrived at Augusta National and found himself being invited to fill out the foursome led by Phil Mickelson, a three-time wearer of the green jacket. “That was a big thrill,” said Lewis, the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from Alma. “Phil just came up to me in the clubhouse, introduced himself and asked me to join his threesome. What a great guy. He shared a lot of insights about playing the course as well about the greens.’
On Tuesday in a press conference, Mickelson was asked about Lewis. “I thought he had a really solid game. Kept the ball in play. I think it’s really cool what he did, winning the Mid-Am as a gentleman eligible for the Senior Am. I love that story. I hope he has a good week,” said Mickelson.
Having a good week will be an easy up and down for Lewis. “It’s been a dream week so far,” said Lewis. On Monday, he played with Tom Watson, another former champion. Lewis played well, hitting 14 fairways, 10 greens and with birdies on 15, 16 and 17. In that grouping was two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North and former PGA champion Martin Kaymer who made a makeshift ace at 16 courtesy of a skipped shot across the pond, a longtime custom at the famed par-three hole during practice rounds. (Note: It’s already posted on YouTube.)
“I hit the ball very well yesterday (Monday),” said Lewis. “I was really up for that round and about playing with Tom Watson; he was so friendly and helpful as were the other guys.” Lewis said he and Watson during the round also talked about golf in northern Michigan, where Watson’s family had a summer cottage at Walloon Lake.
On Tuesday afternoon, he played the front nine with Ian Woosnam, the ’91 Masters champion. “I didn’t play as well as I did on Monday but the course conditions were much different due to the overnight rain,” said Lewis. “I picked up quite a bit of mud on my ball and the ball wasn’t rolling.” Lewis said he probably was four over par for the nine “but I had a great time.”
On Thursday, Lewis will tee off at 8:01 am with two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and long-hitting Robert Garrigus. “I’m so happy I’m playing early on Thursday morning. The thought of teeing off later in the afternoon and have all that time to think would have been horrible.”
But right now Lewis is enjoying the moment, skipping along on top of the surface.