Sargent earns special invitation to The Masters

The Vanderbilt sophomore gets an opportunity others can only dream of.
Gordon Sargent's play got him noticed by the folks who run one of the most famous tournaments in the sport, giving him the opportunity most dream of.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 9:22 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Gordon Sargent is the reigning NCAA golf champion and his trajectory in the sport is on the rise.

His play even got him noticed by the folks who run one of the most famous tournaments in the sport.

Early in January, he got a phone call.

“So, I didn’t recognize the number, but it said Augusta National under the phone number so I was like I have to answer this, right?” says Sargent.

On the other end of the line was a man telling Sargent that he’s invited to play in this year’s Masters golf tournament.

What a shock right? In fact, at first, the Vandy sophomore didn’t believe him.

“The guy starts talking to me and I forgot everything he said because I’m trying to figure out if this is real or not. So I don’t remember his name or anything. Then he started talking me through the week and I was like this has to be real. Who’s gonna prank me with this?”

The invite is very real and also very rare.

In fact, the last time The Masters extended a special invitation to an amateur was 23 years ago.

“It means a lot to be able to represent Vanderbilt and amateur golf at The Masters. I think it shows that they think you can compete with the best in the world and I’m looking forward to testing my game at that level.”

Right now, Sargent is at the top of his game collegiately.

He was the first freshman in 15 years to win the NCAA national title.

And this year, he’s had four top 10 finishes including one individual championship.

“It definitely puts a little bit of a target on your back. And I feel like our team’s experience with the Spring we had last year and then carries over into this fall. We were ranked highly and kind of looked at as the team to beat.”

And now the 19-year-old will get his chance to go up against the best in the world at one of golf’s most historic venues.

“Seeing people walk up to the 18th green just gives you chills. And I think I’m just going to try to soak it in. But, also hopefully you’re there on Sunday and have a chance to win. So you’ve got to have the right mindset of they’ve given you the opportunity to play and it’s just gonna be a really cool experience. But, also, we’re not going there just to play. We’re going there to win.”