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U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt Parziale got the thrill of his life Wednesday at the Masters, where he teed off for a practice round with Tiger Woods and Fred Couples.
A 30-year-old firefighter from Brockton, Mass., Parziale had the honors for the most pressure-packed tee shot imaginable. He understandably snap-hooked a drive well left into the pine straw, then re-teed once Couples and Woods had teed off in that order. Couples striped one down the middle of the fairway and Woods was long and right.
Woods hit balls on the practice range and traveled to the practice green off the tee around 11:50 a.m. after signing a few autographs. Couples was first to arrive to the tee, choosing to walk among the patrons before ducking under the ropes.
While Woods was warming up on the putting green off the No. 1 tee, Couples chatted with fans on the tee box. He gave a few Augusta National ball marks to a gray-haired spectator wearing a Philadelphia Eagles hat.
Parziale defeated Josh Nichols, 8 and 6, in the 36-hole championship match of the U.S. Mid-Amateur in October at Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple Course in Atlanta.
At 12:05 p.m. the group began to walk up the first fairway, two golf legends and a firefighter sharing the grounds together at Augusta National.