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Several Masters players have state ties

It’s Masters week in the golf world, and that means the spotlight will be on Augusta National Golf Club as golfers from around the globe chase after the coveted Green Jacket which goes to the winner.

The Masters is a rite of spring in Georgia and nothing says springtime quite like the famous golf tournament which is played in our state the first full week of April every year.

From the blooming azaleas to the dogwoods and magnolias and the cathedral pines blowing in the breezes, the tournament annually reminds us of things that spell Georgia in the springtime.

And of course, the golf fans venturing to Augusta from around the world and the thousands watching on television are treated to this splendor once a year every year.

Of course, the opportunity for those with Georgia ties to play at home in one of the most recognized events in sports is something that is special in its own right.

This year, there are several golfers who will be doing just that.

So today, we offer a glimpse at those players who will be playing with Peach State pride this week in Augusta, and maybe you will root for one and all as they play for golfing glory along the fairways that fellow Georgian and golf legend Bobby Jones designed many years ago.

ESPN

Wesley Bryan

Age: 28

Hometown/Residence: Columbia, S.C./Augusta

Peach State Plug-in: He currently makes his home in Augusta and plays out of Forest Hills Country Club.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 1st

This year: Ranks 150 in FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $243,183; best finish is tie for 27th at Sentry Tournament of Champions.

ESPN

Brian Harman

Age: 31

Hometown/Residence: Savannah/St. Simons Island

Peach State Plug-in: In addition to playing high school golf at Savannah Christian and currently making his home in the Golden Isles, he was an All-American at the University of Georgia.

Master appearances/Best finish: 2/missed cut in 2015

This year: Ranks 13th in the FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $2,075,918; has 7 top-10 finishes including a tie for third at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in early January.

ESPN

Russell Henley

Age: 28

Hometown/Residence: Macon/Kiawah Island, S.C.

Peach State Plug-in: Born in Georgia, he won three individual state titles in high school at Stratford Academy. He is a two-time Georgia Amateur winner and was an All-American and All-Conference player at Georgia where he tied the school-record with seven individual wins.

Zach Johnson

Fox Sports

Age: 42

Hometown/Residence: Cedar Rapids, IA/St. Simons Island

Peach State Plug-in: In addition to living on St. Simons Island for several years now, Johnson earned his first PGA Tour win at the BellSouth Classic in Duluth in 2004 and won the tournament again, this time called the AT&T Classic, in 2007.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 6/won in 2007

This year: Ranks 61st in FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $738,337; has one top-10 finish which was a tie for eighth at the RSM Classic at Sea Island in November.

Sportsnet

Kevin Kisner

Age: 34

Hometown/Residence: Aiken, S.C./Aiken, S.C.

Peach State Plug-in: Kisner played collegiate golf at the University of Georgia, where he helped the Bulldogs to the 2005 NCAA title and became the first UGA golfer to earn All-American distinction four times. He also won the RSM Classic at Sea Island in 2016.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 3/tie for 37th in 2016.

This year: Ranks 32nd in FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $1,563,806; has 2 top-10 finishes including runner-up finish at the recent World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies and a tie for fourth at the RSM Classic in November.

PGA Tour

Patton Kizzire

Age: 32

Hometown/Residence: Tuscaloosa, Ala./Sea Island

Peach State Plug-in: In addition to making his home in Coastal Georgia, he won the individual championship in the Southeastern Conference tournament in 2007 at Sea lsland while playing for Auburn.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 1st

This year: Ranks second in the FedEx Cup rankings: has earned $3,177,988; has four top-10 finishes highlighted by a pair of wins at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and the Sony Open.

ESPN

Matt Kuchar

Age: 39

Hometown/Residence: Winter Park, Fla./St. Simons Island

Peach State Plug-in: In addition to living in the Golden Isles for several years now, Kuchar played his college golf at Georgia Tech, where he was a two-time first-team All-American and a four-time All-Conference pick by the ACC.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 12/tie for fourth last year

This year: Ranks 63rd in FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $840, 063: has 3 top-10s including a tie for fifth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

ESPN

Larry Mize

Age. 59

Hometown/Residence: Augusta/Columbus

Peach State Plug-in: While being born in Augusta and living in the state for years, Mize played collegiate golf at Georgia Tech and worked a Masters tournament scoreboard at the third hole as a teenager.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 35/won in 1987 with his famous chip-in.

This year: Playing on the Champions Tour, he ranks 69th in the Charles Schwab Cup rankings; has earned $25,038; best finish was tie for 30th at Cologuard Classic.

ESPN

Patrick Reed

Age: 27

Hometown/Residence: San Antonio, Texas/Spring, Texas

Peach State Plug-in: Played college golf at Augusta State University, where he was a two-time first-team All-American and helped the team to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2010 and 2011.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 5th/tie for 22nd in 2015.

This year: Ranks 27th in FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $1,473,052; has three top-10s including a tie for second at the Valspar Championship.

Golf Digest

Bubba Watson

Age. 39

Hometown/Residence: Bagdad, Fla./Orlando, Fla.

Peach State Plug-in: Played college golf at the University of Georgia, where he helped the Bulldogs to the 2000 SEC championship while becoming an All-Conference pick and an honorable-mention All-American.

Masters appearances/Best finish: 10th/two-time winner (2014, 2012)

This year: Ranks fourth in FedEx Cup rankings; has earned $3,287,879; has three top-10s including a pair of wins at the Genesis Open and the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Kevin Price is a freelance writer for AllOnGeorgia with more than 20 years experience in journalism and communications.

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