Scott Piercy’s plan is to treat his first Masters tournament as if it were any other PGA Tour competition. And then the 37th-ranked golfer in the world aims to outplay Tiger Woods and the rest of the star-studded field at Augusta National and win the first major of the men’s 2013 season.
“The Masters is something as a golfer and a fan, you want to get to and compete in and win,” Piercy told SBNation last week. “At the same time, it’s golf’s mecca and the biggest stage in the world, so I’m trying to downplay it so the whole situation doesn’t engulf me.
“I’m trying to act like it’s just another tournament.”
For any contestant, let alone a guy who spent years splitting his time between the web.com and PGA Tours, the Masters is as far from “just another tournament” as the aura of Augusta is from Sin City, where Piercy won $2 million in the “Ultimate Game” in 2007. While the actual distance may not be all that much, Piercy determined long ago he would make the trip down Magnolia Lane only if, and when, he played his way into the tournament.
“I just felt like I needed to earn my way there, so until that, I didn’t need to go,” said the Las Vegas native, who punched his ticket to Augusta with last year’s one-shot Canadian Open victory over William McGirt and Robert Garrigus.
Now that he’s in, Piercy, who owns two PGA Tour victories and lucrative new deals with Izod and other sponsors after playing several years with a space on his apparel where endorsers’ logos should be, has a lofty ambition for his first official swing around a course he said suited his game.
“Ah, win,” he said about his objective this week. “That’s your goal for every tournament: bring your game to win.”
As for the fame and fortune that came his way after winning the made-for-TV Ultimate Game exhibition sponsored by Wynn Las Vegas, Piercy was pleased to cash the check but noted that it “didn’t really further my career.”
His inaugural victory in the big leagues, the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open -- after dealing with the frustrating ups and downs of life in the minor leagues that, at times, had Piercy contemplating hanging up his spikes -- did.
“Reno was my first win,” he said. “It provided a platform for me to get better and relax a little bit on the golf course and show what I can really do.”
What Piercy can do is hit the golf ball. He ranks 19th on tour in driving distance, with an average of 297.5 yards off the tee. His length, plus the work he’s put in on his wedge play, he believes, will help him negotiate Augusta National come Thursday.
“I generally drive the ball pretty decent,” said Piercy, who has played four practice rounds on the course since November. “If you drive the ball around there pretty good, it sets you up to attack the flags and score. If you’re hitting good shots with your irons, it gives you a chance to make your birdies.”