The University of Virginia junior golfer Derek Bard, from New Hartford, will play as an amateur in this week's Masters.

It's certainly a long way from the Cedar Lake Club in Oneida County, where New Hartford's Derek Bard developed his golf game as a youngster, to Augusta National, the site of this week's 80th Masters Tournament. Bard earned his Masters invite by finishing second in the U.S. Amateur last August. He is one of six amateurs in this week's 90 player field.

Syracuse.com states that the former state champion golfer from New Hartford High School has been in Augusta since last Friday, playing practice rounds and trying to learn as much as possible about a course that he can and that he has only toured three times since his runner-up U.S. Amateur finish to Bryson DeChambeau gave him a chance to tee it up in the Masters and a spot in the U.S. Open June 13-19.

Bard isn't alone in Augusta. He'll have a group of about 18 people following him on the course. His parents, David and Dawn Bard and more than a dozen relatives and family friends will spend the Masters week staying locally in Augusta.

Alec Bard will serve as his Master's caddie. That job he earned after being on "on the bag" at the U.S. Amateur. Alec a two-time state golf runner-up has accepted a scholarship to play at Penn State and he is beyond excited to be "on the bag" for his brother at a major tournament like the Masters.

[syracuse.com]