He etched his name into Masters Tournament history by tying the record for the lowest back nine score by an amateur on his way to finishing tied 39th on debut. Here, Romain Langasque reflects on the best moments from his maiden Major Championship appearance.
Driving up Magnolia Lane was amazing. I can’t really remember my first sensation, but I remember arriving to the gate and giving my name to the security who take care of the entrants and when he opens the door you feel like it’s not normal that you’re allowed in there. I was with my father and we were going so slowly to take it all in.
When you’re an amateur you can sleep in the clubhouse. You walk in and there is a big room with a smaller room inside this big room, along with one washroom. You can stay all week if you want but the tradition is to stay on Monday night because it’s when there is the dinner for the amateurs. I stayed there on the Monday night and I remember not sleeping very well because it was a bit cold and in the morning you can hear everything from outside. It was an amazing experience and I have a lot of good memories from there.
I went to Augusta about four or five days before the Monday of the tournament. It’s really quiet, you’re on your own or just with a few members. I remember Phil Mickelson was there for a day and then he went away again before coming back for the tournament. I was there every day, four or five days before, and I can remember the difference from Sunday to Monday; it’s such a big difference because there was nobody, to then loads of people. I remember playing there before everyone arrived and it was so big and so open, then the public arrive and they’re so close to the tee and you’re like ‘woah’. I feel like the big change was from Sunday to Monday and then when the competition starts everyone is so excited, but there are still a lot of people there on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
It was amazing to play with Bernhard Langer. I think he was one shot off the lead after the first three rounds. We played together for the first two rounds and he was playing such good golf. He was really good with me; we spoke during, and even after my round he said some really nice things to me and gave me some confidence. I could not have asked for a better group because Hunter Mahan was a really good player too. Playing with Bernhard was a really good experience and he displayed some really good golf. His iron play was really impressive.
I will never forget my wedge on 15. I made a lot of really good shots in that tournament but this one was important because I was three over and the cut was meant to be four over. I got to 15 and the group before me was a really good group and so was the one after, so everybody was there to watch. I am sure it is the best moment of my life. I can remember on the 16th tee, maybe 20 minutes after my shot into the green, I could not hit a good shot because I was so excited about what I had just done on the previous hole. I will remember that shot for the rest of my life, for sure.
I don’t really care about the record for the lowest back nine by an amateur. It was really good and I’m very happy about it but I struggled a lot in the third round. I had made the cut and you stop worrying and you just do your best by going for every flag, but it doesn’t work like that. On Sunday I just thought I would go out there and do my best, and I played really well on the front nine but I just didn’t make any putts. On the back nine I continued to play the same game and then I started making some putts, but my long game had been amazing. I was really happy about the way I finished the tournament and it’s always good to have a record. All of the memories are amazing.
My game suits Augusta really well. It’s a course which suits draw players and I am a draw player. The main problem for me in general is when the greens are slow. At Augusta the greens are so quick and so tough to read and putt but these are the greens where I putt the best. Without getting ahead of myself, I think the Masters is the Major which I would have the best chance in because it’s a course where I feel my game is really well suited.
The week after the Masters I was back on the Challenge Tour in Egypt. I remember it well because I made a top five and it was so different. You really can’t compare the two tournaments. I think I made a top five because the course seemed so easy. I had just come 39th at the Masters and now I’m at a course where you can hit driver everywhere, you can miss a little bit more and the pressure is less because there’s no public on the course. It was a big change but I laid my foundations on the Challenge Tour. I played Challenge Tour again last year and now I’m back on the European Tour. I want to become the best player I can but you have to go step-by-step. The Challenge Tour was a good step for me, but now I want to make my name on the European Tour.
My pick for this year is definitely Rory. It’s an easy pick but I think he’s a good player. After that, I think Matt Fitzpatrick can be the man. He’s a really good player and I think his game suits the course really well.