Michel in battle to get home from Masters

Ben Everill
·2-min read

Australian amateur Lukas Michel will turn his attention to trying to get back to Australia before Christmas after missing the cut in his Masters debut.

Michel fired rounds of 76 and 74 for a six-over total to miss the final two rounds at Augusta National in the COVID-19 delayed Masters and now faces the prospect of having to find $11,000 to get home.

Amateurs don't get prize money in golf and, having missed the cut, Michel wouldn't have been afforded any regardless.

He has had three attempts to book a passage home cancelled on him due to COVID-19 flight restrictions that see passengers in business class afforded priority.

Michel has been stuck in the USA since March, having come over to play practice rounds at Augusta in anticipation of an April tournament only for the pandemic to shut down the PGA Tour.

He decided to stay to see what would happen and, after the postponement decision, stayed on.

"I booked three economy tickets. I booked one, got cancelled. Booked another, got cancelled. Booked another, got cancelled.

"They keep cancelling them because they'll put out the fares, and if business class passengers book them, they'll just cancel the economy tickets," Michel said after his second round wrapped up.

"You've got to book a business class ticket to guarantee you'll get home, and that was like $11,000.

"But even in economy, it's like $6,000 one way. It's a bit ridiculous. I'm going to have to go into a bit of debt to get home."

While frustrated with his travel situation and his game during the tournament, the 26-year-old was still trying to soak in what was a unique Masters experience.

The US Mid-Amateur champion was part of the first patron-less Masters, robbing his extended family and friends the chance to enjoy it with him.

"Overall, probably my play was a little bit disappointing. I would have liked to have hit the ball a bit better," Michel said.

"But as an experience, it was really, really awesome. Obviously, very different to what a normal Masters would be with crowds and having my family and friends to support me, but I still had a small little group of friends to kind of get me through the week."

Michel stayed inside the Augusta National clubhouse on Sunday night in the famous Crow's Nest offered to amateurs to offset any accommodation costs.

"It's a really cool place. History just sort of oozing from the walls. It's awesome," he beamed.

"I slept under a photo of Ben Crenshaw, which is cool. All the greats have stayed up there. So it's pretty cool."