Golfer lands dream Augusta job for US Masters

17:00, Apr 16 2014
Sara Jasmat
AMEN CORNER: A golfing prayer has been answered for Sara Jasmat who stands on the Hogan Bridge overlooking the 12th green at the famous Amen Corner at Augusta National.

Sara Jasmat reckons she is still in golfing heaven after spending two weeks at the famed Augusta National course in Georgia.

The Hobsonville Point resident worked from the media centre at the US Masters, the year's first golf major.
She got to meet golfing giants and hosted All Black player Dan Carter who watched the prestigious event while on his sabbatical from rugby.

"I had to look after him for an hour and show him around. It was very entertaining - the funniest thing was no one knew who he was," she says.

She also got to have lunch with American golfer Phil Mickelson. The same day she was introduced to former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and one of golf's greatest ever players, Arnold Palmer.

"I was asked if I wanted to meet someone. I said sure, thinking it was another club member- but no, just Arnold Palmer! Oh, my lord! The most incredible day ever".

The pilates instructor landed the prime job thanks to one of her clients, New Zealand businessman and entrepreneur Craig Heatley, who is a member of the Augusta National Club and director of the club's media committee.

Her tasks included monitoring the world's golf media, escorting players to interviews and obtaining "quick quotes" from golfers after each of their rounds.

One of the spin-offs was playing at the course before the tournament began - a rare opportunity particularly for women, who until 2012, were not accepted as members at Augusta.

The Muriwai Golf Club member believes she is only the second New Zealand woman to play there.

Jasmat plays most weekends on her home course with husband Anil and both are single-figure handicap golfers.

The Masters is her favourite tournament.

"Each year my parents and I would have a 'Masters breakfast' on the Sunday of the tournament and then settle in to watch the TV coverage. It has always been the pinnacle for us and never did I think I could ever get there myself, it's just unbelievable.

"I have always had a passion for golf and the Masters ever since my grandfather inspired me to play the game.

"But to actually play there myself, to walk on those hallowed fairways is incredible and very, very exciting."

Jasmat's experiences: Playing three rounds on the exclusive course, home of the Masters since 1934.

Lunching with Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner of the Masters and one of the giants of the game.

Meeting Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, golf's living legends, who as the "Big Three" dominated the game from the late 1950s to the 1970s, winning 34 majors between them including 13 Masters titles.

Being introduced to former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the first two women to be given membership of Augusta in 2012.


Phil Mickelson
GOLFING GREAT: Phil Mickelson is in action at this year’s US Masters at the famed Augusta National course in Georgia.
Sara Jasmat,  Dan Carter
HOME CONNECTION: Sara Jasmat, a Muriwai Golf Club member, meets All Black rugby player Dan Carter during her two-week experience at what could be like the holy grail of golf.

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