Safe landing for former ski-jumper Luiten

Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:34pm EDT
 
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By Tony Jimenez

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The rolling, sloping fairways of Augusta National are a sharp reminder of Joost Luiten's childhood days on the ski-jump hills, the Dutchman said after making a safe golfing landing on his Masters debut.

The 28-year-old, who brought an end to his career on the snow after fracturing his elbow and nose at the age of 10, was a picture of contentment after a second-round 73 gave him a four-over aggregate of 148.

"I think you could make a pretty good jump on some of these hills here but luckily there was no snow today," a laughing Luiten told Reuters in an interview as he sheltered from the heat of the sun behind one of a plethora of pine trees.

"I'm happy to play golf these days. It's a lot safer."

It was a case of mission accomplished for the European Ryder Cup hopeful after he mixed three birdies with four bogeys to qualify for the final two rounds of the opening major championship of the year.

"The main goal was to make the weekend and I'm very happy I've done that," said Luiten. "Now hopefully I can start to look upwards, play well and move up the leaderboard.

"It will be a great experience to play four rounds instead of only two and it will be important for my development as a player."

Luiten did not make the cut without suffering a fright or two along the way.   Continued...

 
Joost Luiten of the Netherlands hits from a sandtrap on the 10th hole during a practice round ahead of the 2014 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young