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Former Oakland golfer set to compete in Masters

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Former Oakland golfer set to compete in Masters

Brian Stuard plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of The Barclays at The Ridgewood Country Club on August 23, 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey.

Brian Stuard plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of The Barclays at The Ridgewood Country Club on August 23, 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey.

Getty Images

Brian Stuard plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of The Barclays at The Ridgewood Country Club on August 23, 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Brian Stuard plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of The Barclays at The Ridgewood Country Club on August 23, 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey.

Katie LaDuke, Staff Reporter

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Former Oakland University golfer Brian Stuard is set to make his first appearance in the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club this upcoming weekend, April 6-9. Tee times and pairings for the tournament will be announced Thursday, April 6.

Before Stuard began working his way up in professional golf, he earned several accolades at Oakland, including a league championship.

In 2005, Stuard became the first player in golf history to earn the Summit League Player of the Year recognition. That same year, Stuard won the Summit League championship with a score of 216 (E). This score was the third-best in program history over 54 holes. At the end of his collegiate career, Stuard also held school records for lowest career stroke average (73.82), most career tournament wins (nine), most career rounds under par (22), single-season stroke average (72.25), single-season events played (12) and most wins in a single season (four in 2003-04 and 2004-05).

“My golf career at Oakland was probably the best four years of my life,” he said.  “I met some amazing people and made lifelong friends. Coach Dewulf was great to me, and I absolutely enjoyed the times we had as a golf team.”

After graduating from Oakland in 2005, Stuard became the first player in the golf program’s history to play on the PGA Tour in 2010. He officially earned his PGA Tour card in 2013. Since then, Stuard has competed in over 100 PGA Tour events.

“I feel like I have been very fortunate to have the career I’ve had so far,” Stuard said.  “I’ve put a lot of hard work into it, and I pride myself on the fact that I’ve worked my way up from the mini tours to now playing on the PGA Tour for six  years.”

In 2016, Stuard was inducted into the Hollie L. Lepley Hall of Honor at OU. Shortly after his induction, Stuard earned his first PGA tour win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on April 30, securing a spot in the 2017 Masters Tournament.

“It was an absolute honor to be inducted in the Hall of Honor,” Stuard said.  “It is something that means a great deal to me. To be associated with the best athletes that have graduated from Oakland is very special.”

With a little under a week to go, Stuard will compete against the best of the best in the golf world for the first major of the year. Competing at the same level are Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Adam Scott and many more.

“My biggest motivation is probably just proving to myself and others that I’m good enough to be on the PGA Tour,” Stuard said. “I wasn’t sure if I could ever get here. To get here and stay out here means a lot.”

At the Masters Tournament, there are over 200 golfers competing for the same prize.

“I feel like this is something that I have worked for since I started playing golf,” Stuard said. “The Masters is one of the pinnacles of professional golf, and to be able to play in the tournament is a dream come true.”

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Former Oakland golfer set to compete in Masters