McClean warms up for the Masters at the Azalea Invitational

Ronan MacNamara

Matthew McClean (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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The Masters is just a fortnight away now and Matthew McClean will step up his preparations for his date with Augusta National at the 75th Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston.

McClean has been Stateside for the past couple of weeks playing a variety of courses including East Lake, but now he will get some competitive action under his belt as he fine tunes his game ahead of the Masters in April.

The Malone native has been in fine form of late with finishes of 16th, 8th and 3rd in three events in South Africa.

Having won the 2022 US Mid-Amateur Championship, beating Royal Dublin’s Hugh Foley in an all-Irish final at Erin Hills, McClean will become the seventh Irish amateur to tee it up at the Masters after JB Carr, Garth McGimpsey, Michael Hoey, Brian McElhinney, Alan Dunbar and James Sugrue.

“It’ll be a similar sort of preparation to what I did for the US Mid-Am, came over a couple of weeks before the Azalea Invitational,” said McClean.

“Initially I was on my own in Atlanta before meeting up with a couple of guys I know for a week or so. In Charleston this week by myself for the Azalea tournament and then I’ll meet up with a few guys next week before the Masters.

“I have family coming out the Sunday before it all starts so I’ve a good crowd coming out and all the family are able to go, couple of friends too so it’s great to have them.”

The Walker Cup panelist tees off just before 4pm Irish time.

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