FARMINGTON, ,Minn. (KMSP) - When the Masters tees off Thursday a lot of eyes will be on an amateur golfer from Farmington, Minn.
Sammy Schmitz has already had a Cinderella story, making it to the famous tournament. Now folks in his home town are hoping for a fairytale ending.
"Everyone is very excited. Our whole staff. Customers are coming in. There's just a lot of buzz about it," said Pat Waterloo. “He’s a working dad and to be able to play golf at a high level makes the rest of us feel like there might be a chance that we could do something like that."
Growing up across the street from the Fountain Valley Golf Course in Farmington, a course where he’d eventually work in his teens, golf has always been an important part of Schmitz’s life. From there he went on become a division III All-American in golf at St. John’s University.
Then Schmitz dreamt of playing on the PGA Tour while practicing his swing at the Braemar Golf Dome in Edina.
He went pro for a brief time, but laid low until about five years ago when he started working with Braemar's head golf pro Joe Gruepner. He went on to become the Minnesota Golf Association's Player of the Year four times in five years.
Schmitz made it his mission to go to the Masters while watching the tournament on television with his dad at the Long Branch Saloon about a year ago -- but he thought it would be as a fan.
However, he earned his invitation to play at Augusta National after he got a hole-in-one on his way to winning the national championship for amateurs over 25 in October 2015.
"Exciting to know someone from this small town can do something like that and bring Farmington on the map. That's what's exciting about it." Said Long Branch owner, Kenny Labeau.
His friends at Braemar are hoping for some history from Schmitz over golf’s biggest weekend.
"If he makes the cut, he would be the first mid-am amateur to make the cut and if he does, he'd make some history and get to play on the weekend."