Lifelong friends: Michigan State P Bryce Baringer skipped practice to support roommate at Augusta
Golf fans dream of the opportunity to get to take in a round of The Masters at Augusta. The country’s most pristine and exclusive course serves as the mecca of the sport’s universe.
Michigan State punter Bryce Baringer got that chance.
Last week, Michigan State senior James Piot participated in The Masters as an amateur, getting the opportunity of a lifetime. Baringer, Piot’s roommate and longtime friend, received a pass to visit Augusta and show support for the fellow Spartan.
There was only one thing standing in Baringer’s way: spring practice.
But Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker gave his punter the nod to make the trek to Augusta to support his roommate at golf’s premier tournament. So, too, did his position coach and fellow teammates.
“(Tucker) was like ‘Yeah, go,’” Baringer said, per 247Sports. “I checked with him first, then I went to (special teams) coach (Ross) Els and then talked to our leadership group and said ‘Hey, guys, I’m gonna be missing some time. Are you guys good if I go down and support a lifelong buddy?’ They were like ‘Oh, yeah. We’re not gonna tell you no you can’t go.’ Went down there and had a blast.”
Piot carded an 81 during his first round on Thursday afternoon at The Masters. He followed it up with a much better performance on his second 18, shooting a 2-over-par 74.
Though he didn’t make the cut, the senior Spartan relished the opportunity to play in the tournament.
“This was the experience of a lifetime and I can’t thank the people at Augusta National and all of the fans for making this a week I will never forget,” Piot said. “It was an honor to represent Michigan State at the cathedral of golf. I didn’t play the way I hoped I would, but getting the chance to play in a group with Hideki (Matsuyama) and Justin (Thomas) was incredible and such a learning experience for me.”
“I’m a college kid who got to play The Masters and stay at Augusta National. It doesn’t get much better than that.”