Chairman suggests No. 13 at Augusta National could be longer
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — It sounds like the final hole at Amen Corner is going to get a little longer.
At least one golfer says hallelujah.
Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley hinted Wednesday that the par-5 13th, a 510-yard hole known as Azalea, could be super-sized down the road.
“There’s a great quote from Bobby Jones dealing specifically with the 13th hole, which has been lengthened over time, and he said the decision to go for the green in two should be a momentous one,” Ridley said during his pre-Masters news conference. “And I would have to say that our observations of these great players hitting middle, and even short irons, into that hole is not a momentous decision.”
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, would welcome the extra yardage.
“I would hope it would be lengthened, personally, to take away certain players being able to cut off a lot of the hole and require pretty much everyone to hit it around the same line,” he said.
Spieth added that the dog-leg-left hole favors left-hander Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and others with towering, right to left ball flights.
“I’ll probably hit 3-wood all four days this year,” Spieth said. “So it will just force you to hit driver into a location where you would hit 3-wood. ... It’s forcing you to hit driver in the same place that guys are thinking 3-woods, so it just makes it a little bit harder.”
No. 13 ranked as the easiest hole in 2017, surrendering 128 birdies and six eagles.
The par-5 eighth also could get a mild makeover. The 570-yard hole nicknamed Yellow Jasmine ranked third-easiest in 2017, yielding 90 birdies.
“We think there is an issue ... that needs to be addressed,” Ridley said. “The ultimate decision is going to be, I’m confident, a collective one. It’s going to be one where all of the stakeholders sit down and come to some agreement.”
Ridley also addressed the topic of fan behavior, which has become a hot topic on the PGA Tour.
In a few events this year, high-profile players Sergio Garcia, McIlroy and Justin Thomas have dealt with out-of-line comments. Garcia and Thomas even ended up getting hecklers ejected.
Ridley said he expects more decorum at Augusta.
“It’s something really that’s part of our culture,” he said. “We believe that it’s important not only here at the Masters, but in every tournament. I know there have been some incidents recently, but we take that part of our policies very seriously, and we will always take action to make sure that all of our policies are enforced, including that one.”
One online site reported earlier this week that spectators who yell the phrase “Dilly Dilly” will be removed from Augusta National. The report said security had been given a list of sayings that are prohibited and anyone who shouts them will be “removed” immediately.
“Dilly Dilly” gained popularity as a saying last fall through Bud Light commercials. Videos have since surfaced of fans yelling it at golf tournaments after players tee off.
The American beer maker responded to the reported ban on Twitter, proclaiming the company will send 1,000 “Dilly Dilly” T-shirts to the Masters for fans to wear.
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