SI Vault
Michael Bamberger
April 08, 2013
Is Tiger all the way back? Is Bubba coming back? Why is Rory in such a funk? What's the best hole at Augusta? And who will win the green jacket?
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April 08, 2013

Pga Tour Confidential

Is Tiger all the way back? Is Bubba coming back? Why is Rory in such a funk? What's the best hole at Augusta? And who will win the green jacket?

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Bamberger: We learned again that past performance has very little to do with present or future results. Thompson played lousy on the West Coast and came back to win the Honda. We're always so worried whether Tiger or Rory is on form, and the fact is, you can figure it out in a day. Not us, of course. Tour players.

The Hole Truth


Shipnuck: I'd say the par-5 15th. Thirteen is prettier, probably the prettiest hole out there, but it's so short. You hit a decent drive, even with a three-wood, and you can reach in two. Somebody hit nine-iron in there last year on Sunday. It's really just a hard par-4.

Anonymous Pro: You never have a flat lie on that second shot, though. The ball is way above your feet. Television never does justice to how tough that shot is. That green isn't as easy to hit as it looks, and if you bail left, that swale is nasty. The grass is always thin in there. The green is ridiculously fast. You can hit a perfect drive at 13 and still easily make 7. Or 3. That's why it's the best hole.

Shipnuck: I like 15 because it's a much tougher driving hole and it's really a do-or-die second shot. Short is in the water, long is dead, and laying up is dicey. It's the ultimate expression of what the course is about. As you said, you can easily make 7 or 3.

Garrity: I'll vote for number 10. It doesn't show up well on TV because it has too much shade, but in person it's the most awe-inspiring hole on the course. That plunge from the tee down through the pines, then you're hitting a middle iron back up to a testing green. It challenges your nerves, and it's historically the toughest hole on the course. Case closed.

Bamberger: Given that new back tee, I think number 11 is the most demanding hole. If you're really going to play it the way it should be played, you're smashing some kind of draw, flirting with the trees on the right. You've got to let out some shaft because you don't want to hit a long club into that green. Then you've got to hit a straight shot or a fade. If you miss the green, you've got to chip your rear end off to save par, maybe even to stay out of the pond.

Van Sickle: Nobody is taking number 12, the world's most famous par-3? That's an upset.

Anonymous Pro: Technology has made that hole easier. The ball we use today is better in the wind. How many guys do you see hitting right at the pin now? A lot. It used to be none.

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