Where I Watched Tiger’s Amazing, Life-Affirming Victory at the Masters

I watched it in the boarding area of Augusta Regional Airport, on my way home from the tournament. I had company:

Watching the Masters on TV is what most reporters who cover the tournament do, incidentally. They don’t watch it at the airport, as I did; they watch it in Augusta National’s press building, which has such terrific technology (and so many free Krispy Kreme donuts) that they’re seldom tempted to go outside. Half a dozen years ago, I watched the final round of the Masters on a different TV, in the living room of a rented house in Augusta, with the late Dan Jenkins, who was even less likely than the average reporter to set foot on the golf course.

I did give the course a thorough, hole-by-hole inspection on Saturday. I was especially impressed by the changes to the fifth hole. The club has not only lengthened it significantly but also thoroughly reshaped the terrain, repositioned and reconfigured the bunkers, and added two thousand new trees and other plantings. Tiger’s victory seems all the more remarkable when you consider that he bogeyed the fifth all four days.

4 thoughts on “Where I Watched Tiger’s Amazing, Life-Affirming Victory at the Masters

  1. Once again changes at Augusta aimed to “Tiger-proof” the course, (or maybe Koepke-proof it?) Tiger bogeyed the 5th all four days….. but he left on Sunday wearing yet another green jacket! Good on him!

    • Just keep in mind that making golf holes longer increases, rather than reduces, the advantage of big hitters–and, in fact, the only sure way to “Tiger-proof” a hole is to shorten it. I think the concern at Augusta National has been to preserve “shot values.” Even back in the late nineties, long-hitting golf-shop assistants at the club were driving over the fairway bunkers on the fifth hole and hitting wedges into the green. Now the bunkers are a threat again, and players who avoid them are hitting long or longish irons into what has always been a difficult green. Length has always been, and will always be, a huge advantage in golf. It was for Snead, it was for Nicklaus, it was/is for Tiger.

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