THE NA­TIONAL’S NEXT MOVE?

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best - – Ge­off Shack­elford

Af­ter Tiger Woods shat­tered the Masters scor­ing mark in 1997, Au­gusta Na­tional re­sponded with ma­jor course changes in 2002 and again in 2006. Will the club act again af­ter Jor­dan Spi­eth broke the 36- and 54-hole records and tied Woods’ 72-hole num­ber? Not likely, although it might be hard to re­sist. Even with fair­ways in­ten­tion­ally mown to­wards tees to slow down drives, play­ers were reg­u­larly us­ing irons into the back-nine par 5s.

As balls un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally stayed up on the fuzzier lake banks, it was lit­tle won­der the record for most ea­gles (37) fell so eas­ily (47). And this year’s 97 contestants missed break­ing the all-time birdie mark by just six. So what should be the re­sponse? Rather than make the course play still longer with grain to slow down fair­ways, the club should chalk this up to ex­treme turf health and soft­ness. Mostly though, the Lords of Au­gusta should con­cede this week to Spi­eth’s bril­liance.

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