THE NATIONAL’S NEXT MOVE?
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.