AUGUSTA, Ga. – A golf course taking center stage during a major championship is nothing new (see Bay, Chambers, 2015 U.S. Open), but rarely is Augusta National the star attraction during the Masters.
That changed on Friday, when winds whipped to 25 mph and players found themselves hoping to catch the right gust at the right time.
• Amen Corner, the iconic stretch that includes Nos. 11, 12 and 13, seemed to be the toughest stretch on Friday. The par-4 11th hole was the most difficult hole for the second consecutive day with a 4.573 scoring average that included just three birdies, including amateur Bryson DeChambeau’s late-afternoon bomb.
• The par-3 12th, the fourth-toughest hole in Round 1, was a little more user-friendly with a 3.169 average, while the par-5 13th was markedly harder on Friday (4.899) as it played into a steady wind.
• The first hole also proved to be a difficult test with Friday’s winds, ranking third with a 4.393 stroke average and more double bogeys (seven) than birdies (five).
• The closing stretch was also particularly challenging, with Nos. 16, 17 and 18 ranking as the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-toughest on Day 2, respectively.
• The par 5s, which are so crucial to success at Augusta National, continued to challenge players more than in past years. On Friday, there were 119th birdies and two eagles on the par 5s. During last year’s second round at the Masters there were 160 birdies and nine eagles on the par 5s.
• After giving players a break on Thursday with a shorter tee at the par-3 fourth hole, officials moved back to the tournament tee box on Friday. The result was a scoring average (3.528) that was considerably higher than on Day 1 (3.09).