AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta National requires more precision than arguably any course in the world.
The Masters field will encounter an even greater challenge Thursday and Friday, with wind gusts expected to exceed 30 mph.
The first three rounds of last year’s Masters were also affected by strong winds. As a result, only four players were under par heading into the final round.
“I like the fact that the weather is coming in, because that will make the misses much bigger for everybody, and if you continue to miss in the wrong spot and it gets worse, you’re going to make a lot of bogeys, doubles or worse,” Phil Mickelson said. “That’s something I’m going to try to use my knowledge and skill to try to avoid.”
Amen Corner could be particularly tricky, with the winds swirling through the pines, but Jordan Spieth, who led after three rounds last year, said the biggest change is that the weather will place a premium on lag putting.
“Big time,” he said. “You don’t want to have 5-footers from above the hole when the wind is blowing. They are already as challenging as anywhere here, and they become a less than 50-50 chance from 5 feet with the wind blowing. Because of the speed of the greens and the amount of slope there is, the wind affects the ball that much more.”