Dufner soaks in advice from Gentle Ben


AUGUSTA, Ga. ' Every year players are greeted with an assortment of subtle changes at Augusta National, and this years edition has delivered a few twists.

Officials have tinkered with the greens at the par-5 eighth and par-3 16th holes since last years tournament, but to hear most players and caddies, the changes will have little impact on play.

It seems like there is a little more room on 16 in the front right, and its a little flatter, said Jason Dufner, who began his Masters preparations last Wednesday. At No. 8, it looks like they widened the back area of the green, and that green feels a little firmer.

Dufner was joined on the first tee Monday afternoon by two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, and the two played nine holes, a learning boost for Dufner who is making his second start at Augusta National.

Its neat to be around someone like that, said Dufner, who will have played 81 holes before teeing off for the first round on Thursday. He had his putter he used to win in 1984. I dont have anything from 1984.