Hit and hope at Augusta


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Best part of Masters week is seeing the look on the newcomers’ faces after they have seen Augusta National’s 12th for the first time. Or the ninth, or 13th. The reactions are almost always the same.

“Awesome,” Jason Day smiled under the club’s venerable oak tree Monday afternoon.

Day, playing his first Masters, was particularly taken by the intricacies of the par-3 12th hole. The distance to clear the bunker, Day’s caddie Col Swatton pointed out, is 150 yards, five more yards deeper than a potential front-left hole location.

“Which means if you miss at all you’re in the bunker or creek,” said Swatton, pointing out Day’s second attempt, a 9-iron, caught a gust of wind and trickled into the water hazard.

“Twelve really surprised me because if the wind is swirling you’ve just got to hope for the best,” Day said.