Long ball still rules at Augusta


AUGUSTA, Ga. – As a general rule, more so than an exact science, length is king at Augusta National, whether the bombers believe it or not.

“No, you don’t have to be a big hitter to win here,” three-time champion Phil Mickelson said. “Anybody, whether you are long or short, if you’re on your short game, you have a good chance.”

Zach Johnson, who won his green jacket in 2007 with a wedge, not a driver, is the example most often cited to support Augusta National’s competitive diversity, but that seems to be the exception, not the rule.

Other than Johnson, Trevor Immelman (2008) and Mike Weir (2003), no champion has ranked outside the top 30 in driving distance on the PGA Tour the same year they won in the last decade.

A hot putter helps, but the long ball still rules at Augusta National.