The Masters is the third, and final, golf major tournament of the year, after the cancellation of the British Open, due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Unlike the other majors, the Masters always takes place at the same course; the iconic Augusta National, in Georgia.
However, whilst the course is familiar for the professionals, it’s going to be a Masters like no other, as spectators are now not allowed to grace the turf of the prestigious course or cheer on their favourite golfers.
The major will tee-off on November 12th, and the big driving Bryson DeChambeau, who won his first major at New York’s Winged Foot in the recent US Open, is amongst the early favourites with Betdaq at 9/1, whilst Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who hasn’t won a major in six years, is the market leader at 8/1.
If these two want to be in contention to win the sought-after green jacket, then they will need to master the extremely difficult Amen Corner – one of the most sacred stretch of holes in the entire sport of golf! Made up of the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes, even the best of pros can crumble under the already immense pressure on the final day of the tournament – McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, who have both had meltdowns at the course in the past, would not hesitate to back up our point!
Whilst it may be hated by the pros, the corner is certainly loved by the fans! The tension and suspense that builds as the final day leader tees-up on the 11th hole and makes his way around ‘Amen Corner’ is what makes the major.
It was actually Sports Illustrated writer Herbert Warren Wind who named ‘Amen Corner’ back in 1958.
“At the farthest reach of the Augusta National course—down in the Amen Corner where Rae’s Creek intersects the 13th fairway near the tee, then parallels the front edge of the green on the short 12th and finally swirls alongside the 11th green.” He wrote in the popular sports magazine.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the three holes – starting with the 11th. Known as White Dogwood, the lengthy 505-yard par four, doesn’t ease you gently into Amen Corner, in fact, many consider it the toughest hole of them all.
The pro will need to fade their drive to even reach the fairway, whilst their shot into the green will be made even harder by the pond, which guards the left-hand side. The pond makes it an extremely difficult hole to birdie, as the pro won’t want to risk losing their ball to the water hazard, so will opt for a shot down the right instead, and possibly be left needing to get up and down for par.
The 12th hole – named Golden Bell – may be the shortest hole on the course at 155-yards, but the par three is ranked the fourth toughest at Augusta National. The strong winds make an already tricky tee shot even tougher, whilst Raes Creek protects the front of the narrow green, which is also secured by an array of three difficult bunkers. On the final day of the tournament, the pin is usually placed on the right of the green, making it a difficult approach for the pros.
The 13th hole, a 510-yard dog-legged – named Azalea – is a hole which pays for taking risks. The repositioning of the tee-shot, back in 2002, has also added to the hole’s difficulty. A draw is required from the drive to beat the dogleg, but if the drive is perfect then the green is hittable in two. However, of course it’s never that straight forward. If the pros fall short of the green, they risk being in the creek, whilst if they over hit, they could end up in one of the three massive bunkers, which are luring at the back of the green.
One thing’s for sure, we cant wait to see the drama unfold at Amen Corner!