How Does Augusta's 13th Hole Now Play?
Scottie Scheffler's treat after winning The Players was a trip to Augusta National the day after his win at Sawgrass. And talk quickly turned to what he thought of the newly lengthened 13th hole which has been extended by 35 yards.
"It's definitely harder and a lot longer. I used to hit 3-wood there because I can sling hook a 3-wood. I can't sling hook a driver on purpose. The ball just doesn't spin enough. I can do it on accident, but I can't quite sling it on purpose. I like to fade my driver more off the tee. When it comes to that tee shot and hitting a hard hook with the driver, it's not really a shot that I'll try just because it's not worth the risk for me," the American explained.
"That hole was one where I'd hit the same shot I hit on 10. The 3-wood, it has enough spin where the ball can actually stay in the air. With the driver, when I hook it, the ball doesn't have enough spin to where it can stay in the air and hook that much. It kind of nosedives. Now I'll just hit driver kind of out towards the corner and try and use more of the contouring to get the ball that way. My driver is now going where my 3-wood kind of used to go."
Rory McIlroy was also at Augusta recently, along with Shane Lowry and their dads, and he gave an interesting insight into how 13 might play.
“I think they made the tee shot easier because you don't really have to do anything with the tee shot anymore. Just hit it sort of straight up the chute. The second shot, much more difficult. I used to hit 8-iron from a flat lie into 13 and now I hit a 5-iron from the ball way above my feet. Just makes you think a little bit more about the second shot which I think is good.”
The 11th is another hole that has reportedly had a load of trees taken out down the right-hand side and Scheffler confirmed that we might see more escapes than the usual bunt down the fairway.
“I think what they're trying to do now is still give an opportunity to hit a great shot, because that's a really special hole with the way the green is shaped and you have those two mounds in the front,” he added. “Before, when you hit it up the right, it was kind of an automatic chip-out.
"Now, there's a little bit less luck involved. Now, if you hit it over to the right, you're going to be in the fairway still, but you have three trees in your way and you can hit it over the trees, under the trees and it leaves an opportunity for a great shot.”
As for the emotion of returning to where he broke his major duck, the two-day trip with friends brought the memories all flooding back.
“That was really one of the first times where winning the Masters felt real. Because we got back on property, I'd just come off the win at The Players, so our celebration kind of was just going to play Augusta. That was really one of the first times where it felt real that I had won the Masters.”