Monday, March 30, 2009

Masters Profile: 16th Hole - Redbud

Par: 3
Distance: 170 yards
HDCP on Scorecard: 18
2008 Tournament Stroke Avg.: 3.126
2008 Tournament difficulty: 10th overall

In 1947, a pond was constructed in front of the tee box and the green was moved to the right, making this harder than it's back-nine counterpart, Golden Bell (12th Hole). The hole has seen 11 aces during the Masters tournament, including a hole-in-one by Ian Poulter in 2008. Shot placement has been the key at Redbud, determined mainly by flagstick location. A front-right hole position leaves very little landing area and can force bogey should the ball not hold the green. A left-side pin position is easier, when a player can aim for the slope and use it to guide the ball towards the hole.

The gusty winds at Redbud will dictate club selection, as Bobby Jones (founder of Augusta National & the Masters tournament) claimed in a 1959 Sports Illustrated article, "The tee shot to this hole will be played by the tournament players with a number 2-, 3- or 4-iron, depending upon the wind."

The 16th has also been regarded as somewhat of a 'catalyst' hole come tournament time. In 1975, Jack Nicklaus holed out a 40-foot putt and overtook Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf by one stroke (which ended up being the difference) on the leaderboard en route to his 5th green jacket and 15th Major championship overall. And who could forget Tiger Woods' chip-in from off the green in 2005, as the 'swoosh' on the Nike golf ball slowly rolled over and into the cup as he went on to capture his 4th Masters overall.

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