AUSTIN, Texas – In golf, when the calendar turns to spring the conversation almost always turns to the Masters and what to expect at the year’s first major.
This year’s run up to the Masters is noteworthy following a dramatic change to the fifth hole, which was lengthened by 40 yards following last year’s tournament.
Jordan Spieth is one of the few players who have gotten a look at the redesigned hole during his annual trip to Augusta National in December.
“It’s different,” Spieth said on Tuesday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. “It kind of forces driver in your hand more than 3-wood. So it makes it a little bit tougher. And then they have a new pin position [middle left] that can be pretty diabolical, and I think they’ve softened the green a little bit.”
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Spieth said when he played in December the course was soft and playing long. He had 5-iron in for his approach shot compared to an 8- or 7-iron during previous editions of the tournament, and the added length creates a different angle to the green.
“I think it’s a tougher tee ball,” he said. “You make four [pars] there you beat the field by two strokes.”
No. 5 played as the fifth toughest hole last year during the Masters with a 4.26 stroke average.