The 12th hole at Augusta National has been a major issue for many golfers over the years, but that was especially true during the final round of the Masters on Sunday.
In the span of about 15 minutes, four players who were at or near the top of the leaderboard hit almost identical tee shots at the 12th. They all rolled down the bank in front of the green and into the water. Brooks Koepka and Ian Poulter did it first, and both were within striking distance of the lead at the time. Leader Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau — both playing in the final grouping with Tiger Woods — then did the same thing immediately after.
Molinari before water (-165)
Molinari after water (+175)
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 14, 2019
Molinari went into the 12th hole with a two-shot lead over Woods and three-shot lead over Finau. He ended up with a double-bogey, and Tiger made par to tie for the lead at 11-under.
If you want to know the type of havoc the 12th at Augusta can wreak, Jordan Spieth can tell you all about it. The trouble it gave golfers on Sunday left the green jacket completely up for grabs.
- 2019 Masters
Nick Faldo won the Masters three times during his incredible golf career, but the first green jacket the Englishman captured is clearly just as special to him today as it was 30 years ago.
During the final round of the Masters on Sunday, CBS paid tribute to Faldo with some highlights from his win at Augusta National in 1989. Faldo won the tournament in a playoff against Scott Hope after entering Sunday five shots back of the lead. When his broadcast partner Jim Nantz asked him about some of the emotions he experiences when he returns to Augusta every year, Faldo was unable to fight back tears.
Sir Nick Faldo is crying before 10 am on Sunday! pic.twitter.com/GGAQmhxnEO
— Sports It’s What We Do (@SportsWhatWeDo) April 14, 2019
Faldo’s win in 1989 was one of the most impressive in Masters history, as he birdied four of the last five holes to force the playoff with Hope. Many players have collapsed on the back nine at Augusta throughout the years, but Faldo is a six-time major champion for a reason.
Faldo isn’t the first golfer we have seen cry over a Masters memory, and he won’t be the last. That level of intensity is what makes the event so special every year.
Bryson DeChambeau is one of the best golfers in the world, but he entered the final round of the Masters on Sunday having never experienced a hole-in-one. That changed before the day was over.
DeChambeau gave the fans at Augusta National their first big highlight of the day with a hole-in-one on the 16th.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 14, 2019
As Jim Nantz mentioned on the CBS broadcast, it was the first ever hole-in-one of the 25-year-old’s life. To make the story even more remarkable, DeChambeau missed a hole-in-one on the same hole by about an inch earlier in the tournament. While he’s not going to win a green jacket this year, DeChambeau is leaving Augusta with one of the highlights of his golf career.
The Masters moved up its schedule for Sunday’s final round due to the possibility of severe weather later in the day, and Tiger Woods has given us an idea of just how much of an impact that will have on the golfers.
Tee times will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees, with the leaders teeing off at 9:20 a.m.
Since the tee times are beginning so early, Tiger said Saturday that he will be waking up around 3:45 a.m. to get his routine started.
How will Tiger prepare for his early tee time Sunday?
"I'll wake up around 4 a.m., maybe 3:45 a.m… Start the process of getting this body ready and get after it."
Anyone else going to wake up at 3:45 with Tiger tomorrow?
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) April 13, 2019
Tiger shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday and will enter the final round as part of the last threesome, joining Tony Finau (also -11 for the tournament) and Francesco Molinari (-13). For comparison, Molinari said he would probably wake up in the 6:00 a.m. hour.
This is a great spot for Tiger to be in, especially after Friday’s scare.
- Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods came up hobbling after hitting a shot at the Masters on Friday because he was tripped by an overeager security worker.
Woods was hitting his second shot on the par 4 14th hole from off the fairway. He lined up his shot through trees and ended up on the green with a great shot. Unfortunately, Tiger came up limping and was shown grimacing in pain.
A video replay showed that Woods was clipped by a security worker who slipped while racing over to try and keep the crowd back and away from Woods.
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmesTV) April 12, 2019
The worker was not trying to go Grayson Allen on Woods but was rather just trying to do his job well. Instead, he nearly took out the golfer.
Tiger ended up sinking a putt for birdie on the hole and did not seem bothered by the scare.
- Tiger Woods
Zach Johnson had a moment at the Masters on Friday that every casual golfer can relate to, but fortunately it did not cost him anything.
As he was getting ready to hit his tee shot at the 13th, Johnson accidentally hit his ball while taking a practice swing. It bounced off the tee box marker and a few feet in front of him, at which point the 2007 Masters champion turned to his playing partners and asked, “What happens there?” Be aware that there is a curse word in the video:
Wow! Zach Johnson is all of us… pic.twitter.com/BvVWA1wBvU
— Fantasy Golf Podcast (@fantasygolfpod) April 12, 2019
As Johnson’s group informed him, there was no penalty for the bizarre gaffe because it clearly happened while he was taking a practice swing.
The most impressive part of the sequence is that Johnson then stepped up and bombed a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway. A less experienced golfer may have been rattled after something like that happened, but Johnson seemed unfazed.
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Brooks Koepka answered critics of his recent weight loss with a brilliant first round at the Masters on Thursday.
Koepka shot a six-under 66 to tie for the lead with Bryson DeChambeau after the first day of play. The stellar start was likely a relief for Koepka, who has faced criticism for losing so much weight.
Koepka won his second consecutive US Open last year and also won the PGA Championship. Then he went out and dropped around 20 pounds off his muscular frame, with some rumors suggesting it was due to a desire to look better for an ESPN The Magazine “Body Issue” photoshoot.
Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee ripped Koepka for the weight loss.
“For him to change his body for vanity reasons, for a vanity shoot, is the most reckless self-sabotage that I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime,” Chamblee said.
The weight loss had some effects as Koepka has been shorter off the tee since dropping the weight in November. He also acknowledged this week that he may have gone too far with his weight loss efforts. He cut down to 1,800 calories per day, which sapped him of energy.
“But I wanted to do it and try to lose some weight, and maybe went about it a little too aggressively for just a long period of time and the intensity of what I was doing,” Koepka said.
Whatever the reason for the weight loss, Koepka seems to have things back on track at Augusta National. The 28-year-old is seeking his first green jacket and fourth major win.