Excitement engulfs Masters
Friday, November 13th, 2020
With long drivers like Bryson DeChambeau threatening to overpower Augusta National, club chairman Fred Ridley vowed Wednesday that the Masters course won’t be made irrelevant without a fight.
“I think we’re at a crossroads as relates to these issues,” the Augusta National supremo said on the eve of the 84th Masters, adding, “We’re coming close to a call for action.”
Augusta National has lengthened in the past to its current 7,475 yards to combat technology advances that have boosted driving distances, but DeChambeau has taken the challenge to a new level with his US Open victory.
World number six DeChambeau, who bulked up during the three-month PGA Covid-19 shutdown, humbled Winged Foot to capture his first major title, driving the ball for maximum distance and position despite dense rough so he could use wedges and shorter irons into greens.
“What Bryson has done has been absolutely incredible,” five-time Masters champion and 15-time major winner Tiger Woods said.
“We’ve all been amazed at what he’s been able to do in such a short span of time.”
After proving his strategy could win a major, he came to Augusta National experimenting with a maximum-allowed 48-inch driver to add more length off the tee and said the course played as a par-67 to him instead of a par-72.
“Once he starts messing with that longer driver and has a little bit more free time, as crazy as it is, he might be able to hit it further,” warned third-ranked Justin Thomas.
“It’s a very gettable course for him. It’s a substantially easier course for him than it is for everybody else.”
Ridley and other golf leaders are pondering all sorts of ways to handle the aerial bombardment.
“As it relates to our golf course, we have options,” Ridley said. “We will take the necessary action to make sure we stay relevant.” -AFP