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Handicappers Beware: ANGC Now Listed As Muddy

The 13th green Tuesday (click to enlarge)The golf course is indeed soft, slow and the turf dense, with more rain coming Tuesday night and more forecast for later in the week. It's going to lead to conditions which erode the local knowledge edge veterans rightfully believe they had, opening the door to inexperience and youthful aggression. Rory has to be licking his chops.

Tiger Woods, opening his media conference.

TIGER WOODS:  The golf course is a little bit wet out there.  Obviously we got some pretty good rains here.  Today I played nine holes with Freddie and Sean, and seven drives and had seven mud balls.  So hopefully it will dry out, but I think the forecast is for more rain.  But the greens are absolutely perfect.  They are quick, there's no doubt, but they are pretty soft and pretty receptive.

Phil Mickelson's comments were shocking in their brutal honesty but certainly accurate. Having sat in on this session, I didn't feel that Phil was deflated, but he also did not dance around the fact that many more players are in the equation due to the soft conditions, a product of a warm spring and recent rains.

It seems that some of the planning I have made may go by the wayside.  As soft as the golf course is, you can fire at a lot of the pins.  The greens are soft.  I don't want to say they are slow, but it's just not the same Augusta.  It's wet around the greens, and there's no fear of the course.  You've got to attack it this week.

Unless something changes, and I know they have SubAir and hopefully they will be able to use it, but unless they change it, it's going to be a birdie‑fest.

Q.  Since you put in so much time preparing, is it disappointing not to see the conditions?

PHIL MICKELSON:  When the subtleties don't come out, the experience of playing here in the past is not as important, because you don't have to fear the greens and you don't have to know where the ball will end up and you don't have to fear certain shots because you can get up‑and‑down from the edges.  Those shots are not as hard.

Therefore, I think there's a very good chance that a young player, inexperienced, fearless player that attacks this golf course can win if you don't need to show it the proper respect.

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Reader Comments (17)

That picture of the 13th green is luscious!
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterExilgolfer
What's german for 'buffer off?
Phil Mickelson and subtleties; 2 words rarely seen in the same sentence. Still, rain might mean Phil hitting a fairway this week.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered Commentergreenfee
@ greenfee, LOL he's won three Masters already so he must know something you don't.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
With the rain and soft conditions, I would expect pin placements will be brutal.
Has ANGC been sand capped? Seems like it would really enhance the course's ability to move water. Money cant be an issue.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterrose
Also does Augusta do lift clean and place? If not with the way the fairways are mowed, there will be a lot of mudballs. But if the greens are soft these guys are to good, they might eat the place alive.

Would say best news for Rory, Day, Fowler, Aggressive younger players
04.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Afternoon rounds on the Thursday and a.m. on Friday - 5.5 hours minimum...
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim in Hoylake
No lift, clean and place at Augusta or any of the majors - ever.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ierubino
There was lift clean and replace at Bethpage on the 18th fairway.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJay
@rose: I don't have firsthand knowledge, but I have walked the course a few times...I would imagine the sub-surface drainage is almost optimal. Plus, the course is hilly...lots of ways to move water both above and below.

As long as the greens are Sub-Aired enough to prevent them from resembling landing pads versus true putting surfaces...then it's OK by me. Maybe one day they'll build a Truman Show type bubble over the entire property thus making weather a moot point.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Sand capping!?!?

You have got to be frigging kidding me!
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuddha
Robert Karlsson by three to win then.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Maybe you're correct, but more likely what you saw on the 18th at Bethpage in 2009 was the players taking relief from casual water.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ierubino
Surprisingly, Billy Payne said this morning there is a possibility Augusta National may change it's mind on lift, clean and place this week. Here's an exchange from his press conference this morning:

Q. There was a lot of mud on the ball yesterday and again today in some of the practice rounds, would you consider, I know you wouldn't like to, but lift, clean and place?
FRED RIDLEY: We would all‑‑
CHAIRMAN PAYNE: You'd better let me answer that one.
FRED RIDLEY: Excuse me? (Laughter).
CHAIRMAN PAYNE: I'm going to start with that one, and you can correct me.
We surely would not want to have to do that. That would be a decision very difficult to make. However, we are also bright enough to know that weather conditions can have an impact on that, and possibly cause us to change our minds on that issue.
Were you going to say that (looking at Mr. Ridley).
FRED RIDLEY: I couldn't have set it better, Mr.Chairman.
CHAIRMAN PAYNE: Thank you. (Laughter).
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ierubino
There was no lift, clean at cheat at a major. EVER.

And a player can reduce his mudballs but cuts and their shot selection. Sergio was whining at Bethpage about mudballs (and I like Sergion), but Duval hit a cut every shot, took less yardage but almost no mudballs. Toughen up guys.
04.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStreaky Putter
@PressAgent I don't criticise his record around Augusta it's just that Phil's game is not particularly "subtle" is it? Big heave off the tee, recovery heave, chip & putt. As borne out with a lost ball on #10 yesterday.
I actually think his iron play is good because with those he doesn't try to hit it so hard. If only he would do it with the driver more.
04.6.2012 | Unregistered Commentergreenfee

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