April 11, 2024

On Thursday, Jon Rahm’s tee shot found the bunker at the second, and the course managers who made the adjustment must have been ecstatic.


The Augusta National makes changes each year to fix different issues or spots that players could be abusing. Hole 2’s tee box has been moved 10 yards to the left of the player this year.


As a result, there is significantly more action than ever for the fairway bunker on the right. And that’s precisely where Rahm ended up. With a moan, the Spaniard hammered his drive and appeared visibly disturbed as he saw his shot sink into the sand.


It’s what Will Zalatoris hinted at. The PGA Tour player expressed concern that only a select few players would be able to carry the bunker at the Masters, and Rahm—who is by no means a diminutive hitter—proved him correct.


“I know it’s ten yards back, but thought it was going to be more left,” the American remarked. Actually, I believe it’s more about the fact that, aside from four or five soldiers in the field, carrying the bunker is entirely out of the question. Ten percent of the males could have done it in the past. Perhaps a little bit more now.


“I believe that hitting that fairway with the driver is incredibly important now as you’ll have an iron in. You simply won’t make it to the top of the hill if you are returning there.”


It’s interesting to note that Rahm’s compatriot Sergio Garcia used a 3-wood to lay up short on the par-5 during one of their practice sessions. All that was stated when the Masters announced this year’s modification was, “Masters tees moved back 10 yards and to the golfer’s left.”


The Masters’ second hole

The Masters’ second hole.

Rahm appeared to be unaffected by his defeat. After parring the first hole, the 29-year-old went on to make birdies on holes three, seven, and eight. Nevertheless, he concluded his front nine at a very strong 2-under thanks to a bogey at Hole 4.


Additionally, Rory McIlroy talked about the modifications made on Hole 2, albeit he thinks they are hardly evident. “I thought it was going to be a different visual than it used to be,” he stated. “I assumed that the tee box would guide you in the direction of the right bunker and require you to hit more of a draw around the bend whenever someone mentioned they relocated it back and to the left. It doesn’t look all that different, so if you didn’t know, you would assume you were on the same tee box.


“I had assumed that you would have to hit a draw shot around the corner, but you can still hit a straight away shot and keep it left of the trap. You can still see left of the bunker. The adjustment isn’t as significant as I had anticipated.”

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