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Photos suggest big changes could be coming to Augusta’s iconic 13th hole

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New images of the famous 13th hole at Augusta National have been released from Eureka Earth, and it appears that the par-5 may finally be lengthened.

The iconic hole is a dogleg left that marks the end of Amen Corner at Augusta National. The bigger hitters in golf like Bryson DeChambeau have started to cut the corner on the left and leave themselves with a short iron into the green.

 

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This past season, the par-4 11th was lengthened to 520 yards, making it longer than the par-5 13th. It seems reasonable that distance would be added to the 13th as well.

“The fact that players are hitting middle to short irons into that hole is not really how it was designed,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said at this year’s tournament.

 

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The 13th, named “Azalea” measures 510 yards and the new “tee” looks like it could be some 30 yards back. If the work is indeed a new teeing area, it would mean the hole measures somewhere between 530-550 yards. Crucially, it would ensure that players can’t cut the corner of the hole and therefore would see Azalea go back to being played as it was designed to be played.

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  1. Thomas Woodward

    Jun 22, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    After this at Augusta, the ONLY choice they have is to make their fields play with a dialed back ball, AND when THAT happens, a dialed back ball will be a STANDARD for the men’s professional game….

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19th Hole

‘I don’t think that makes any sense’ – Patrick Cantlay calls out golf course architects

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In the past seven years, the BMW Championship has been played at seven different golf courses.

This year’s BMW Championship will be hosted by Wilmington Country Club in Delaware, which is a course that’s never been utilized in a professional event prior to this week.

Despite the novelty of the course, defending champion Patrick Cantlay sees plenty of similarities between Wilmington Country and the host of last year’s event, Caves Valley.

“I don’t think there’s too much strategy to this golf course. I think it’s pretty right in front of you and similar to last year,” Cantlay said ahead of his title defense. “The venues between last year and this year are actually really similar, I think, in style of golf.”

The course is relatively long, measuring in at 7,534 yards as a Par 71. Cantlay was critical of the way golf architects have used adding length as the way to attempt to make courses more difficult.

“I think it’s really long. I think it’s also strange to me that we play so many golf courses that all they do is add length to the golf courses. It’s so surprising to me that the golf courses that none of the guys who hit it far, they don’t go to Hilton Head, they don’t go to Colonial, they don’t go to the short, small, dogleggy tree-lined golf courses,” Cantlay explained.

“The way we combat the distance, the way these architects seem to think they want to combat distance is by taking all the trees out and playing it 7,600 yards and put the tees way back and all the par-5s are at 600 yards. I don’t think that makes any sense.

“I’m surprised every time I come to a golf course where they say it’s recently been redone and then there’s no real shaping of golf shots. It’s just how far can you hit it and grab your driver on every hole and hit it as high and hit it as far as you possibly can. If you can hit it 315 yards, you’ve taken out all the bunkers, and you’re maybe in the rough, but it’s way better in the rough with a 9- or 8-iron than it is maybe in the fairway with a 5-iron if you were to lay up to the fat part of the fairway before the bunkers.”

“I’m so surprised that they haven’t figured it out, and it just seems like we’re getting more and more of the same bomb-it-as-far-as-you-can golf courses week after week.”

Last year’s BMW Championship played extremely easy, with Cantlay winning at -27 in a playoff with Bryson DeChambeau. Considering his opinion that Wilmington will play similarly to Caves Valley, we are likely in store for another shootout this week.

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2022 BMW Championship Betting Tips: Back Rory for glory in Delaware

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The PGA TOUR has reached the penultimate event of the 2022 season as we head to Wilmington, Delaware to play the BMW Championship.

The top 70 players left standing in the race for the FedEx Cup will tee it up this week looking to punch their ticket to East Lake.

This is the first time the BMW Championship will be played at Wilmington Country Club and the event has had a different host in each of the past six years.

Wilmington Country Club is a par 71 measuring 7,534 yards and features Bentgrass greens. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones and renovated by Keith Foster in 2008.

The BMW Championship will be a no-cut event with the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings moving on to next week.

BMW Championship Outright Bets

Rory McIlroy (+1000)

I am all in on Rory McIlroy this week. It’s rare for me to ignore most of the board and put all of my chips on the favorite, but I believe the BMW Championship is one of the few events on TOUR where it’s the most logical strategy.

The FedEx Cup playoffs typically yield elite winners, and I don’t anticipate that this week will be any different. Specifically, the last three winners of the BMW Championship have been Patrick Cantlay who defeated Bryson DeChambeau in a playoff, Jon Rahm who defeated Dustin Johnson in a playoff, and Justin Thomas. All five of the players who’ve either won or had a chance to win in the last three editions of the event have been big name stars. There are plenty of weeks during the course of the season to chase value, but this isn’t one of those weeks.

Rory McIlroy missed the cut at last week’s FedEx Cup St. Jude Championship. For many players on TOUR, that could be a concern. Not for Rory. Three of McIroy’s past eight victories on TOUR have come after a missed cut in his previous start. He won the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitation after missing the cut at the Valspar Championship, the 2019 Canadian Open after missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament, and the 2021 Wells Fargo after missing the cut at The Masters. In addition to his wins after missed cuts, the 21-time TOUR winner has three top-six finishes after a missed cut as well. It may not seem like that many, but for a player who’s only missed ten cuts since the start of the 2018 season it’s significant sample size.

While this is a new course on TOUR, the first glance course fit for McIlroy at Wilmington Country Club seems ideal. Rory has been excellent on Robert Trent Jones designs and typically plays well on tree-lined classical layouts. He’s also been one of the best putters on Bentgrass this season and ranks 3rd in the field in his past 24 rounds putting on the surface.

In addition to the incredible putting of late, McIlroy also ranks 5th in the field in his past 24 rounds in Strokes Gained: Approach. He’s gained strokes on the field in nine consecutive events and that should prove to be a major advantage this week with the greens at Wilmington Country Club being absolutely massive.

With six of the past seven BMW Championships having a winning score of -20 or better, I believe this week will be another low scoring affair. The 33-year-old ranks first in the field in Birdie or Better and should be able to keep up with the scoring pace if the event turns into a shootout.

It’s been a month since Rory’s heartbreak at St. Andrews, and I believe this is the week he bounces back and adds to his all-time lead in FedEx Cup career earnings.

 

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Controversial ESPN host says he’s ‘disgusted’ by Tiger Woods in unpopular rant

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On Tuesday, a closed meeting amongst several of the golf hierarchy, all assembled for a PGA Tour player meeting including none other than Tiger Woods.

ESPN’s divisive host Stephen A. Smith isn’t happy about it, though.

On Tuesday’s edition of First Take, the outspoken presenter made it clear that, in his opinion, it is disgusting that Tiger Woods is putting his considerable might behind the PGA Tour in the ‘battle’ against LIV.

Smith ranted:

“I’m disgusted by it. Let me explain why. The United States government, their number two trade partner, from what I’ve read, is Saudi Arabia. a host of U.S. corporations, and I apologize, I just googled it, I just looked it up just now. If I’m wrong about anybody, please forgive me, General Electric, AT&T, Bank of America, Halliburton Company, Pfizer International. A whole bunch of people. If I’m wrong, I apologize, it was online. Talk about these major corporations doing business. I don’t know. I just said it was online, so I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say U.S. corporations doing big business with Saudi Arabia and suddenly individuals are looking to get paid and everybody is in an uproar?”

Hinting at anti-competition regulations, the presenter continued:

“I thought this was America. I thought we were a capitalistic society. I thought competition breeds our greatness. That’s what I thought. Tiger Woods is sitting there acting like the PGA should be the only game in town. When do we say that? Now granted, if you’re the only game in town, you’re the only game in town. We see it in USFL and we see Arena Football but we know it’s the NFL and then everybody else. You can have the G League and college basketball, but we know it’s the NBA and everybody else.

“You got Major League Baseball, we understand that you can have those things, but the chances of you usurping them and eclipsing them are slim to none. They are established brands in the United States of America that garner the support of millions and as a result that’s what we gonna flow with. I’m good with that. That’s America. You establish your level of dominance to the point that it don’t matter what some competition is going to do, cool. This is different.”

Smith then puts the 15-time major winner in the spotlight:

“You got Tiger Woods supporting, feeling like players betrayed the PGA. What do you owe the PGA? Show the PGA, you work, you produce, you go out there and you earn your money,” he said. “They don’t pay everybody. Winners get paid. Losers don’t necessarily get paid. I don’t know all the particulars … and I’m not pretending to. I’m addressing principle, meaning American principle.”

“Now I’m a Black man first forever and always and very, very proud of it,” continued Smith. “But I am a proud American citizen and I do believe in the American system when it talks about capitalism, when it talks about meritocracy and handling your business and handling your own and may the best man and woman win. So if you better than LIV, be better!”

Referring to the feelings presented by the families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, Smith said:

“…the intensity you exercise toward golfers who want to compete under the LIV umbrella, we do the same thing to the government and the corporations. If you ain’t doing it for them, don’t do it to the individual players.”

Reaction to the speech, transcribed on mediaite.com has been, naturally, very mixed.

Support for the controversial presenter was limited with many taking an opposite stance.

Indeed, the general feeling was summed up by one respondent on the mediaite.com site:

“There is no explanation that will rationalize away the Saudi’s human rights violations. I don’t measure good and bad based on what American corporations do. They would sell their mother to the taliban if it meant bigger profits. I am happy that Tiger Woods is calling out the LIV golfers and trying to get more backing for the PGA. The LIV golfers have dug their grave and they can lie in it now. The Saudi’s believe in women as 2nd class citizens, and LGBTQ are even lower. They believe in corporal punishment which is vile. I DO have a problem with the idiot Smith fella criticizing anyone for finding fault with Saudi Arabia. I am sick of money talking, corporations deciding what is ethical and NOT prosecuting law breakers because they are politicians or rich.”

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