TUESDAY  | APRIL 9, 2019
by Jeff Babineau

The magic number at Augusta National Golf Club this week is five. As in, Tiger Woods is hunting for his fifth green jacket, his first since 2005. Rory McIlroy is gunning for his fifth major championship, which would secure a career Grand Slam. That club currently holds – you guessed it – five golfers.

The talk of the golf course here during practice rounds is Augusta National’s revamped, lengthened fifth hole, a par 4 that now stretches out to 495 yards – up 40 from the norm – with players teeing it up from what used to be the black pavement of now-relocated Berckmans Road. Who knows? In 50 years, we may be watching Cameron Champ III tee off on the 755-yard fifth hole from a platform atop the nearby city water tower.


by Gary Van Sickle

Congratulations to Justin Rose for regaining golf’s No. 1 world ranking. I guess he did a better job of not playing over the weekend than Dustin Johnson, who had been No. 1 and also did not compete. Rose just plain out-idled him.

We can discuss the Official World Golf Ranking’s inherent flaws another time (but let’s not and say we did). It’s just politics; it’s just business.

Rose is not going to be The Big Buzz of this week’s Masters Tournament. There are two candidates for that job.


by John Fischer

One of the most exciting holes at the Masters Tournament, which starts Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club, is the par-3 16th. At 190 yards from the tournament tees, the hole plays over a pond, with bunkers right of the green and water on the left. The hole requires an exacting shot and comes at a pivotal point in the round. A stroke lost at No. 16 is not easily made up on either of the two finishing holes.

But this devilish hole was not part of Augusta National’s original design in 1933. Course architect Alister MacKenzie laid out an entirely different hole, which was replaced in 1947.


‘Biggest day in the history of women’s golf’
With apologies to the LPGA and USGA, the Augusta National Women's Amateur’s final round Saturday was the biggest day in the history of women’s golf (“Women make big impression at Augusta,” April 8).

Men everywhere were standing and cheering. It was presented so well, and the players certainly did their part.



Position in the Rolex Rankings for Jin Young Ko, who won the LPGA's ANA Inspiration on Sunday for her first major championship. Ko, 23, of South Korea, improved four positions in the ranking, bumping countrywoman Sung Hyun Park from the top spot after a five-week reign.




Hawk & Rude: Mulling the 2019 Masters
McIlroy? Woods? Spieth? Co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude tell you everything you need to know (with their usual flair) on the eve of the year’s first men’s major championship.


The Outer Banks of North Carolina ranked as the No. 2 golf getaway in the state, according to the North Carolina Golf Panel. Three courses on the Outer Banks were ranked among the Top 50 You Can Play in North Carolina: No. 20 Currituck Club, No. 25 Kilmarlic Golf Club and No. 36 Nags Head Golf Links.


Club Champion opened a new retail store in Cincinnati, the company announced. The 3,000-square-foot store, at 7714 Montgomery Road, will offer golf lessons and club-fitting services.


The arrival of Masters week signals to Hilton Head Island, S.C., that the RBC Heritage is only a week away. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers 54 holes of golf and the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy to welcome visitors to the island.


The Fountaingrove Club in Santa Rosa, Calif., recently introduced executive chef Patrick Tafoya to diners at the club’s recently opened restaurant, The Sunset Grill. Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday at the grill.


April 11-14
PGA Tour: Masters Tournament

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