The 2019 Masters Tournament tees off today and with it comes some new features to the tournament.
Each year there is always something new or different at Augusta National.
Last year, it was a brand new massive gift shop for patrons.
This year, the change is on the course.
Today is the first round of tournament play in which the pros will navigate a brand new 5th hole, so we asked them their strategy to tackle it.
Hole number five, nicknamed Magnolia, is a long par four.
And this year, it’s even longer.
1992 Masters Champions Freddie Couples says he’s hitting further than last year and he likes five.
“Most beautiful hole on the course, right away. It’s very long. They’re all long, but it’s spectacular.” said Couples.
Kevin Kisner’s strategy? Avoid at all costs.
“I actually played it in november and i have no interest in playing that hole so uh. I’m going to try to play it as little as possible until I have to.” said Kisner.
For the 2019 Masters, the 5th tee was pushed back 40 yards, which makes the hole 495 yards total.
Dustin Johnson can drive one of the longest balls on tour, so he’s not over thinking it.
“No different strategy, just try and hit it in the fairway and get it on the green somehow.” said the 2019 Masters Qualifier.
2017 Masters Champion Sergio Garcia’s played it a few times this week.
“It’s a tricky hole. It wasn’t an easy hole before now and now it’s even tougher. Couple new pin positions on the top left. It’s going to be interesting to see how the hole plays throughout the week.” said Garcia.
The golfers are impacted the most, but the change affects patrons as well.
They now have a new place to walk and more places to watch.
Behind the fourth green is a new viewpoint.
Greg McNeil says he likes the new spot behind the 5th tee.
“I was here in 2000. I haven’t been here in 19 years. One of the best views on the course is back here right now.” said McNeil. “I stood all the way back and looked passed the tee and straight down and it’s just absolutely beautiful.”
And he’s thankful for the extra places to move around the course.
“It’s been 19 years and a lot more people though. It was a little quainter in the old days.” said McNeil.
And these patrons are thankful for an additional spot to grab a picture with the pros.
Today is the first time the pros will see the changes on 5 during tournament conditions.
The ceremonial tee off with Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus is at 8:15 a.m.