Tiger Woods insists it used to be pretty easy to win the Masters before Augusta was transformed by a series of changes.
Since 2002, Augusta National has undergone extensive alterations, the most notable being the lengthening of a number of holes, the narrowing of several fairways and the addition of trees and bunkers around the course.
The latest change set to greet returning players in 2019 is the lengthening of the par-4 fifth hole by 40 yards, while the purchasing of extra land surrounding the course suggests more changes could be in the offing in the near future.
The motive behind most of the changes was making Augusta a more challenging test for modern players, and as far as Woods is concerned, the alterations have succeeded in their aim.
In fact, Woods reckons playing Augusta used to be downright easy for him when he first arrived, which may explain his runaway 12-shot victory there as a 21-year-old back in 1997.
Woods also captured further Masters wins in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
“When I first went there, there were no bunkers,” Woods said according to Yahoo Sports.
“I drove it into the crosswalk on one. I hit a nine-iron into two. Drove it on the green on three. Had a sandwedge into five. Sandwedge into seven. Eight I had a four-iron.
“Nine was a sandwedge. Eleven was a wedge. Thirteen was a three-wood and eight-iron. Fourteen was a three-wood and a sandwedge.
“Fifteen was a driver and eight-iron, driver-pitching wedge sometimes. Seventeen was a driver sandwedge and 18 was a driver-sandwedge.
“It really wasn’t that hard.”
Scotland’s Connor Syme and Englishman Matthew Jordan were also part of the successful quintet.
The English Open has been revived as part of the new schedule.
Close House Golf Club, near Newcastle, will host the British Masters on July 22.
The event was last staged in 2002.
The tournament at Close House, scheduled to start on July 30, is set to be the first European Tour event since the coronavirus crisis halted action.
The world number one believes it would be the ‘right call’ to push the event back to 2021.
The exhibition match, against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, raised 20 million dollars.
The Dutchman finished third and second in the first two weeks of the home-based competition.
NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will also be involved.