Tiger misses back-nine thrills at Augusta

The Masters will always be the Masters, but the lengthened Augusta
National course has deflated a little of the fun for spectators on Sunday.
The more-difficult course just doesn't give up many birdies, silencing
the famous roars that accompanied the back-nine charges of Masters
Tiger Woods misses those roars, too. While he said bad
weather was a factor behind higher scores the last couple of years, Woods
added that he hopes the field gets good conditions this year so players
can bring back the thrills of Augusta National.
"I just hope
the excitement comes back on the back nine; it's not what it used to
be -- 13, 15 were good drives, were automatic irons into greens, and
that's not always the case now," Woods said on Wednesday at a media conference
in Miami
. "I miss guys being able to
go out there and shoot 31 on that back nine and win a championship."
to, Augusta National has been shortened this year for
the first time since 1981, although not by much. The only change is
moving up the tee box on No. 1 by 7 yards to create more space for
spectators, not enough to warrant a pre-Masters visit from Woods.
not going up there, no," Woods said. "They have only basically changed one hole up there. They
just moved the tee up. As far as the rest of the golf course, yeah, it
does fit my eye." Tiger Tracker  | Tiger's New Swing Tiger's New Baby  | Tiger's SI Covers| 2008 Masters

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by Kevin Cunningham