It’s late on Thursday afternoon at the 2015 Masters, and Tiger Woods is in a quandary. I’m only a few yards away, standing at the right elbow of the dogleg-left, 510-yard, par-5 13th. I’m relishing his uncertainty.
He has driven his ball 301 yards into the second cut, just shy of the pine needles. He faces a shot of roughly 200 yards. Should he go for the green? The ball is above his feet, and he has to carry Rae’s Creek. Had he turned over his tee shot more efficiently, he would have enjoyed a flatter lie and an easier shot, but he would have risked hooking it into the trees or water.
His other option is to lay up. More decisions: Should he lay well back to approach the back-right hole location, or hit it as close to the creek as possible? So many choices. In hot, humid sunshine, I take in a kaleidoscope of stunning azaleas across the fairway.
As Tiger continues his calculations, I glance to my right, where the green awaits, framed by massive pines, four brilliant white bunkers and more azaleas. Tiger takes his awkward stance and launches a successful, creek-clearing iron. I’m reminded yet again that for its blend of beauty and strategy, there’s no better golf hole on earth.
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