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Masters: Players must make birdies or better on the par 5s at Augusta National


How important is it to make birdies on the par 5s at Augusta National? Historically, the par 5s are the only holes in the Masters to play under par on average. And while it’s a given that today’s long-hitting PGA Tour stars dominate par 5s, at the Masters these holes take on even greater importance.

You’ll hear it on the broadcasts and in the interview room all week: Players have to make birdies on the par 5s, especially on the back nine Sunday. Truth is, they better make birdies on the par 5s all week, or else Sunday’s birdies might not make enough of a difference.

The past three winners of the Masters – Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed – played the par 5s in a combined 32-under par. That includes 26 birdies and four eagles. Bogeys? Only two of those combined.

Basically, if a player didn’t make birdie or better on any of the par 5s – Nos. 2, 8, 13 and 15 –  and made pars instead, he would give up 0.81 strokes to the field each round. That’s more than three strokes total over the four rounds. And the difference is even greater when compared to past winners.

For examples of how important the par 5s are to winners, check out the scores from the past three players to slip on a green jacket. The results are easily quantifiable. But first, the holes.

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