Masters champions call out Friday’s ‘borderline’ Augusta National conditions

AUGUSTA, GA — At the Masters on Friday, the objective was to simply hold on. Strong winds for the second day in a row made conditions difficult and the surfaces slick.

Not a single eagle was made on the back nine, and the scoring average was 75.08. Even the par-5s weren’t very simple. The reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm was six over after 14 holes following a double bogey. With the cut now back at six over, Rahm was in danger of missing it, going birdie-birdie on 15 and 16. He signed for a 76 and five over after 36 holes after bogeying 17 and two-putting for par on 18.

Rahm was happy to be finished and have a relaxing weekend. Then someone asked him how difficult the round was.

Rahm answered, “Very.” “A few times, I asked myself why we were outside, especially when I arrived at number eighteen and noticed that the entire front of the green was completely covered in sand due to the wind coming from the bunker.” It is rolling somewhat differently. I know they want us to be done. Several times, especially when we were on 11 green and experiencing those enormous gusts every few minutes or so, I can imagine they came very close to calling it. It was really challenging.

Rahm said that despite placing himself in advantageous positions, he made too many mistakes. However, he was pleased to see a few late birdie putts go in, one of which was on hole 16, where he made a 50-footer.

Rahm remarked, “It’s a very bad day to not be comfortable with the swing, that’s for sure.” Yes, I’m always uncomfortable and have to fight it all day. I didn’t give myself many opportunities, and my final attempt to make the cut was a desperate one. Fortunately, I was able to accomplish that.

It wasn’t easy to put on Friday either. Gary Woodland saw his ball blow back toward the bottom tier of the green on the sixteenth hole, as if it were funneling toward the Sunday pin position, while it was at rest on the top-right tier of the green. A few athletes withdrew their putts.

Rahm stated, “You just put the ball down, and it’s very close to moving.” Furthermore, how much time did it take us to play? They had to blow the greens in between groups, which took more than six hours to play, and when you finally get into a group, people keep moving back in. It’s just kind of on the edge again.

He went on, “It was very, very close.” “This golf course is among the hardest I’ve seen in a very long time.”

The 2011 Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, claimed that Augusta National is “by far” the hardest championship course to navigate in windy conditions.

He added, “especially being firm.” Given how it’s playing at this firmness, it’s a great test on a typical day with a 15 mph wind. It’s difficult. After that, you find yourself on the incorrect side, and you realize how challenging this is. When you combine that with the wind, it almost becomes unplayable.

Although Xander Schauffele, who played in a group behind Rahm, claimed the course played “really fair,” he described the conditions as the hardest of his Masters career.

What about Rahm? On Saturday, he is well behind the leaders at six under, starting at five over. However, the weather over the weekend should be ideal, providing a chance for some, or many, to go low.

Rahm stated, “I have a lot of work to do [on Saturday] if I want to have a chance on Sunday.”

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