Augusta now a bigger test - Woods
Tiger Woods says Augusta National's changes over the years have made winning the Masters more difficult.
Former world number one Woods cruised to a 12-shot victory when claiming his first Green Jacket in 1997 and has since gone on to win the Georgia event a further three times in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
Since 2002, Augusta has undergone several alterations and the star-studded field will be faced with a new challenge for the 2019 renewal, with the par-four fifth hole lengthened by 40 yards.
All these changes are being made to try and make the course more of a test for the modern-day player, and Woods believes the new additions have made the Masters more of a test.
"When I first went there, there were no bunkers," he 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."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.