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Sweeping changes to be made to Augusta

The Augusta National Golf Club instituted sweeping changes to nine holes for next year's Masters. Trees were bulldozed to create new tee boxes and nearly 300 yards were added to the majestic course.

"Our objective is to keep this golf course current," said Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson. "Beginning in 1934 and throughout their tenure, Cliff Roberts and Bob Jones made improvements to complement the changing state of the game. We have continued this philosophy."

Seven par 4s and two par 5s were changed for the 2002 Masters and the course was increased to approximately 7,270 yards, from 6,985.

Tees on the first hole were moved back 20-25 yards and the fairway bunker was reshaped, extending it 10-15 yards towards the green. Masters tees on the seventh hole were moved back 40-45 yards and tees were also adjusted on holes 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 and most of all on 18. The tee box was moved 55-60 yards back and five yards to the right on the final hole.

Tiger Woods won this year's Masters on the shorter course, but he may have to adjust his game for the 2002 tournament. The bunkers on the 18th hole were made 10 percent larger. When Woods won last year's Masters his drive sailed over the twin bunkers on 18, leaving him a sand wedge 75 yards from the green. Carrying the bunkers now requires a drive of 320 yards and adding to the trouble will be trees, which were added to the left of the bunkers.


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