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Fred Couples plays the new look Augusta

Former Masters champion Fred Couples played Augusta National in late October and offered what should be a familiar scouting report on the par-3 fourth, which now plays about 240 yards.

"It's hard," Couples said. "It's very hard."

The club altered six holes during the summer, although the two likely to get the most attention are No. 4 and No. 7, both of which were lengthened by 40 yards. The seventh hole had been a 3-wood and a sand wedge. Couples hit a driver and a 7-iron during his latest trip.

"But No. 4, I just felt like under the wrong circumstances, it's just going to be awfully hard," said Couples, who hit a 2-iron. "But everyone's got to do it. Stronger players can maybe hit a 3-iron up high and stop it. But with the utility clubs, those go just as high and soft. There will be a bit of club changing."

December 14, 2005

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