As day two of the 2014 Masters gets underway from Augusta National, there are plenty of emerging storylines that will define this year’s edition of the famed tournament. Without Tiger Woods in the field for the first time in over a decade, the golfing world seemed to be searching for something to make this weekend as dramatic as most people have grown accustomed to. A challenging course setup on day appears to have set up a very close and compact field, which in turn should lead to a dramatic weekend.
Although the mystic of Augusta National surrounds the azaleas and pine trees along with the onset of spring time weather around the country, often overlooked is the impact of the water around the course. On the back nine holes water touches five of them. It is here that this tournament will be won or lost as Phil Mickelson and Jason Dufner found out the hard way during Round 1. Mickelson’s approach shot on the 15th came up short and ended up in the water leading to a double bogey, and Dufner had it worse. After getting to the back fringe of the green in three on the par 5 13th, Dufner ran his chip well long and the deceptive false front of the green carried the ball off the front edge and into the drink. Dufner would end with the rare quadruple-bogey on the hole.
With difficult hole locations on day one, low scoring was hard to come by. With 97 players in the field on day one, 48 double bogeys or worse were carded. Now heading into day two the hole locations appear to be more accessible on a few holes, which should help lead to lower scores if players can hit their greens. Though it is worth noting that day 2 will feature numerous hole locations which are brand new for this golf course, meaning most players haven’t had experience playing this particular setup before which may end up being a big equalizer today.