Brandt Snedeker says that your scorecard is not safe at Augusta until you have played Amen Corner. The travail that your scorecard can experience in the three hole stretch of 11, 12, and 13 is well documented in Master’s lore.
Sneds entered the corner at one-under after a roller coaster front side with four birdies, a bogey, and a double. So some trepidation was in order when he hit his approach into eleven and saw it disappear into the green side pond. A pitch and a marvelous 20ish footer to “save” bogie had him gasping for air.
His approach into the short par three at twelve did not provide any oxygen as it carried through the green leaving a delicate pitch back at the shallow green and the water. But from there he executed a near impossible up and down to save a par.
On the risk-reward par five thirteenth his second shot found Rae’s Creek but he drew a playable lie in the lush grass within the hazard. A dexterous up and down to make a birdie and Brandt had somehow negotiated Amen Corner even par with his C iron game.
Coolest part is that I could enjoy all of this from the comfort of my desk at work. Visiting the Masters website www.masters.com and clicking on Live At Amen Corner I watched every group negotiate this slippery corner of the course. It is free and gives you the full HD experience with CBS/Golf Channel camera coverage and their announcers doing the play-by-play.
With his scorecard in tact Snedeker slipped back into cruise control and, with a birdie on the fifteenth, he posted a respectable two-under 70 for the opening round of the 2013 Masters. If he goes on to have success this weekend he will look back with a bit of reverence to how he managed to get through Amen Corner unscathed on Thursday.