Hole-By-Hole Guide To Tony Finau’s Hopeful Success At Augusta National This Week
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tony Finau’s worst finish at The Masters is a tie for tenth which came during his debut attempt in 2018. In 2019, he finished in a tie for fifth despite playing in the final group alongside the eventual champion Tiger Woods.
Finau’s ability to manipulate the golf ball around Augusta National has proven to be beneficial. After experiencing first-hand and watching Woods win his fifth green jacket in 2019, has Finau learnt how to win himself a green jacket in 2020?
In this article, we will go through every hole and explain where Finau can have the most success if he utilizes his strengths.
Hole 1 – Tea Olive: an uphill left-to-right 445-yard par 4. There is a fairway bunker positioned on the right side of the fairway that will require a 315-yard carry from the tee box. If Finau decides to take the bunker on, expect him to hit a wedge to the middle of the green has multiple runoffs. The only pin that Finau could attack is middle-right as there is a small bowl positioned there.
Hole 2 – Pink Dogwood: An iconic hole. The 575 yard downhill dogleg left par 5 has a rather simple tee shot with a wide fairway to aim for. If Finau steps on his drive then the ball could roll for a while and this hole should be easily reachable in two. The green is protected by two bunkers both at the front of the green which requires a dialed second shot.
Hole 3 – Flowering Peach: A short 350-yard par 4 that has trees lining the right and bunkers on the left. If Finau is hitting his driver well, expect him to try and reach the green off the tee box. If he misses, he should be in a position to clean up and eliminate the big number. This is a scoring hole for Finau, despite what his one birdie and seven par record would suggest.
Hole 4 – Flowering Crab Apple: The first par 3 clocks in at 240 yards downhill. The green is protected by two bunkers, one front right and the other on the left of the boomerang-shaped green. If the wind picks up this hole becomes incredibly problematic for all players.
Hole 5 – Magnolia: This is another hole that Finau can gain an advantage off the tee as two fairway bunkers require another 315 yard carry. If you find the bunkers it almost makes the second shot impossible to find the green. This hole is the second-longest par 4 on the course and plays uphill. The key for Finau will be to hit driver and clear the bunkers as very few players have that in their game. A small bunker protects the back of a green that slopes from back to front.
Low Irons Required
Hole 6 – Juniper: A 180-yard par 3 that has a large bunker suffocating the front of the green. This green is known for its undulation and movement. If Finau can hit a high iron and stick the landing then this hole becomes manageable.
Hole 7 – Pampas: A straight 450-yard par 4 that requires pin-point accuracy on the second shot as the green is surrounded by bunkers on all directions. Nothing but trees align the fairway to an accurate drive up the center will suite Finau very well.
Hole 8 – Yellow Jasmine: A slight dog-leg left 570-yard par 5 that yet again has a bunker positioned in the fairway some 310 yards from the tee box. If Finau can find the cut grass off the box, his second shot will be blind into a narrow green that widens the longer it goes.
Hole 9 – Carolina Cherry: The final hole on the front 9 has an incredibly challenging green that slopes from back to front. It is a par 4 that doglegs from right-to-left and requires a pinpoint approach shot. Finau will drive the ball down the right side of the fairway, eliminating the two bunkers left of the green. The second shot is uphill and depending on the pin placement will determine just how aggressive Finau can be.
Hole 10 – Camellia: This downhill 495-yard par 4 can play as the hardest hole on the course. A 55-yard long fairway bunker lies some 30 yards from the green that pitches from right to left. If you can hit a ball up the left side off the tee box you will give yourself the best angle into the green.
Amen Corner Begins Here
Hole 11 – White Dogwood: The start of Amen Corner begins at this 505-yard par 4 that plays downhill left-to-right off the tee box. A large pond of water sits to the left of the green while a bunker is in play on the right. Wind is typically a factor on this hole which makes the approach to the green even more daunting. If Finau can hit a nice tee shot and give himself anywhere from 170 yards and in then this hole could prove to be a big advantage.
Hole 12 – Golden Bell: The most iconic par 3 in the world. Or at least I believe so. With Rae’s Creek running in front of the green and three strategically placed bunkers, if there is any wind then this little 155-yard shot can cause problems. In fact, this is generally the hole that players Masters dreams come to die. But if you can evade danger and hit four consecutive tee shots that find the putting surface then you will keep your green jacket hopes well and truly alive.
Hole 13 – Azalea: There is more trouble on this hole than on any other hole on the course. If Finau can hit a long, low, sweeping draw off the tee box that finds the fairway then he can potentially make up a lot of strokes on the field on hole 13. Rae’s Creek trickles from the tee box down the left side and in front of the green. Bunkers protect the back of the green. Find the putting surface in two and this hole becomes scorable. But finding the fairway off the tee box is often easier said than done.
Hole 14 – Chinese Fir: A bunker less 440-yard par 4 that requires an accurate tee shot followed by an approach shot that into a green that slopes heavily from left-to-right. The smart play from Finau would be to hit an approach shot just a hair right of the pin leaving an uphill birdie attempt.
Hole 15 – Firethorn: The longest hole on the course comes at number 15. The wind will likely dictate just how reachable this hole is in two shots. However, if Finau can trickle the ball to the top of the hill, or even better, have it roll down the hill a tad then the second shot should be reachable. Finau must commit to the number on the second shot, however, as water stands in front of the green and a steep run-off sits behind what is already an incredibly narrow green.
Hole 16 – Redbud: The final par 3 of the round comes at 16. Earlier this week, you may have seen world number 2 Jon Rahm skip a ball off the water and trickle it into the cup. This hole has slopes that often allow players to attack the pin. Finau will need to have more birdies than par’s on this hole if he hopes to contend.
Hole 17 – Nandina: An uphill 440-yard par 4 has a green that slopes off in all directions. Very little trouble up the fairway but issues arise the closer you get to the putting surface.
Hole 18 – Holly: If you are in the lead on Sunday then this hole shouldn’t cause too many issues. But when you need to take on the bunker in an attempt to wrap the ball from left-to-right, hazards begin to appear. Expect Finau to hit a three wood to in front of the bunker and knock the ball close with his approach. If he doesn’t end up in the shrubbery/trees to the right then Finau should have no issues evading danger on 18.
Tony Finau will tee off the 10th hole on Thursday alongside Patrick Reed and Paul Casey at 5:44 a.m. and on Friday, the trio will knock it off the first tee at 9:49 a.m. to begin their second day of play.