Amen Corner stretch crackles with electricity

Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:14pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Not much sporting theatre can rival the thrills and spills of Augusta National's Amen Corner on the last day of the Masters and Sunday's closing round was no exception.

Entire golfing careers have been both defined and ruined by the 11th, 12th and 13th holes that wind their way between the Georgia pine trees and are pock-marked by the bright red azaleas, the infamous Rae's Creek and Ben Hogan's bridge.

Who can forget the way American Scott Hoch made a mess of the treacherous par-four 10th when he missed a two-foot putt to lose out to Britain's Nick Faldo in a playoff in gathering gloom in 1989?

Or the drama at the 12th in 1992 when Fred Couples' ball defied gravity, staying on the bank to avoid a watery grave as he scraped an unlikely par on the way to a two-stroke victory.

The best viewing area is at the top of the hill where spectators have a perfect vantage point of both the 11th green and the 12th tee.

The huge galleries are 30 to 35 deep and the atmosphere simply crackles with electricity.

The collective intake of breath when the leaderboard beside the 11th green is about to be changed to signify changing events elsewhere on the course is audible.

When eventual winner Bubba Watson was shown to have dropped a stroke at the 10th there were cries of 'Oh no Bubba'.   Continued...