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15th hole had players seeing red

Monday, April 11, 2011

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A quarter-century ago, Jack Nicklaus made an eagle at the par-5 15th hole that propelled him to his sixth and final Masters Tournament victory.

On Sunday, Charl Schwartzel also used No. 15 to start his run of red numbers that won him the green jacket.

But Schwartzel wasn't the only player to go low on Augusta National Golf Club's last par-5. No. 15 played as the easiest hole on the course Sunday and the second-easiest all week. Out of 49 players, 25 made birdie or better, and only Rory McIlroy made bogey .

Golfers took advantage of the wide fairway, soft green and long collection area behind it and paid little attention to the water hazard in front. If balls landed short of the green, a cut of rough saved them from rolling back into the water.

Luke Donald, Bo Van Pelt

Donald's second shot from the right side of the fairway bounced off the green and rolled just off the back . He chipped to within three feet and tapped in for birdie.

Van Pelt's approach from the middle of the fairway curled up about 6 feet short of the hole. He ran the straight putt in for eagle.

Adam Scott, Jason Day

Both Australians hit wayward shots on No. 15, but both saved par.

Day laid his second shot short of the water after a wayward drive, and his wedge shot nearly hit the pin but rolled off the back of the green. His chip shot left him about a 5-foot putt that he made for par.

Scott's drive found the fairway, but he hit his approach into the right-side gallery. His pitch ran about 40 feet past the hole, but Scott two-putted for par.

K.J. Choi, Charl Schwartzel

Like many players before him, Schwartzel landed his second shot just off the back of the green. His eagle chip burned the edge of the cup, but his 5-foot birdie putt dropped in.

Choi spun his second shot off the front of the green to the fringe, but he had an uphill putt for eagle. The putt settled low and left but close to the hole, leaving Choi with a birdie.

Rory McIlroy, Angel Cabrera

McIlroy flew his tee shot into the trees and had to punch out. His third landed over the green, and his chip shot slid right past the hole. His par-saving putt did the same.

Meanwhile, Cabrera hit his second shot to the right edge of the green, leaving him 20 feet for eagle. His putt missed on the low side of the hole, but he made the 2-footer for birdie.

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