No. 12 at Augusta National gets a lot of credit for creating drama and dashing dreams at the Masters. But on Sunday of the 2024 Masters, it was No. 11 that saw two crucial shots end up in the water. Both Collin Morikawa and Ludvig Aberg were in the fairway off the tee, but saw their approach shots end up in the pond to the left of the green. Catching the fully locked-in Scottie Scheffler was going to be incredibly difficult, but those two shots made the task impossible for two of the only men on the course who even had a chance of catching him. Aberg finished solo second and Morikawa finished T-3.

Seeing two pros end up in the water from the middle of the fairway is always a little surprising. What is it, exactly, about the approach on 11 that makes it so difficult?

Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher in America Trillium Rose says it’s these four things.

1. Your lie isn’t flat

The fairway slopes, so you’re not hitting off of a flat lie. “Depending on where you are in the fairway, you could be hitting a shot where the ball is above your feet, so you’re adjusting for that,” Rose says.

2. The wind swirls

There’s always a lot of talk about how the wind swirls on No. 12, causing mischief, switching at unexpected times. But No. 11 green is right down there near No. 12. “It gets a lot of wind, too, and it isn’t inconsistent,” Rose says.

3. Elevation change

No. 11 descends into the green, so that makes clubchoice more difficult, Rose says. And your clubchoice has to be perfect.

4. The landing area is tiny

“You have to carry it pretty much perfectly because if you’re short, you’re in the water. If you’re long, you’re in a bunker. If you’re short right, you’re hitting a mound and it’s bouncing off. If you’re long, you’re also going to be chipping back to a green that’s sloping towards the water,” Rose explains. There’s nowhere to miss.

Factor in that Scheffler was keeping his foot on the gas, taking risks and seeing the rewards, and suddenly guys like Morikawa and Aberg are in a situation where they have to hit a gutsy shot into that tiny part of the green that’ll receive it. “Add in the adrenaline of being in contention on Sunday at the Masters, and all I can say is, Good luck,” Rose says.

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