[PHOTO: David Cannon]

Just as every kid has a favourite superhero, every grown-up has a favourite hole at Augusta National. Maybe you like the carnage of the 12th, nasty, mean old “Golden Bell”; or the cauldron of the 16th, the iconic “Redbud”. Perhaps you like the lilting sprawl of No.2 (“Pink Dogwood”) or the mainlined drama of the 18th (“Holly”). But chances are good – very, very good – that your opinion is based on TV. What do the guys who actually play Augusta National year in, year out think? If they had to pick just one hole at Augusta to play the rest of their lives, which one would it be? Well, now we know the answer of at least one former Masters champion.

As far as takes go, this is not particularly caliente from Sergio Garcia. “Azalea” is a legend among legends and did lead the Spaniard to name his daughter after the hole. The par-5 13th is one of Augusta National’s most instantly recognisable holes, set against a backsplash of bright pink Azaleas and severed by an only-slightly-less-treacherous tributary to Rae’s Creek. Even after being lengthened by 35 yards in 2023, the 13th remains a fantastic scoring opportunity for the chasing pack and has played host to many unforgettable shots over the years, from Phil Mickelson from the trees in 2010 to Zach Johnson’s practice-swing whoopsie in 2019.

Sorry Zach, we had to. Anyway, you can disagree with a lot of what Garcia has done since donning the green jacket seven years ago, but it’s tough to hate this take… even if you are one of those weirdos who says the fifth hole just to be edgy.