How will changes to No. 2 at Augusta National impact the 2024 Masters? Rory McIlroy weighs in

Tweaks to the golf course have become the norm at Augusta National in recent years, and the 2024 Masters will mark the third straight tournament in which the course has seen some minor adjustments.

This year, the tees on No. 2 will be moved back 10 yards and to the golfer’s left. Known as Pink Dogwood, this brings the par 5’s maximum distance to 585 yards and it remains the longest on the course.

While many thought the different angle would make a dramatic difference, Rory McIlroy said prior to the Valero Texas Open that a recent scouting trip to Augusta had him underwhelmed by the change.

“I thought it was going to be a different visual than it used to be,” McIlroy said. “I thought whenever someone said they moved it back and to the left, I thought the tee box was going to point you out towards that right bunker and you’re going to have to hit more of a draw around the corner. I mean, if you didn’t know, you would think you were on the same tee box, it doesn’t look that much different.

“You can still see left of the bunker and I thought it was really going to force you to hit some sort of draw shot around the corner, but you can still, you can still hit a straight away shot and keep it left of the trap. It’s not as drastic of a change as I thought it was going to be.”

Jon Rahm surveys the no. 2 green during a practice round for The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network

The move was meant to help toughen up what has been one of the easiest holes on the golf course. No. 2 was ranked as the least difficult on the course during the 2023 Masters Tournament with a 4.637 scoring average. Its 4.775 cumulative scoring average since 1942 ranks 17 overall (just ahead of No. 13), with a high of 4.996 (1957) and a low of 4.467 (2020).

Before the 2023 tournament, the tees on No. 13 were moved back 35 yards, changes that were a topic of conversation all week. A pair of changes took place in 2022, including moving the No. 15 tee back 20 yards and the No. 11 tee back 15 yards and to the left. The tee box on No. 5 was also moved back 40 yards prior to the 2019 tournament.

While on hand for a practice round, McIlroy noticed a few other subtle changes to the course. Of course, the Masters is the only major to have eluded him and he’ll come in as one of the betting favorites, just behind Scottie Scheffler.

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McIlroy noticed changes on every other hole through the first half-dozen at Augusta National.

“There’s new greens on 2, 4 and 6,” hesaid. “There’s like a back middle hole location on 2, there’s a slightly bigger area in there where they can sort of move that around a little bit.

“On 4, they’ve sort of made the back right section a little bit bigger for an extra pin position there.

“And then 6 is different, like the top right plateau is definitely bigger and then they’ve flattened out a section in the back left to maybe have an extra hole location there, too. Those are the three changes.”

Will Cheney of the Augusta Chronicle contributed to this report.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek