History is teed up as Masters is set to start on Thursday

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The gentle hill behind the 12th tee was one of Bobby Jones’ favorite spots on Augusta, a place from which he could observe hole Nos. 11, 12 and 13 of the Masters — the dangerous stretch known as Amen Corner.
From that spot, against a spectacular backdrop of flowering azaleas and dogwoods, history has unfolded with alarming regularity.
Last year, Nick Faldo was one-stroke down going to No. 11, two up walking off the 12th green and hit the best shot of the day — a 228-yard 2-iron that turned the pressure knob up a few units — on No. 13.
What unfolded in that stretch of holes was what Jones had in mind when he created this course and this tournament more than 60 years ago.
“Last year was the worst round of my life,” Greg Norman said Tuesday about Sunday at the 1996 Masters. “I don’t want to keep thinking about it.”
While Norman may be able to push those holes out of his mind, they will never be erased from the memories of golf fans. Last year’s Masters was one for the books.
When Ben Crenshaw won in 1995 just days after serving as pallbearer for Harvey Penick, his lifelong teacher, it seemed as if the Masters could do nothing to top that for pure drama and raw emotion.
A mere year later, Faldo fashioned one of the greatest closing rounds in major championship history, and Norman endured the agony of squandering a six-stroke lead, the largest ever lost in a major.
“I played the golf course the way you intend to play it,” Faldo said on Tuesday. “It’s as good as anything I’ve done.”
Faldo and Norman come into this year’s Masters dragging with them the baggage of last year’s final round, a Sunday pairing that will forever link them in golf history.
Former Gophers golfer Tom Lehman is teamed with Nick Price, and they will tee off at 3:02.
But there is one part of the Masters tradition that Faldo would like to delay for at least another year — the outgoing champion putting the green jacket on the new champion.
“Nope,” Faldo said with no hesitation when asked if there was someone he wanted to put the jacket on. “I want it staying in my wardrobe. Simple as that.”