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“I’ve hit 6-iron to pitching wedge,” Padraig Harrington said. “The day I hit pitching wedge, it was 144 yards to carry the trap, and what I was doing hitting a pitching wedge, I don’t know. I hit it in the bunker. I was so worried about hitting in the bushes behind the green. Nowadays, I know I’m hitting 9-iron to 7-iron. But you’re always worried. It’s just a great golf hole.”

It’s all about the angle of the green, the vexing wind that feels as if it’s coming from every direction, and the fact the 12th hole is at the low point of the course _ 175 feet below the clubhouse, which is only 1,000 yards away.

“It would be a nothing hole if it was square,” Geoff Ogilvy said. “But the genius is the angle. The back edge of the left side of the green is shorter than the front edge of the right side. Where they got lucky was having that chute of trees on 13 because it really messes with the wind. Even if you’re into the wind, it seems to come down from the 13th fairway.”

The legend of that section of Amen Corner is that the flag on the 11th green can be blowing one direction, and the flag on the 12th can be blowing another. They are separated by about 100 yards.

Some players look at flags. Others look at the tops of the trees _ but which trees?

Hogan once famously said he would never pull the trigger until he felt the wind on his left cheek. Nicklaus said it was best to wait until the flags on the 11th and 12th were going in the same direction.

Tom Weiskopf is infamous for his performance at Golden Bell, where he rang up a 13 in 1980 by hitting five balls into the water.

There have been three aces on the 12th _ Claude Harmon in 1947, William Hyndman in 1959 and Curtis Strange in 1988. Those are the happier moments.

Strange was asked how he made his hole-in-one. “I pushed a 7-iron,” he said.

Far more common are the sad tales.

Payne Stewart hit 8-iron in the back bunker in 1985, and that’s where his troubles began. His sand shot rolled through the green and into the water. His next shot spun back and into the water. Fearful of repeating his mistake, he went long into the back bunker and eventually took a 9, which took him out of contention.

Dan Forsman was leading on Sunday in 1993 when he hit into Rae’s Creek and took an 8. “Next year, I think I’ll lay up short,” he said.

Jason Day made it through relatively unscathed in his first Masters.

“The biggest thing is not to be intimidated by it,” Day said. “Walking down the 11th, we’ll throw up grass and try to prepare for the 12th hole. You just have to get up there and trust it. There’s no real explanation for the wind there.”

Gary Player told Golf Digest magazine of his first time playing the 12th hole. He was with Hogan and Sam Snead, who had five green jackets between them. Hogan hit 7-iron into the back bunker. Snead decided on an 8-iron and put that in the water.

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