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Posted March 3, 2019, 3:07 pm
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Fifth hole lengthened for 2019 Masters Tournament

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    5th tee
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    Players leave No. 5 tee box during the third round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (TODD BENNETT/FILE)

The worst-kept secret at Augusta National Golf Club is finally out.

The fifth hole was lengthened 40 yards in time for the 2019 Masters Tournament. Magnolia, as the par-4 hole is known, can now play as long as 495 yards thanks to a new tee box that was installed along Old Berckmans Road.

The Augusta Chronicle first reported the planned changes in February 2018, and work on the hole began last year after the club closed for the summer.

Just a few weeks after Patrick Reed slipped on the green jacket, work was being done outside Augusta National’s fences along the western border of the club. According to plans on file, more than 600 new trees, plants and bushes were planted in the area.

The club did not formally announce that the fifth hole had been altered, but the arrival of this year’s media guide listed the change in yardage and noted that carrying the fairway bunkers requires a carry of 313 yards. Last year the carry was 315 yards, so it seems that the bunkers were moved about 40 yards toward the tee to bring them into play.

The green also has been changed to lower it overall and make it flatter in places.

The fifth hole was a prime target for renovations for several years, and the club’s involvement in the rerouting of Berckmans Road helped pave the way. The new tee will alleviate congestion at the fourth green and the current fifth tee, which are just a few yards apart.