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Augusta National's 15th offers high risk, high reward

A pivotal hole, at a critical part of the round, the par-five 15th at Augusta National has catapulted some players to the Green Jacket while drowning the hopes of others.

From Gene Sarazen’s albatross in the final round in 1935 -- the only two at the hole in tournament history -- to Sergio Garcia’s 15-foot eagle en route to victory last year, the hole has been the scene of some of the U.S Masters’ most compelling moments.

Yet it has also exacted a heavy toll on others, not least Tiger Woods.

In 2013, he recorded a triple-bogey, which included a retroactive two-stroke penalty for taking an incorrect drop after his third shot had clattered against the pin and ricocheted back into the pond guarding the green.

To go for the green in two shots will be the question posed to competitors when the Masters gets underway on Thursday.

Downhill, measuring only 530-yards, the hole known as Firethorn is short by modern par-five standards.

It can play more as a par-four with an assisting wind, but as often as not is a genuine par-five, as evidenced by last year's scoring average of 4.93.

While strategy can change from day to day, depending on weather conditions, hole location and the position where a tee shot stops, most players have a philosophy on how to approach the hole.

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