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Revisiting the sand that made Sandy . . .

With the exception of, say, the Road Hole at the Old Course or perhaps Hitler's fortified bolthole in the Reichstag, the sand trap up the left-hand side of Augusta National's 18th hole might just be the world's most famous bunker.

Scotland's Sandy Lyle has given it this global acclaim, of course. His 7-iron approach from its hazardous clutches, which set up the 72nd hole birdie that earned him Masters glory in 1988, has been played and rewound over and over so many times, the footage is almost in need of restoration.

On his annual pilgrimage to this golfing corner of Georgia, the 56-year-old is preparing himself for another wander down memory lane and that bunker is the one thing that is seared on the memories of many.

He will no doubt be reminded of it again tonight at the traditional champions' dinner. "A lot of players usually remind me of it," said Lyle, who is ready for his 33rd Masters appearance this week. "Billy Payne [the chairman of Augusta National] usually sits next to me at the dinner.

"We had finished the meal last year and Billy looked at me and beckoned me over. I thought 's***, what have I done now?'

"He said 'I just want to tell you that I take a lot of people out nearly every week, and they all want to see your bunker . . . it drives me mad!'"

Another man who may want a quick keek at it will be Masters debutant Stephen Gallacher. Once he's finished gawping, Lyle's advice to his countryman may be 'don't go in it' and the veteran Scot will be more than happy to pass on various words of wisdom to the Masters rookie. "We have already passed a few words through Twitter about Augusta and I've passed around my experiences," added Lyle. "You can never be too blasé about that course. It can show its teeth real quickly. It's a patience game.

"I've played a little bit with Stephen over the years. He's a great striker of the ball, but lacked a little bit of momentum and confidence. But he seems to be getting his putting going, and confidence from that breeds success, and success breeds confidence.

"He's now got the taste for it after winning again in Dubai. His tail has got to be up."

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