Friday 15 December 2017

Stormy weather could threaten Masters Par 3 Tournament as preparation disrupted by heavy rain

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

BLUE skies, warm temperatures and bright sunshine greeted the patrons who came into Augusta National today hoping to see the stars at practice.

This was in stark contrast to the thunderstorms and gale force winds which blasted through Augusta yesterday forcing patrons to leave the course for over an hour around noon before another storm system caused a suspension of play at 2.30pm local time.

The course was drenched and large pools of water formed all over the hallowed turf but by this morning that had abated and it was business as usual.

Tough break for those who travelled from within the United States and abroad to have their day out at the Masters yesterday, but the patrons who fell on the wrong side of the weather showed remarkable good humour and resilience.

Tomorrow's forecast is for more heavy thunderstorm activity which could certainly disrupt practice and may put the traditional Par 3 Contest in doubt.

If that happens, it would be the first time the Par 3 event has been postponed, and hopefully that will not happen this year.

Weather is an occupational hazard anywhere and the Masters is no exception.

In the 80 previous stagings, rain has been experienced during 43 of the tournaments.

The last Monday finish was in 1983, the year Seve Ballesteros won his second Green Jacket.

Rory McIlroy was due to play a practice round today ahead of his media conference scheduled for 4.0pm local time (9.0pm Irish)

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