The switch from spring to autumn for The Masters this year appears set to bring some distinctly autumnal weather to Augusta National as well.
After a bright start to the week, the weather is forecast to go downhill from midweek, leading to the prospect of some disruption to the playing schedule for the final major of the year.
Wednesday and Thursday look particularly wet, with heavy downpours at times, possibly accumulating as much as two inches of rain.
The other three rounds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday have at least a 40 per cent chance of showers.
Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70s, with the exception of Saturday, with a high temperature of 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius).
Winds should consistently be in the six-to-12-mph range, though out of different directions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday: southwest, north-northwest and east, respectively.
Players this week have mentioned that Augusta National is playing even slower and softer than usual because of the weather and growing conditions in the autumn, although the club, through its SubAir system, can largely control the amount of moisture on the course, with Brooks Koepka predicting changes before the tournament starts on Thursday.
He said: “[It’s] just a little softer than what you would normally see in April. It all depends, I mean, they can change this golf course overnight. They can make it firm and fast if they want to. They can speed the greens up and make them nice and firm. A lot of times we see it on Wednesday afternoon to Thursday, the golf course can change quite a bit.”
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Open champion Shane Lowry added: “The grass is a little bit different in places, but I don’t think it plays a whole lot different.
“The forecast is not great. Playing golf in the rain is just hard. It’s not nice. No one likes doing it. You just need to be careful. You need to be safe. You need to not make really silly mistakes. But it’s just kind of more managing your way around the course when the weather gets bad, as opposed to trying to do anything drastic to change.”
Australian Adam Scott was also asked about the weather at his press conference on Monday.
He said: “Really, the biggest problem for us as players is if it’s wet. Obviously we’re prepared and we’ve played in tough conditions, but a golf course that requires precision like this one does, especially hitting into the greens, if there’s mud on the ball, this is very, very difficult because you lose control of the ball flight. And when you have very small targets at times to hit into, and you don’t know where the ball may go, it’s very hard.”
Watch The Masters this week live on Sky Sports, with all four rounds exclusively live on Sky Sports’ Masters channel. Live coverage beings with Featured Groups from 12.30pm on Thursday.
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