Masters start delayed as thunderstorms force golf major to change times – updates

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The start of the 2022 Masters has already been pushed back due to thunderstorms in the early hours of Thursday morning. Weather this week in Augusta looks set to create some challenging conditions at the famous golf course.

Thunderstorms have already disrupted the start of the week with Wednesday’s popular par-3 contest being abandoned due. That bad weather has continued throughout the night into Thursday with tournament officials announcing the start of play for the opening round had been pushed back.

The first group will now start at 8.30am local time instead of the previously scheduled 8am. Meanwhile, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will kick off The Masters as honorary starters at 8.15am local time.

The Masters tweeted: “Due to thunderstorms in the early morning hours Thursday, gate opening times will be delayed by 30 minutes. Ticketing gates will open at 7:30 a.m. The Honorary Starters will take place at 8:15 a.m., followed by the first tee time at 8:30 a.m.”

Tuesday’s practice session had also been disrupted by heavy rain and wind, but drier conditions are forecast for the rest of the week. Current projections predict both Friday and Saturday to be cool and windy, creating tricky conditions for those competing.

All eyes will be on Tiger Woods when he takes to the tee on Thursday, with his group scheduled to head out at 11.04 local time. It was just a few weeks ago where speculation begun of Woods potentially making his return to the Tour following his scary car crash in February last year.

The 15-time major winner admitted at the PNC Championship that amputation on his leg after being rushed to the hospital following the car crash was a very real possibility. He’s now back at Augusta with the golfing icon convinced he has every chance of winning come Sunday.

When asked whether he feels he can make a winning return to action this week, Woods confidently said: “I do. The fact that I was able to get myself here at this point was a success and now that I am playing, everything is focused on getting in that position on the back nine on Sunday with a chance like I did a few years ago.

“I feel like I can still do it. I still have the hands to do it, the body is moving good enough. I have been in worse situations and won tournaments. Now, I haven’t been in situations like this where I’ve had to walk and endure what I’m going to try and endure, that’s going to be different.

“But my back surgeries that I’ve had before and the stuff I had to play through, even going back to the US Open when my leg was a little bit busted, those are all times that I can draw upon where I was successful, how I’ve learned to block things out and focus on what I need to focus on.

“I don’t show up to an event unless I think I can win it. So that’s the attitude I’ve had. There will be a day when it won’t happen, and I’ll know when that is, but physically the challenge this week is I don’t have to worry about the ball striking or the game of golf, it’s actually just the hills out here.”


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