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Teachers The Delay Time Updates As Round 1 Of Augusta Suspended Due To Rain

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After a seven-month delay due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, The Masters finally got underway on Thursday morning.

The action, however, was short-lived as play was suspended at 7:35 a.m. ET after torrential rain and lightning hit Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia barely 30 minutes after Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had hit the customary honorary tee shots to open the tournament.

At the time of writing, play was expected to resume at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The rain delay could present a major logistical challenge for organizers, who have already had to account with a tighter window of daylight hours after the tournament was moved its traditional spot in April—The Masters was set to be held between April 9 to April 12—to mid-November.

To maximise the daylight hours available, play began off from both sets of tees, a common arrangement on PGA Tour events but relatively unusual at the four majors, particularly at Augusta.

With potentially over two hours lost to a rain delay and the last tee times of the opening round originally scheduled for 12:32 p.m. ET, it appears unlikely the first round will be completed by the time sunset falls at 5:26 p.m. ET.

According to The Masters forecast, the thunderstorms were part of a cold front located approximately 30 to 40 miles west of Augusta National, with periods of rain, at times heavy, expected to continue until 1 p.m. ET. Scattered light showers will linger behind the front until 4 p.m. ET, with cloudy skies expected to linger into Friday morning.

The second and third round on Friday and Saturday should be played under mostly sunny skies, albeit with cooler temperatures, before cloudy skies are due to return on Sunday.

Should play not be completed in time by sunset on Sunday, the tournament will continue on Monday.

The Masters last finished on a Monday in 1983, when heavy rain washed out the entire second round—the last time to date an entire round has been canceled.

Heavy rain also forced the cancelation of an entire round in 1961 and 1973.

Meanwhile, in 1936 and 1939 the final day featured 36 holes after inclement weather afflicted the earlier rounds.

Up until this year, The Masters has never been played outside March or April and had been held without interruption for the last 74 years.

Since its inception in 1936, the tournament had only been called off between 1943 and 1945, due to the Second World War.

Since 1946, it had never been held outside the first two weeks of April until the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to break with tradition.

The scoreboard is updated with a “Weather Warning” and “Play Suspended” sign during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 12 in Augusta, Georgia.
Rob Carr/Getty

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