AUGUSTA, Ga. - Severe weather heading through the state of Georgia is affecting practice time for golfers, and viewing time for patrons at The Masters.
Those practicing and those watching were asked to leave the course around 11:30 a.m. Monday due to incoming weather. The course re-opened at 1:45 p.m., but was closed again for the day at 2:30 p.m. The golf course announced at 2:45 p.m. that the area was under a tornado watch.
The storm that swept through Atlanta and north Georgia is expected to reach Augusta National Golf Course around 3:00pm. The quick-moving system prompted a number of warnings and watches as it continues to move east through north Georgia.
“It is what it is. It’s mother nature,” said former UGA golfer Hudson Swafford. “We play an outdoor sport, so you can’t control it. So you just work with what you got.”
Monday's weather, and the expected storms on Wednesday, are cutting down on golfers time to prepare for the competitive rounds later in the week.
“I think we are getting lucky right now before the storm rolls in,” said former Georgia Tech golfer Roberto Castro as the rain began to fall. “Yea it’s a little foreboding right now.”
Augusta National just announced they are under a tornado watch. Patrons asked to leave and seek shelter.— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) April 3, 2017
Tuesday is supposed to clear up, and many golfers are expected to take advantage of the nice weather to fit in their practice before they tee off on Thursday. Gates open to patrons at 8:00 a.m. and close approximately at 6:30 p.m.
“We got a downpour a couple of times,” said Webb Simpson. “You know the course, I think they are excited for it. They need a little bit of rain on these greens. But the course is fantastic.”
While rain looms on Wednesday as well at Augusta National Golf Course, the Par 3 contest is scheduled for 12:00 p.m., with practice rounds continuing throughout the day.
"The plan is to play 18 tomorrow," said Rickie Fowler. "Depending on what the weather is on Wednesday, I'd like to get our for nine and them play the Par 3. But Wednesday could be, you know, I know there's storm potential in the afternoon."