APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Masters Golf

Augusta National Golf Club, seen down Magnolia Lane, is well manicured on what would have been the first practice round for the Masters golf tournament, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. The 2020 Masters, postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, is slated to take place on Nov. 12-15. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the Masters, the final golf major of the year (all times EST):

___

12:15 p.m.

Bryson DeChambeau spoke just a bit too soon about the Masters.

The U.S. Open champion raised eyebrows this week when he said he thinks of the historic Augusta National course as a par 67. Par is actually 72, but because of his strength DeChambeau can reach the par 5s in two strokes and drive the green on some of the par 4s.

That doesn’t work if you wind up in the bushes, like he did on the par-5, 510-yard 13th hole on Thursday.

DeChambeau wound up in the pine straw, behind a tree to the right of the fairway, with his drive. Then he put his second shot into the bushes to the left of the green. After hitting a provisional ball into Rae’s Creek, he took a drop on the original ball for a penalty, then duffed the next shot. He finally reached the green in five but two-putted for a double-bogey 7.

He made par on the 14th hole and birdied the 15th and 16th, leaving him 1 over for the day.

11:15 a.m.

Sixty-two-year-old Larry Mize is co-leading the Masters very early into the opening round.

Mize is in front at 2-under par through four holes at Augusta National. The 1987 champion started the day with a bogey on the first hole, then birdied the next three.

Xander Schauffele, Lee Westwood and Hideki Matsuyama soon joined Mize at 2 under. Schauffele birdied his first two holes of the day.

The pandemic-delayed tournament teed off at 7 a.m. and was promptly shut down for about three hours when lightning was spotted in the area. A handful of morning groups have yet to tee off, along with the entire afternoon portion of the field.

___

10:23 a.m.

Play has resumed at Augusta National after a delay of nearly three hours because of rain and lightning in the area.

Only a handful of players managed to tee off for the opening round before an approaching storm prompted an evacuation of the course. No one completed more than one hole.

Because of the move to November and the tight window of daylight hours, play began off both sets of tees.

After such a lengthy delay, it seems unlikely that the entire first round will be completed Thursday.

Fortunately, the forecast for the rest of the weekend is much more promising: sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s.

___

8:25 a.m.

Jack Nicklaus says he is done talking about his endorsement of President Donald Trump.

The six-time Masters champion posted a message of support for the Republican candidate on social media shortly before the election. He also said he had already voted for Trump, who wound up losing the Nov. 3 election to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Nicklaus was at Augusta National on Thursday to open the Masters with a ceremonial tee shot alongside fellow Hall of Famer Gary Player.

Asked about his endorsement of Trump, Nicklaus said, “I think I’ve said enough about that. I don’t think this is a place for politics.”

___

8:05 a.m.

Turns out there is some normalcy to this Masters: Rain.

About a half-hour after Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit honorary tee shots before the smallest crowd ever, a rumble could be heard from Amen Corner. It wasn't a roar, but an approaching storm. The course was evacuated because of lightning in the area at about 7:35 a.m.

Because of the move to November and the tight window of daylight hours, play began off both sets of tees.

And with no spectators, only about 500 people — Augusta National members and family, a few wives of players, media and tournament officials — gathered around the first tee to watch Nicklaus and Player hit their drives. Nicklaus had his wife, Barbara, dressed in the white coveralls for caddies.

Most jarring was the sound of a drone — a first for the Masters. Club Chairman Fred Ridley said two drones would be used for the week.

Also peculiar was 1988 champion Sandy Lyle wearing suspenders. And when he hit his tee shot off the 10th for the earliest start and with fog clinging to the fairways, Lyle turned and said, “Where did it go?”

Nine players have completed one hole. No one made birdie. Chinese amateur Yuxin Lin made double bogey on No. 10.

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Trending Video

Recommended for you