/ Golf

Bad weather upsets Augusta practice ahead of the Masters

Updated: Monday, 07 Apr 2014 16:05 | Comments

Rory McIlroy got some practice in at Augusta before the thunderstorm arrived
Rory McIlroy got some practice in at Augusta before the thunderstorm arrived

Just two hours of practice was possible on Monday before players, and thousands of disappointed spectators, were forced to leave Augusta National due to an approaching thunderstorm.

The bad weather arrived earlier than previously forecast and led to an announcement shortly after 10am asking spectators to leave the grounds and seek shelter.

Around 30 players had been out on the course preparing for the US Masters, including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, German pair Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer and world number four Jason Day, who was playing alongside British amateur champion Garrick Porteous.

Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy had spent around 90 minutes on the practice range before leaving the course.

A statement from tournament officials read: "Play has been suspended due to severe weather approaching the area. For everyone's safety, we have asked patrons to clear the grounds and take shelter accordingly."

A weather forecast issued at 0830 local time said that the expected rain had started to "surge eastward towards Augusta National... as a result the starting times of the rain and thunderstorms have been shifted earlier a few hours.

"Rain and embedded thunderstorms will occur from late this morning through the early afternoon hours, before a break develops by the late afternoon.

"This should limit most of the stronger thunderstorm activity, but heavy rain, blustery conditions and occasional lightning can be expected as this moves through."

Further rain is forecast for Tuesday before conditions gradually improve later in the week.

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