Strong winds forecast for first three rounds at Masters

Wed Apr 6, 2016 3:57pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Expectations of a fiery Augusta National have been tempered by the prospect of rain before Thursday’s opening round at the Masters.

There has barely been a cloud in the sky for the past few days, and low humidity has helped produce a firm and fast layout that is just the way the Masters committee likes it.

But a forecast for numerous thunderstorms in the overnight hours of Thursday morning, and a 90 percent chance of rain, suggests the course will be softened up by Mother Nature for the first round.

Rain is expected to clear out by the start of the event and the forecast calls for dry weather the rest of the tournament.

Sunny weather should help the course, which drains well, dry out relatively quickly.

Strong winds of up to 25 miles per hour (40 kph) are forecast for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which will also help restore green speeds and no doubt provide a stern challenge for the world’s best players in the first major of the year.

American Rickie Fowler was licking his lips at the prospect of strong winds that can make it even more difficult hitting approach shots into Augusta National's sloping greens.

“I love playing in the wind,” said the 27-year-old who went to college in windswept Oklahoma and now lives in windy south Florida.   Continued...

Apr 6, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Detailed view of a golf ball with The Masters 2016 logo during a practice round prior to the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports