AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Golf fans can expect to see havoc, water balls and shots “we don’t normally see” at the Masters in Saturday’s third round because of strong winds at Augusta National, says former world number one Nick Price.
Gusts of up to 30 mph (48 kph) have been forecast for a third day in a row, something Zimbabwean Price cannot recall happening in the 20 Masters he played between 1984 and 2005 when he accumulated four top-six finishes.
”I can’t remember when we have ever had three days in a row like this at the Masters,“ Price, 59, told Reuters beside the first fairway. ”Normally we have one, maybe a day-and-a-half, of wind as a front comes through or whatever it may be.
“But this has been a really windy Masters and today it’s gusting strong. They (weather forecasters) say it’s going to peak at two o’clock and then subside.”
Price, a three-times major champion who set the Masters course record in 1986 with a nine-under-par 63 in the third round and was matched by Greg Norman in 1996, said that putting on the heavily contoured greens at Augusta would be “the hardest part” for the players.
“All these guys can hit the ball in the wind and control their distances pretty well in the wind but the putting, the short game, is going to be extremely hard,” the 1994 British Open champion explained as strong breezes ruffled his hair.
”Once you chip or putt downwind you get a gust and it catches the ball, you can putt it in the water on some of these holes here if you are in the wrong position.
“There’s going to be a lot of shots we’re going to see today which we don’t normally see at Augusta.”
Editing by Steve Keating.