Masters Tournament

Start of Masters delayed after heaviest rain misses Augusta National

The 2024 tournament will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time on Thursday.

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The start of the Masters has been pushed back to 10:30 a.m. local time Thursday because of weather that threatened the pristine grounds of Augusta National, though the majority of the heavy rain and winds tracked south of the course.

Tournament officials said that patron gates will open at 9:30 a.m., two hours later than usual, and Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player will hit their ceremonial first shots at 10:10 a.m. down Tea Olive, the first hole at Augusta National.

Erik van Rooyen and Jake Knapp are the first group due off, while the featured groups will tee off in the afternoon.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, former U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and Nick Dunlap are due off at 1 p.m., right after Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris and Justin Thomas in another star-studded group. Those two groups will be followed by a power trio of2022 Masters champion and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy.

Tiger Woods is scheduled to tee off with Jason Day, Max Homa at 3:45 p.m. Jordan Spieth, Ludvig Aberg and Sahith Theegala are two groups later; Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood are last off at 4:30 p.m.

The delay means those players starting late are unlikely to finish their opening rounds before sundown. If they don't finish, they would complete their opening rounds Friday morning.

The storm system that raked the southeast with heavy rains and wind early Thursday had been expected all week, but it mostly tracked to the south of Augusta National, which last year endured its share of torrential rain during tournament week.

In that case, the weather contributed to three towering pines falling on the course, and the conclusion of the second round had to be pushed into the weekend. The leaders were still on the course when play was suspended Saturday, forcing a marathon final day, when Rahm was able to overcome a four-shot deficit to Brooks Koepka and win the green jacket.

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