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Bad weather disrupts Masters on opening day of 84th competition

Bad weather disrupts Masters on opening day of 84th competition
© Reuters
The delay means the first round would not be completed on schedule on Thursday.

Bryson DeChambeau’s bid for back-to-back major titles got off to an eventful start on a weather-affected opening day of the 84th Masters.

After play got under way 10 minutes behind schedule due to darkness, only 25 minutes of action was possible before the siren sounded to call the players off the course due to the threat of lightning.

Heavy rain left standing water on several holes and play eventually resumed after a delay of two hours and 45 minutes which meant the first round would not be completed on schedule on Thursday.

Masters Golf
Official leave Augusta National after play was suspended during the first round of the Masters (Matt Slocum/AP)

DeChambeau had dominated the headlines in the build-up to the week after overpowering Winged Foot on his way to a six-shot victory in the US Open in September.

And the big-hitting American almost made the ideal start on the 10th, his opening hole, following a 327-yard tee shot with a fairway wood and a
well-judged approach which span back to just six feet from the hole.

However, he missed the birdie attempt and then hooked his tee shot on the 11th deep into the trees to the left of the fairway.

DeChambeau hit a provisional ball but was able to find his original and pitch out towards the 12th tee, from where he hit his third shot to 10 feet and holed the putt for an unlikely par.

Defending champion Tiger Woods, who ended an 11-year-wait for his 15th major championship and fifth Masters title at Augusta National in April last year, teed off two groups behind DeChambeau and started with a par on the 10th.

Earlier in the day, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus had continued their role as honorary starters by each hitting a tee shot on the opening hole at Augusta National shortly before 7am local time.

“I’m glad it was dark because you could not see where the ball went,” Nicklaus joked.

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