Players set for wild early ride at Augusta
THE famous Par 3 contest has been cancelled for the first time, another casualty of the Augusta weather which closed the course and cut Masters preparations.
Despite opening the gates as planned to allow players, including Aussies Marc Leishman and Curtis Luck, to get practice holes in, they were called off the course twice before play was eventually abandoned and the course closed.
It proved a wise decision as strong winds rolled in an hour later and more rain soaked the course which could have severe implications ahead of the tournament's start, around 11pm (EST) tonight.
Wind gusts could reach up to 60km and knowing those were the expected conditions, 2013 Masters champ Adam Scott didn't even bother going out in the still, but wet, environment ion Wednesday morning.
"We knew today was going to be bad weather so I used yesterday (Tuesday) as my final preparations," Scott said after some work on the practice range.
"I left the course ready to play last night and that's still how I feel.
"Thursday and Friday looks like it's going to be windy, and it's going to be very difficult here in the wind. I don't think that you can get more difficult conditions that windy here.
"But I also feel I am hitting the ball the best I have been this year, so hopefully that works to my advantage, too, and I can hit a lot more greens than I have been, hopefully that will get me in to that spot of contention for the weekend."
Scott, who is playing with Kevin Kisner and Andy Sullivan in the opening two rounds, said patience would be key if the wind raged, conscious that not everything would go as planned.
"You've got to have it all here, all areas covered, especially in the wind. It's going to be very much a grind," he said.
"Some guys might get the better side of the weather draw. You just don't want to be too far behind."
World No.1 Dustin Johnson remains favourite to snare his first Masters with five Aussies - Scott, Leishman, Luck, Jason Day and Rod Pampling - flying the flag.