Chilly weather greets players at Augusta
Players were confronted by unseasonal chilly temperatures and biting winds when they arrived at Augusta National on Tuesday to prepare for this week’s U.S. Masters.
With spectators wrapped up warmly in heavy overcoats, winter jackets and ponchos, four times champion Tiger Woods decided not to practise in conditions bearing no resemblance to those forecast for the tournament itself.
“I’m not going to go out there and play today because I’m really not going to learn a whole lot,” Woods told reporters during preparation for the year’s opening major. “These are conditions we are not going to face all week.
“I’m just going to touch on my game, make sure my skills are good and tomorrow maybe play nine (holes) and get some rest.”
Although the temperature barely crept above 10 degrees Celsius, with the wind chill an added factor, double winner Phil Mickelson opted to play his only practice round of the week.
“I didn’t think it was that bad this morning,” the American world number two said. “I was expecting it to be colder and windier but it wasn’t bad at all.
“I usually like to play before 8:00 and get the round in. It’s my only practice round of the week. I don’t like to play on Wednesday.
“I like to just work on my game, practise it and try not to get too tired heading into Thursday,” added left-hander Mickelson, champion here in 2004 and 2006.
“I felt this was my only opportunity to get a good practice round in.”
Temperatures are expected to climb to 24 degrees Celsius for the four days of the tournament with sunny conditions forecast for Thursday’s opening round.
Scattered showers and clouds are likely for Friday and Saturday with mostly sunshine predicted for Sunday’s final round.
South African Trevor Immelman defends the title he won by three shots in tricky swirling winds at Augusta National last year.