Augusta in slick shape

2010-04-07 16:20
The US Masters (logo)
Augusta - Unseasonably high temperatures have left Augusta National running fast and firm for this week's US Masters where world number one Tiger Woods makes his long anticipated return to competition.

GALLERY: Augusta in full bloom

The mercury peaked at 33 degrees Celsius at nearby Augusta Regional Airport on Monday and Tuesday, an April record according to the National Weather Service.

"The course is playing a little shorter because of the heat," twice champion Phil Mickelson told reporters on Tuesday. "The ball is going a long ways in the practice rounds.

"The grass is a little bit longer around the greens and we can chip, as opposed to being forced to putt. I don't know if that's going to change Thursday or not."

There is a chance of rain in the late afternoon on Thursday for the opening round at Augusta National, although sunny conditions have been forecast for the weekend.

"If they can get the greens firmer and faster, it looks like looks the golf course is going to be firm and fast," said Irishman Padraig Harrington, a three-times major winner.

"It looks like it will be one of those years here where there will be a lot of control (required for approach shots), and in likelihood being a very firm and fast control."

Another by-product of the high temperatures at Augusta has been a spiking pollen count, resulting in several players and fans sneezing their way around the heavily contoured layout.

With its spectacular setting amid Georgian pines and blooming azaleas, the rolling course is one of the most beautiful venues in the world but it can also be a place of torment for hay fever sufferers.

Woods, a four-times champion at Augusta National, has long been a hay fever suffererer and he has worn sunglasses as a precaution while preparing for this week's tournament.

The 34-year-old American has not played competitively since winning the Australian Masters on Nov. 15 following startling revelations at the end of last year that he had had a string of extra-marital affairs.

Read more on:    the masters  |  augusta

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which of the FIVE South Africans competing at this year's Masters has the best chance of winning?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.