Augusta - Augusta National Golf Club officials preparing for the 81st Masters shut down the course Monday following a tornado warning.
"We are in the area of a tornado warning and we are shutting the course down," said an official.
"The course will be shut down for the entire day."
An earlier severe thunderstorm forced the evacuation of the course, which was closed for more than an hour. Gusting winds blew heavy rain across the famed layout as players and spectators ran for cover once the alert was raised.
A second closure was briefly announced before the tornado alert triggered the definitive closure for the day.
Thousands of people had turned out despite earlier downpours to watch the world's top golfers ahead of Thursday's opening round of the year's first major men's golf championship.