The Masters: Bryson DeChambeau and Tiger Woods in anxious wait over weather with thunderstorms forecast

Pre-tournament favourite and defending champion among the early starters on day one who could see heavy rain and thunderstorms impact the early stages of the 84th Masters

Phil Casey
Thursday 12 November 2020 14:38
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Jon Rahm skips ball across pond in amazing hole-in-one

Bryson DeChambeau and Tiger Woods are among the early starters keeping an anxious eye on the weather on day one of The Masters as heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast.

The 84th Masters gets under way on Thursday seven months later than planned, bringing with it shorter daylight hours and very different weather conditions that could have an impact on the leaderboard this week.

Pre-tournament favourite DeChambeau us due to begin his campaign at 07:33am local time (12:33pm GMT) alongside Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen, while Woods will tee off 22 minutes later with Shane Lowry and Andy Ogletree, both groups of which will tee off from the 10th as organisers look to squeeze in every grouping to beat the darkness.

A weather forecast including the possibility of heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms was not ideal but not unexpected either, given the Covid-19 pandemic forced what is traditionally the year's first major to be postponed from April until November.

After an 11-year wait, Woods won his 15th major championship and fifth Masters title at Augusta National in April last year, the 44-year-old finishing a shot ahead of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele.

Read more: The Masters day one tee times

Almost 600 days later, Woods will attempt to defy the odds once more but the delay has done him few favours, the world number 33 managing a best of tied 37th in six events since the restart, the most recent of which was a tie for 72nd in a 78-man field in his defence of the Zozo Championship.

"I've (either) driven it well or hit my irons poorly," Woods said. "Or I've put the ball-striking together and I haven't putted well. I haven't put all the pieces together and hopefully that will be this week."

Remarkably Woods has not been the centre of attention in the build-up due to the big-hitting exploits of DeChambeau, who powered his way to a six-shot victory in the US Open in September.

"I can hit it as far as I want to, but it comes down to putting and chipping out here," admitted the world number six, who shared the lead after an opening 66 last year before fading to 29th.

"I will say that I'm trying to look at it as I'm still an underdog to the field. Anybody can win this week. There's a lot of unbelievable players out there."

Rory McIlroy, who needs to win the Masters to complete the career grand slam, was due to start his campaign from the first tee at noon local time (5pm GMT) in the company of world number one Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay.

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PA

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