Rain at Augusta National could change how things are played
AUGUSTA — As the rain poured at Augusta National, last year’s runner-up, Rickie Fowler, talked about the “bubble” outside the perimeter of the course.
“There’s some times where there’s storms that are supposed to be coming through, and sometimes there’s a bubble, and they somehow just miss this place,” Fowler said.
Be that as it may, rain will be coming to the Masters earlier in the week and possibly some at the end of the tournament, according to the National Weather Service.
And as expected, storms came in from west of the CSRA and flared up on schedule on Monday afternoon. And Tuesday isn’t going to get much better, with a 70 percent chance of rain.
Just how much rain the area gets will probably cause some golfers to switch up how they play in the tournament. Justin Rose, the No. 1 player in the world right now, said the conditions could keep the course a bit on the softer side, and that some changes where the course has been lengthened could be a factor.
For example, the 495-yard, par-4 fifth hole, one of the toughest on the course, has been stretched.
“There’s a bit of rain coming possibly, but if it did firm up a touch, now you’re thinking about hitting a long iron and kind of running it up a bit more links-style up on to that green,” Rose said. “I think the extra length, you might see more links-style running shots. That’s how I see the design of it, anyway. Whether the conditions allow that, we’ll see.”
On the other hand, Tommy Fleetwood pointed at several advantages and disadvantages to the how the course will look following a good soaking.
“I think around the greens it makes a difference because the grass is just that little bit lusher,” Fleetwood said. “Definitely makes chipping nicer, and a bit easier.
“Around the greens (the rain) really has made a difference, and for sure, it’s playing longer. The tee shots you’re getting nothing out of, a slight mis‑strike and you know you’re a couple of clubs longer into the greens. That all adds up.”
Prior to Monday’s rain, golfers had talked about the fact the course was playing a bit softer.
“It will be a lot different in the next couple days,” Justin Thomas said. “But it’s a little softer, the fairways and the greens, it’s the same as every year, good.”
And that’s the approach Fowler’s taking, no matter how much rain will come this week, his thoughts will be everything is fine at the Masters.
“Well, as you know, here at Augusta, they can make some crazy things happen,” he said. “It’s another reason this is a special place.”