AUGUSTA, Georgia (AP) — Play has been halted for the day at the Masters because of nasty weather.
A steady rain only got heavier after the third round began shortly before lunchtime, with those making the cut going off in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees.
But it became impossible to carry on as large puddles began to form on the pristine greens.
The horn sounded about 3:15 p.m. EDT, and Augusta National officials quickly announced that play was suspended for the rest of the day with the forecast showing no signs of improving.
So, everyone will return to the course early Sunday to finish off the third round, with Brooks Koepka holding a four-shot lead over Jon Rahm. Then, they’ll jump right into the final round with hopes of completing play before sundown,
At least Sunday’s forecast is much more promising, with temperatures expected to climb into the mid-60s and sunshine breaking through in the afternoon.
The Masters says its prize money this year will be $18 million, an increase from $15 million a year ago. The winner will get $3,240,000. That’s more than the entire purse ($3.2 million) at the Masters 25 years ago.
None of the majors has matched the PGA Tour’s $20 million purse for its elevated events — The Players Championship has a $25 million purse.
The next major is the PGA Championship, and PGA of America officials have been waiting to see what the Masters would do with its purse. The PGA Championship also was at $15 million last year.
The U.S. Open purse last year was $17.5 million, while the British Open purse was $14 million.
Brooks Koepka has opened a four-stroke lead over Jon Rahm and is beginning to put some distance between the rest of the field in a rain-drenched third round of the Masters.
But three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson is lurking on the fluctuating leaderboard.
Mickelson is 1 under through six holes Saturday and has moved into a tie for fifth place eight shots behind Koepka, who is 13 under. Collin Morikawa is in third place, six shots back at 7 under in third place.
Amateur Sam Bennett has fallen off the pace and is 2 over for the day, seven shots behind.
LIV star Brooks Koepka holds a two-shot lead at the Masters over Jon Rahm at 12 under following the conclusion of the weather-delayed second round.
Despite a steady rain, the third round will get underway at 11:30 with players teeing off in threesomes from both the front and back nine as tournament officials look to squeeze in as much golf as possible with more bad weather in the forecast.
Amateur Sam Bennett is four shots behind at 8 under. First round co-leader Viktor Hovland is seven shots back after a shooting 73, leaving him in a tie for fifth place with Collin Morikawa.
Rahm took to the course Saturday morning at 9 under through nine holes and rallied to pull to within one shot on the lead on two occasions, but a bogey on 18 amid a heavy downpour left him two shots behind Koepka. Koepka finished his second round on Friday and will be fresh for the third round.
Tiger Woods made the cut — barely — for the 23rd straight year, tying a tournament record. For those fans harboring hopes of another miracle run and sixth Masters title by Woods, the largest 36-hole comeback in Masters history came from Jack Burke Jr., who overcame an eight-shot deficit to beat amateur Ken Venturi in 1956. Woods trails by 15 strokes.
It poured throughout the completion of the second round and the course is growing more saturated following an overnight rain, making play increasingly more difficult.
“I you manage to break 70 this afternoon in these conditions it will be a pretty good score,” said Shane Lowry.
Twelve of the 18 LIV golfers made the cut. ___
Tiger Woods has backed into more history at the Masters.
On a cold, rainy morning, Woods made his 23rd consecutive cut at the Masters despite closing the weather-delayed second round with back-to-back bogeys.
He ties the record shared by Gary Player and Fred Couples. Woods has never missed the Masters cut since turning professional.
Woods finished the round with a 1-over 73 and walked off the course a shot above the projected cut line of 2-over 146. But the line climbed to 3 over when Justin Thomas made a bogey at the 17th.
Woods’ spot in the final two rounds was secured when Thomas failed to make a birdie at the 18th.
Thomas wound up missing the cut himself when he made another bogey at the 18th.
Tiger Woods is in danger of missing the Masters cut for the first time in his professional career.
Woods closed out his weather-delayed second round with back-to-back bogeys for a 1-over 73. That left him with a 3-over 147 at the midway point of the tournament.
At the moment, he’s below the projected cut line of 2 over. But there’s a chance Woods could play the final two rounds if either Justin Thomas or Sungjae Im drops another shot coming in.
If so, the top-50 cut line would move to 3 over.
Woods has made 22 consecutive cuts at the Masters since turning pro. He is one away from tying the record shared by Gary Player and Fred Couples.
It appears that Fred Couples will be playing the rest of the weekend at the Masters.
The 1992 champion finished his second round with a bogey, leaving him at 1 over for the championship and inside the projected cut line. That would make the 63-year-old Couples the oldest player to make the cut at Augusta National, beating the mark that Bernhard Langer set during the 2020 tournament by about 3 1/2 months.
It also would be the 31st career cut for Couples, trailing only Jack Nicklaus’ record of 37.
At one point, Couples made 23 straight cuts to tie Gary Player for the longest such streak at the Masters. Five-time champion Tiger Woods can join them by making the cut Saturday. He had six holes left in the cold, rainy weather and was right on the projected cut line of 2 over. Woods has never missed the cut as a professional.
Players are trying to finish the second round, which was suspended Friday due to weather, before the third round begins later Saturday. The temperature is in the 40s with a cold drizzle and rain is expected to continue throughout the day with storms possible.
The second round of the Masters resumed after storms brought down three pine trees the previous day and ground play to a halt. Brooks Koepka has the clubhouse lead at 12 under with Jon Rahm among those giving chase.
There were two stoppages during the second round Friday, the first for 21 minutes and the second for the day. The second suspension came moments after the three massive pines fell near the 17th tee. Nobody in their vicinity was hurt.
The forecast for the rest of the weekend calls for more rain and high temperatures in the 50s.
Rahm resumed his second round three shots back of Koepka with the back nine still to play. Also yet to finish their second rounds were Viktor Hovland, who shared the first-round lead and was 6 under, and Cameron Young, who was 5 under.
Tiger Woods was bundled up in a stocking cap and puffy vest as he warmed up under floodlights before the sun rose on the practice range Saturday. He was 2 over and just inside the cut line with seven holes left to play. The five-time Masters champion is trying to make his 23rd consecutive cut at Augusta National, tying the record shared by Gary Player and Fred Couples. Woods has never missed one at the Masters as a professional.
Also in contention is U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett, who finished his second round and is 8 under. That’s the second-best 36-hole score by an amateur at the Masters behind only Ken Venturi, who was one better in 1956.
Louis Oosthuizen did not return to finish his second round. He was 7 over before withdrawing due to injury.