Rain, slick greens offer tough scoring conditions
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta National’s steep slopes are a little slicker this morning as the anticipated rain has arrived. White signs with the words “Caution: Slippery When Wet” lined where spectators walk right of the first fairway.
Instead of mingling under the large oak tree in front of the clubhouse, patrons huddled under the veranda for shelter from the rain. Nathan Smith, awaiting his 10:56 a.m. tee time, pantomimed swings under the tree as his father and caddie, Larry, held an umbrella over their heads.
Security guards wore clear plastic ponchos, while the club’s green-and-white umbrellas were surely a strong seller in the pro shop. The rain was expected to continue sporadically throughout the morning with a zero percent of precipitation in the afternoon. The rains will further soften Augusta National, which was susceptible to low scores Thursday.
Players were struggling on Augusta National's opening holes early Friday, though. First-round co-leader Sergio Garcia was 2 over after four holes, while Dustin Johnson, who was one off the lead after Thursday’s 67, was 1 over after bogey at the par-4 third hole. Adam Scott was 2 over after four holes after shooting 69 Thursday. Tianlang Guan was 2 over after seven holes and in danger of slipping outside the cut.