Shackelford: If forecast holds, Masters must ponder playing full round on Monday

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Shackelford: If forecast holds, Masters must ponder playing full round on Monday

Masters

Shackelford: If forecast holds, Masters must ponder playing full round on Monday

By

AUGUSTA, Ga. – We are all The Bishop right now.

The Golf Gods would not interrupt the best tournament of our lives. Would they?

According to the weathermen, Sunday’s forecast is as bleak as that fateful day the Golf Gods took The Bishop and left Carl Spackler to tip-toe away in a storm of biblical proportions.

“Oh, rat f–t!”

Wait, this is the Masters. Sigh.

Martin Kaymer stands under an umbrella in the rain on the 1st green during the second round of The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports)

Jim Nantz, during Friday’s thrilling second round briefly interrupted by the first play suspension since 2005, said the forecast “sounds ominous.”

Weathermen across the country are already telegraphing something awful, possibly even historic and potentially deadly for much of the southern United States this weekend.

“Sunday will bring the risk of more general thunderstorms in the area and any storm could bring severe weather conditions with frequent lightning strikes, torrential downpours and strong wind gusts,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

MORE: Tiger Tracker | Round 3 live blog | Leaderboard | TV schedule

With the Masters in mind, Sosnowski suggests tee times should be moved up, at the very least.

“However, the morning and early afternoon hours are likely to be free of rain, so it might be advantageous to start early to avoid the increasing risk of thunderstorms interfering as the afternoon and early evening hours progress.”

This tournament is too good to be played this Sunday for a few hours and be interrupted. But the Lords of Augusta can only pull so many levers for so long before they were bound to be unlucky with weather.

If the severe weather warnings already issued prove accurate, damaging winds will be blowing through the Augusta National grounds. Moisture amounts may not be problematic, but patron and player safety is very much an issue, particularly if the tornado word keeps popping up in the more dire forecasts.

The next National Weather Service update will arrive overnight as Masters Chairman Fred Ridley and his team try to catch some sleep while the on-site weather forecasters pull an all-nighter. The decision they face will be painful, annoying, expensive and unprecedented, but it’s actually an easy line in the sand to draw: if the forecast remains the same or worsens in the wee hours, they should make the unprecedented decision to postpone Sunday’s round to Monday. And make the call as early as possible during Saturday’s third round.

This star-studded leaderboard deserves a clean, all-day, classic Masters finish. It may just have to be on Monday. On CBS, with Dave Loggins theme music and a Butler Cabin ceremony at dusk and all the trappings.

Patrons make their way around the course under umbrellas in the rain during the second round of the 2019 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. (Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports)

Yes, the world will be deprived of The Bold And The Beautiful, Rachael Ray and Dr. Phil on some CBS affiliates. A whole bunch of volunteers and school-age workers will be asked to stay around or some trash won’t be picked up in a worst-case scenario. The hard-working maintenance team will have to get up early again and prepare the course to perfection. Patrons who have to go back to work will be bummed.

A club spokesman understandably said it would be premature to comment. Particularly given the amazing weather bubble that has so often protected the property when forecasters were certain trouble was on the way. But this weather “event” sounds different, meaning plans to consider all scenarios are not premature. Postpone to Monday in the interest of safety and the history books.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home