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Gate openings and tee times for day one of the Masters have been delayed.

The tournament posted an update at 6.30pm (local time) last night to alert patrons that access to Augusta National will be delayed until further notice.

It’s due to forecasted weather for Thursday in Georgia, as thunderstorms, rain and wind have pushed back play in the opening round.

Honorary starters Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson were scheduled to get the tournament underway at 7.40 am, with the first tee time going off at 8.00 am.

But with hours until the 88th edition begins, The Masters has said that the first round will not start any earlier than 9 am.

“We continue to monitor the weather closely,” a statement read. “Gate openings and tee times have been delayed until further notice. The first round will not begin before 9 a.m.”

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The weather is expected to pick up over the rest of the week, despite inclement conditions on day one.

With wind gusts of up to 45 mph expected, strong winds could continue into Saturday, albeit dropping to a high of 30mph.

Conditions significantly impacted last year’s tournament, with play halted on Friday after three pine trees fell near the 17th tee.

It left a handful of players with almost two full rounds to play on the final day, and although that looks unlikely this year, players have voiced their frustration.

After being told of a potential delay, Luke List – who was set to tee off at 8.36 am, said: “Not much we can do about it. It’s kind of just see how much it dumps and how it will change.”

Meanwhile, 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia offered his take on how the tournament will be affected.

“On a course like this, where you have to be so precise in every single shot that you hit, when you play with that amount of wind, it becomes very, very challenging,” he said.

Leading hope Hideki Matsuyama is hoping the rain holds off as he chases a second green jacket.

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The 2021 Masters champion argued that his chances could be dented, despite surging to the lead in a weather-hit tournament three years ago.

“The course plays differently, of course, like you know, between wet and dry,” he said on Monday.

“If the course is playing hard and fast, it’s more difficult. Winning score is usually lower — not lower, but higher. When it’s wet, I mean, it can go to 20-under.

“I like both, but if it goes to 20-under, my chances are — get slimmer. So, I would like a more, tougher setup where it plays dryer, fast and hard. I think I have a better chance when it’s playing that way.”

Erik van Rooyen and Jake Knapp are the first tee time pairing for this year’s Masters.

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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