Morning Chronicle - Storm calls early halt to Masters practice

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Storm calls early halt to Masters practice
Storm calls early halt to Masters practice

Storm calls early halt to Masters practice

A severe storm caused an early halt to Tuesday's second day of practice for the 86th Masters at Augusta National, with players and spectators cleared from the course.

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Inclement weather and safety concerns caused tournament officials to halt the session at 10:55 a.m. (1455 GMT) with the grounds not to be reopened due to forecasts for more intense storms later in the day.

"The safety of everyone at Augusta National was the determining factor in the decision to suspend Tuesday's practice round and evacuate the grounds," Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said.

Ticket purchasers will be given the chance to buy the same tickets for next year's second practice day.

"We share in the disappointment of our patrons, though we look forward to welcoming them back next year," Ridley said.

Sixth-ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, last month's Players Championship winner, worried heavy rain would spoil conditions at the famed course as Thursday's opening round looms.

"The course is probably the best I've seen it. It's unreal," Smith said. "Hopefully we don't get too much rain this afternoon. I think that may ruin the condition of it and the playability of it a little bit."