Masters Pairings: Weather Becomes THE Factor

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IApril 6, 2010

Before you start breaking down the Tiger Woods 1:42 p.m. pairing with K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar, you better check the weather.

Wind and weather are EVERYTHING at Augusta National.

Thursday's first round of the Masters is looking like a stormy day. It could cause havoc and high scores. There's a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms and winds in the 20 mph neighborhood.

Good news for the early guys. The storms are coming later. Bad news for Woods and the later times.

Augusta National's back nine sits down in a bowl of sorts. Winds swirl mightily. They are difficult—at best—to figure. Get some wind and weather and you saw what happened in 2007 when it was both cold and windy. Zach Johnson won with a one-over 289.

Thursday should be the only questionable day with the weather improving each day and  a great forecast for the weekend.

But Thursday could be very testy.

Big guns among the earlier tee times include Ernie Els (10:13), defending champion Angel Cabrera and Jim Furyk (10:24), and Phil Mickelson (10:35).

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Woods could be catching the bad end of this draw.

Karma?

Perhaps.

Augusta National has the subterfuge systems under each green that allows control of the moisture in the putting surfaces. They can virtually suck water out of the greens during rainfall periods.

Still, it's the wind that counts most.

These early week practice days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) won't present any wind.

Augusta National is a different golf course when the wind blows.

And that will be THE factor on Thursday.