Start of 86th Masters delayed due to thunderstorms in Augusta

The start of the first round of the 86th Masters has been delayed due to overnight thunderstorms in Georgia.

The announcement was made just before 5.30am local time following thunder, lightning and heavy rain from almost 5pm on Wednesday in Augusta.

“Due to thunderstorms in the early morning hours Thursday, gate openings and tee times will be delayed by 30 minutes,” said an official announcement by Augusta National.

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“Ticketing gates will open at 7.30am. In addition, the Honorary Starters Ceremony will take place at 8.15am followed by the first tee time at 8.30am.”

The start of play has been delaye by bad weather at Augusta National. Picture: Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

For the first time, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player are being joined by Tom Watson to get the season’s opening major underway.

The forecast was for the thunderstorms to stop around 8am and then clear up for the rest of the day.

No more heavy rain is expected, though it is set to be cool and windy.

The delay means that five-time winner Tiger Woods is now due to head out at 11.04am local time.

Sandy Lyle, the 1988 winner, is due out around 45 minutes later, closely followed by Bob MacIntyre.

Rory McIlroy, who is bidding to complete a career grand slam, is in the last group of the day and might not get finished due to the delay.

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