Tue. Oct 27th, 2020

Masters 2019: Can rain stop play and can a day be called off?

masters 2019 rain weathert’s lightning, not necessarily the rain, that causes the most trouble for golf.

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The forecast for the rest of the 2019 Masters is looking pretty girm. Good news for the South Africans who are a fair way off the pace. Fair way… geddit?


Weather forecasts suggest that the rest of the tournament is likely to be hit by thunderstorms and rain. The worst of the bad weather is due to hit on Sunday – the day that is supposed to be the final day.

The final group is due to tee off just as the forecast suggests the biggest deluge is due to hit.

Cricket fans will know the horror of rain delays all too well. And, while it is not uncommon in golf, it doesn’t happen quite as often. It’s not even the rain itself that’s the problem, it’s the storms that go alongside it.

Practice rounds were suspended for several hours and the course was evacuated because of storms at Augusta National in the lead up to the 2019 Masters.

You don’t want to be standing around in a wide open space carrying a bag of golf clubs when an electrical storm is whizzing around.

In some cases, however, it does rain so much that the green gets saturated and it’s simply not possible to carry on playing – or even start playing.

Masters 2019: Can rain stop play?

It looks like rain might interfere to some extent at the 2019 Masters. But the groundstaff has been preparing for it.

The course employs a huge number of staff to keep the greens in tip top shape and it also makes use of something called the SubAir system.

As explained by Forbes, the SubAir system is, in essence, a giant vacuum cleaner. It can either suck the moisture out of the grass and into the existing underground piping system or blow it out the other way.

To answer the question, yes, rain can stop play if it is heavy enough and definitely if it comes with storms.

Play stopped and course evacuated at 2019 Masters

If you tuned into the Masters late on Friday – you might have been wondering why a siren was going off and players were being asked to “evacuate the course” when there was no rain visible. As mentioned above – that’s all because of lightning (very, very frightening).

What happens when there is a golf weather delay

When tournament organisers make this call, there are two options. As seen on Friday at Augusta, an immediate stoppage of play, or a stoppage of play that allows players to finish a hole they are on, if they wish, as long as they have started that hole.

Usually, an immediate stoppage of play is indicated by one long siren or horn (like on Friday). The more lenient stoppage of play allowing players to finish a hole is usually indicated by three short sirens or horn blasts.

What happens if rain or weather stops a round from being completed

Those rounds are usually completed the next day. Which means a final scheduled for Sunday can be completed on Monday.

The Masters, though, has a no refund or rain check policy on rainouts. Patrons (that’s what the fans are officially called) are usually allowed to use their badges on the next day.

But there hasn’t been a Monday finish at the Masters since 1983, when Seve Ballesteros won his second Masters title.

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