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MASTERS NOTEBOOK

It's News When It Doesn't Rain

April 09, 2006|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The showers and thunderstorms that cut short Saturday's third round of the Masters are nothing new around Augusta National Golf Club. What happened last year, when the leaders didn't finish the third round until Sunday morning and then played the final 18 holes, is still fresh in everyone's minds, but it's worth pointing out that weather played havoc with the Masters each of the preceding four years.

In 2004, when Phil Mickelson wound up winning, first-round play was suspended in the afternoon for two hours and then the round was ended at 7:45 p.m. because of darkness. Eighteen players finished their round Friday morning.

Rain washed out Thursday's first-round play in 2003 and two rounds were scheduled for Friday, but it didn't get caught up until Saturday. Mike Weir was the winner.

In 2002, when Tiger Woods won, second-round play was suspended because of weather with 38 players still on the course. The second round was resumed at 9 a.m. Saturday and the third round began at 12:30 p.m. with players beginning on the first and 10th tees.

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Saturday's showers prompted a re-stocking of green and white Masters umbrellas in the main merchandise area and the pro shop. They cost $45.

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The Masters tournament committee officially announced its total prize money and it's the same as last year -- $7 million, with $1.26 million for the winner and $756,000 for second.

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For what it's worth, the Bob Hope tournament karma connection is still in force at Augusta National. Chad Campbell, who is leading, won the Hope in January. In 2004, Mickelson won the Hope and the Masters and Weir won both in 2003. Four-time Masters champion Woods never plays the Hope.

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Catching up: David Duval's 10 on the second hole in the second round matched the worst score on that hole. Sam Byrd also had a 10 at No. 2 in 1948. Duval, whose five-year exemption for winning the 2001 British Open is expiring at the end of the year, the same as his Nike endorsement contract, is ranked 436.

He was No. 1 for 15 weeks in 1999, when he won four times before the Masters.

Unless he wins this year, or finishes in the top 125 on the money list, Duval's only exemption to play in tournaments next year, other than past champions status, is to use his one-time exemption as being in the top 50 on the all-time money list.

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Waiting out the rain, Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spent some time in the media dining area as a guest of the tournament.

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