AUGUSTA, Ga. — The first bad sign was the line of cars streaming away from Augusta National.
Monday's practice round at The Masters was rained out just two hours after gates opened. Thousands of patrons, many of whom had surely waited years or entire lives for the coveted badge to enter the grounds, found themselves herded right back out the gates ... if they even made it in at all.
The rains made the greener-than-green grass treacherous, and the lightning that followed soon after made the day an impossibility. So shortly before noon, Augusta shuttered the course and declared play done for the day.
But what to do about all those patrons? While Augusta couldn't just let in all the Monday badgeholders on Tuesday, the club did the next best thing: refund their money and give them the right to purchase practice-round tickets next year. It was a good and welcome gesture; bypassing the annual Masters badge lottery takes plenty of pressure off the minds of those golf fans.
And, although it comes as no comfort for the Monday patrons, the weather for the rest of the week is expected to be spectacular.