Thunderstorms cause early delays at The Masters

Bad weather has pushed back the tournament's first tee times, and gates will remain closed until further notice.

Clouds overshadowed the golf stars gathered to compete in the first major of the golf season. The organizers of the Augusta Masters announced that the start of the tournament will be delayed by at least two and a half hours and the gates will remain closed until further notice as a result of the forecast of heavy thunderstorms and rain in the hours leading up to the first tee times.

The start was scheduled for 8 a.m., but the organization announced that it will officially begin at 10:30 a.m., according to an official statement that the organization also shared on social media.

Jon Rahm defends title

Spanish golfer Jon Rahm will try to defend the title he won last year. He will be especially under the spotlight after his transition away from the PGA to sign for the Saudi-backed golf circuit LIV. While negotiations continue to merge the two circuits, the "rebel" LIV players and the PGA loyalists will compete in Georgia for the coveted green jacket.

Among the favorites are Brooks Koepka, who also plays on the LIV tour, or the champion of the 2022 edition, and most dominant player so far this season, Scottie Schffler, as well as Rory McIlroy. They are joined by Tiger Woods, who announced he is ready to try for his 16th major despite pain and injuries.