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The Masters 2024 weather: First round new start time confirmed due to adverse weather at Augusta

Thursday's tee times pushed back at Augusta to 3.30pm UK time after forecast of heavy rain and thunderstorms; watch all four days exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf

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Watch all five holes-in-one from The Masters par-3 contest at Augusta National on Wednesday

The opening round of The Masters will start at 3.30pm UK time on Thursday after weather delays at Augusta.

Having announced early on Thursday morning that the day's first group would not tee off before 2pm BST, one hour later than scheduled, organisers subsequently confirmed a further 90-minute delay before opening play would commence.

Rain had been falling through the night and into the morning at Augusta, before stopping, with organisers expecting the wet weather to "be much less than forecasted".

The threat of lightning meant patrons were not allowed to enter until 9.30am local time (2.30pm BST), with gusty conditions expected throughout the first two rounds.

All four days of the tournament are exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf with Thursday's live coverage under way from 2pm. Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy tee off in the same group at 6.12pm, while the returning Tiger Woods starts his week at 8.54pm.

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Speaking before the weather delay was confirmed, Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir explained what the potential knock-on effects could be for Thursday and Friday's play at Augusta

What's the forecast for the remainder of Thursday and the weekend?

In the latest weather update issued by the tournament, organisers said forecasts now showed that rainfall at the course would not be as heavy as initially feared, with the threat of thunder also receding.

"We are currently dry with the precipitation shifting to our east," read the update.

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"Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are 75 miles to the southwest of Augusta moving to the northeast. This activity may impact ANGC between 7:30am-9am [12.30am-2pm BST], but current track has the lightning threat remaining to our south.

"Peak wind gusts to 40mph will be possible through 11am (4pm BST) with sustained winds of 15-20 gusting to 30-35mph continuing through the afternoon. Rainfall totals will be much less than forecasted yesterday with additional amounts likely holding under 0.50."

Strong winds are set to continue into Friday, with gusts expected to reach 30mph, although conditions will be less humid and sunshine is scheduled to return.

However, the weekend forecast is about as perfect as the tournament could hope for, with warm and sunny conditions and winds significantly less than the previous two days, meaning the event will be able to get back on track if there are any delays earlier in the week.

"Windy conditions persist Friday under mostly sunny skies as a dry and stable airmass settles into the area," a weather update from the tournament on Wednesday said. "Mostly sunny skies can be expected through the weekend with west to south-westerly winds in the 7-15 mph range."

Adverse weather delay has forced at least one suspension in play in each of the past five editions of The Masters, while rain has been experienced in over half of the 88 previous editions of the event.

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As The Masters approaches, watch a selection of the best and worst shots from Rory McIlroy at Augusta National

The Masters has not finished on a Monday since 1983, when Seve Ballesteros claimed a four-shot victory, with that run set to continue this week despite the questionable forecast for the opening day of the tournament.

What has the weather been like at Augusta so far?

Sky Sports' Ali Stafford at Augusta National:

"The delayed start to The Masters came as little surprise, with strong winds and heavy rain for Thursday morning having been in the forecast for the past few days.

"There has been plenty of heavy rain overnight and more storms were forecast over the next couple of hours.

"The local TV station is showing the worst of weather is actually to the south and east of Augusta, so perhaps we may not get quite as much rain as the forecast was showing yesterday."

When to watch The Masters on Sky Sports

Wall-to-wall coverage from the tournament begins over the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, with Featured Group action and regular updates from around the course available to enjoy on Sky Sports Golf until the global broadcast window begins at 8pm.

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The Masters is upon us and you can watch all the tremendous action live this week on Sky Sports Golf

There will be lots of extra action throughout all four days via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, along with Sky Q and Sky Glass, providing plenty of bonus feeds and allowing you to follow players' progress through various parts of Augusta's famous layout.

Sky Sports Golf will show extended build-up content over the weekend and occasional live updates from the course before the global broadcast window starts at 8pm for the third round and 7pm for the final day, with early action available throughout via the red button.

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David Howell explains why the world's top golfers find putting on the greens at Augusta so difficult

Who will win The Masters? Watch live from April 11-14 exclusively on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf. Stream The Masters and lots more golf with NOW.

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