AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Masters moved up tee times in hopes of a Sunday finish. While the tournament is trying its best to avoid a Monday return, there's one tradition that will be sacrificed on Sunday.
On Sunday, officials announced that the Green Jacket Ceremony held on the terrace putting green has been canceled. The club said this was in order to expedite gate closures at tournament's end.
"Weather permitting, we will have photos with the champion on the putting green following the Butler Cabin Green Jacket presentation," the Masters said in a statement. "We will provide everyone a produced CBS feed of activity, so it is not necessary for press with video cameras/tripods to attend."
Faced with a Sunday afternoon forecast stating an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms, play will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday with the final threesome expected to tee off at 9:20 a.m. CBS will broadcast the final round live beginning at 9 a.m.
The split-tee concept narrows the amount of tee times needed, shrinking the duration from six hours to three. The hope, obviously, is that play can start early enough to get all 65 players to finish before the severe weather can arrive, and avoid the tournament spilling over into Monday.
“The safety of everyone on our grounds is paramount,” said Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters. “We also believe the earlier start will give us the best opportunity to complete the Masters on Sunday. This decision should benefit everyone—the players, our patrons and our fans watching around the world. Given the competitiveness and drama of this year’s tournament, we look forward to an exciting conclusion tomorrow.”