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PLAYERS MIFFED ABOUT TEE TIME CONFUSION

Just when the Masters appeared to get back on schedule after two days of rain, the third round was thrown into more chaos Saturday afternoon when players were not told their tee times.

"This is like the dark ages," two-time champion Bernhard Langer said. "How difficult can it be to get 50 players back on the course?"

Fifty players made the cut at 4-over 148, and Augusta National officials decided to send them off in twosomes from both tees with hopes of playing as many holes before dark.

But the club never posted tee times.

Three club members were on the putting green, studying 36-hole scores and trying to group players accordingly. Retief Goosen and Shingo Katayama were the first to tee off on No. 1, but they should not have been paired together and both should have started on the 10th tee.

Five players went off with the wrong partner. One club member was heard saying there was a computer glitch and one name came up twice.

Some players appeared confused and annoyed; others made jokes about the confusion on the driving range.

"This is unbelievable," said Ricci Roberts, the caddie for Ernie Els, as they headed to the practice green. "First, they told us we were playing at five after 5. Then they told us it was 5:15."

With groups already teeing off nearby, a tournament worker hurriedly readjusted the names on a pairings board, trying to get everyone in the correct order.

"Let's get to the tee quick before they change their minds," Tim Herron's caddie, Scott Steele, said after Herron's pairing with Nick O'Hern was finally called.

Chris DiMarco, who shot 67 in the morning and had a four-shot lead, stuck his head out the clubhouse door and asked his caddie if he had heard the tee times. The caddie shook his head.

Langer was on the green waiting for a rules official to approve a new putter he was using and had a look of disbelief as he spoke to an official.

"I told them I have seen amateur events better organized," he said. "And I still don't know when I'm playing."

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