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Rains Hammer Augusta National

Wednesday Masters Update

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta National chairman Billy Payne left open the possibility of allowing golfers to pick, clean and place their balls in Thursday's opening round after 1.4 inches of rain fell on the course overnight.

The opening of Augusta National was delayed 40 minutes Wednesday as workers cleaned up debris and addressed flooded bunkers. A number of trees fell -- one of them on the restroom adjacent the 16th tee. Payne said that -- in typical Masters fashion -- the structure would probably be repaired by the end of the day.

Payne acknowledged the competition committee is generally against a pick, clean and place scenario but would acquiesce if conditions warrant. More rain could be coming. Chances are 30 percent today and 60 percent on Thursday.

-- Bob DiCesare

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