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Golf: Weather Delays Masters Tournament

The first major men's golf tournament of the year, the Masters, is underway in Augusta, Georgia, after a five-and a-half hour delay because of rain and thunderstorms.

Dangerous downpours flooded the famous course, and the field of 93 players had to wait until the storms subsided. Phil Mickelson of the United States will try to defend his title against the likes of world No. 1 Vijay Singh of Fiji, No. 2 Tiger Woods and South African star Ernie Els.

Masters officials began the first round on the first and 10th tees and hope to get most of the first round played before dark. The second round will also use the two-tee format so players can complete the tournament in time.

The Masters is the ninth U.S. tournament out of 15 so far this season to be interrupted by bad weather. This also marks the seventh time in eight years that storms have stopped play at the Masters.

The weather forecast calls for rain and storms to continue through Friday with sunshine expected Saturday and Sunday. The Masters has not had a Monday finish since 1983, when Seve Ballesteros of Spain won the coveted Green Jacket.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.