As consistent as Augusta National is from year to year, the one variable that exists for any outdoor event is the weather. The Masters course has been firm and fast ahead of Round 1, but there is a chance that the course could take different shapes throughout the week.
From the beginning of the tournament to the end, weather in the Augusta, Georgia, area could be volatile with things heating up midweek and potentially giving way to rain and thunderstorms over the weekend.
For now, the forecast to start the week will be more of the former with just a 15% chance of precipitation on Thursday with a high of 83 and winds around 11 mph. Those conditions accompanied by overcast skies may not last, though, as Friday brings a chance of scattered thunderstorms with likelihood of rain increasing throughout the day. Saturday also could bring thunderstorms with a chance of precipitation forecasted around 80%
Golfers are bracing for brutally firm greens in the event that rain does not soften the course, which could require surgical precision. Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson said Tuesday that it's something he and others are actively monitoring before taking the course for Round 1 with strategy and approach hinging upon how firm -- or soft -- conditions appear.
"When the greens are firm, the precision, the course management, the angles, the leave where the ball is left, all of this stuff becomes incredibly important in your ability to play this course effectively," Mickelson said. "When the greens are soft, it's irrelevant because you can fly the ball over all the trouble. Angles don't matter. However, when the greens are firm, those small sections are very hard to hit and you've got to really strategize on where you leave it. That's the whole defense of the golf course."
Here's an general forecast for Augusta over the four-day event, according to Weather Channel.
SSW 11 mph
S 8 mph
S 14 mph
WSW 13 mph