Brooks Koepka will resume with a four-shot lead over Jon Rahm at The Masters, where the third round was suspended on Saturday due to heavy rain and waterlogged greens; play will resume at 1.30pm BST on Sunday and is live on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford at Augusta National
Last Updated: 08/04/23 10:44pm
The possibility of The Masters going into a fifth day has been a talking point throughout the week, with Augusta National officials keen to avoid taking the contest to a Monday finish for the first time since 1983.
Play was brought forward due to the threat of storms on Friday, with the second round experiencing a brief 20-minute delay and then being suspended at 4.22pm local time (9.22pm BST) due to storms and three trees falling by the 17th tee.
Jon Rahm was among the 39 players to return early on Saturday to complete their second rounds in cold and wet conditions, with the third round played in threesomes and off split tees to try and make up time lost earlier in the tournament, only for conditions to worsen as heavy rain continued to fall.
The final group had completed six holes when play was officially suspended for the day at 3.15pm (8.15pm BST) due to a waterlogged course, with none of the 54 players who made the cut able to complete their third rounds.
Heavy rain is forecast for the remainder of Saturday, with up to 1.5 inches of rain forecast expected between the time play was stopped and the early hours of Sunday morning.
How bad were conditions?
Brooks Koepka held a four-shot lead over Rahm and both were on the seventh green when the horn sounded to suspend play, with the pair supporting the decision to bring an early end to the day’s play.
“That seventh green was soaked,” Koepka said. “It was very tough. I thought I hit a good bunker shot, and it looked like it just skidded on the water. So I’m glad we stopped. I think it [the suspension timing] was spot on. Maybe I couldn’t have hit that bunker shot on seven, but at the end of the day, it’s fine. I’m okay with it.”
Rahm added: “Obviously when we walked up to the seventh green it was clear to us that it had been wet for a while. I understand they’re trying to push us to play as many holes as possible, but it was very apparent when they tried to get the water out that it just wasn’t going to happen in our case.
“You can’t really say it was [too] late because I don’t blame them for wanting us to play as much as possible. It was just too bad I couldn’t save at least one par on four or five, but I made a great swing on six and two great swings on seven. So I’m feeling confident, playing good golf and there’s a lot to be played.”
The Masters – Live
April 9, 2023, 8:00am
What does this mean for Sunday?
Play will resume at 8.30am local time (1.30pm BST), dependent on the condition of the course after the overnight rain, with just over 11 holes – or three and a bit hours – left of the third round still to complete.
Cloudy and breezy conditions are expected on Sunday, with no further rain or storm disruption, although any delay to the resumption would leave tournament officials in a race against time to get 72 holes completed before nightfall on Sunday.
The final round is expected to begin at 12.30pm local time (5.30pm BST) with pairings going off in a two-tee start, although exact timings and groupings will be confirmed after 54 holes have been completed.
A statement from Augusta National said the live broadcast – the global broadcast window – will remain as originally scheduled from 2pm-7pm local time (7pm-midnight BST), with the tournament set to be finished without the need of taking the opening major of the year into a fifth day.
What happens if play does not finish?
If the timings on Sunday go to plan then that would leave around an hour of daylight left to deal with any overruns or a potential play-off, although it is not impossible the tournament could require a Monday finish.
Seve Ballesteros was the last winner of The Masters on a Monday, securing victory in 1983 to win the Green Jacket for a second time, with the Spanish star also a previous winner of a Monday finish at The Open.
The last major to go an extra day was The Open at St Andrews in 2015, while the last unscheduled Monday finish on the PGA Tour came when Justin Rose won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
Who will win The Masters? Watch the conclusion of the third round live on Sunday from 1.30pm on Sky Sports Golf, ahead of the final round later that day. A host of bonus feeds will be available throughout the day via the red button on Sky Sports Golf!