AUGUSTA DIARY: Jack Nicklaus gets snappy over Donald Trump tweet, weatherman sticks the boot in… and why morning storm may be a GOOD omen for Rory McIlroy
- Bad weather has helped Rory McIlroy during previous wins at Major events
- Jack Nicklaus was not best pleased to be asked a question about Donald Trump
- Sportsmail’s man on the ground DEREK LAWRENSON tells all from Augusta
Months after its intended date in the calendar, the 84th Masters finally got underway under a cloud on Thursday.
Paul Casey and Lee Westwood proved experience pays while man of the moment Bryson DeChambeau found life tough in among the trees.
Sportsmail’s man on the ground DEREK LAWRENSON tells all from Augusta after a fascinating – and drizzly – opening day…
Rory McIlroy may have welcomed bad weather and seen it as a good omen for him this week
The weatherman on a local Augusta TV station really knows how to put the boot in.
As the rain sheeted down, he looked ahead to next week when the projections suggest it will be ‘the most perfect weather in the history of November in Augusta’.
Thanks for that, pal.
The storm came down and play was suspended but a weatherman stuck the boot in further
NICKLAUS NOT HAPPY BY POLITICAL DIG
One Masters tradition that went ahead was the Thursday press conference with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player after their ceremonial tee shots.
The pair delivered lengthy answers — bar one. That was when Nicklaus was asked about his tweet supporting Donald Trump for US President against ‘socialist’ Joe Biden.
The question was phrased beautifully by Christine Brennan of USA Today: ‘Jack, you were always the most gracious sportsman in victory and defeat, so what advice would you give President Trump about conceding defeat?’
Nicklaus rapped: ‘I’ve said enough about that. I don’t think this is the place for politics.’
Jack Nicklaus got snippy in an interview over his political support for Donald Trump
CUT TO THE CHASE
With the tournament playing catch-up, the green jackets will be glad to have dispensed with the rule that anyone within 10 shots of the lead after 36 holes makes the cut.
Last year, an unwieldy 65 out of 87 players made it. This year, it will be a more manageable 50 and ties.
CANCEL THE MASTERS? REED IT AND WEEP…
There was no messing about on the GolfFacts twitter account, with a trenchant view of majors without fans.
‘No one should be awarded a major championship, nonetheless a green jacket, without the pressure and excitement fans bring,’ the anonymous tweet began. ‘No fans, no Ryder Cup. Should be same for majors.’
And the person holding this forthright opinion? It is believed to be Justine Reed, wife of Patrick.
The GolfFacts account suggested nobody should win the Masters without fans present and the anonymous account is reportedly operated by Justine Reed, wife of Patrick (pictured)
GOOD OMEN FOR RORY?
Sitting in his rental home watching the rain fall, Rory McIlroy might have been the only man who wasn’t frustrated at the near three-hour delay.
In each of his four major championship victories — the 2011 US Open, the 2012 USPGA, and the Open and PGA in 2014 — there were significant suspensions of play for bad weather.
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