5 Things that happened on Monday at The Masters
Thunderstorms rolled in on Monday afternoon and stopped all the action at the Masters, but not before players reacted to the changes made to the 5th hole, Justin Thomas showed off his new hilariously stamped wedges, and Justin Rose's caddie made his return.
Here's what happened on Monday at the Masters.
Play Suspended as storms roll in
It was a beautiful, bright and hot morning at Augusta National on the first practice day, but stormy weather closed down the entire course for the day late in the afternoon.
Around 3.20pm local time play was suspended and the course was closed to patrons for the day - and according to weather.com, more thunderstorms are expected on Tuesday, with an 80% chance of rain.
The sun is set to return on Wednesday for the par-3 contest however, which has only been cancelled once in its history (in 2017).
As for the rest of the week, it looks dry for the first two rounds before the rain is predicted to be back on Saturday... and there is a chance of scattered thunderstorms on Sunday.
World No.1 Justin Rose's caddie Mark Fulcher is back on the bag, and Rose is planning to make their past experiences together count
Justin Rose's regular caddie Mark 'Fooch' Fulcher is making his return this week after an extended spell of rest following heart surgery in January.
Henrik Stenson's former caddie Gareth Lord had taken over duties in the interim, and Rose said during his press conference that Fooch had asked just one thing of Lord while he was away: return his player as World No.1. Rose, who regained the top spot today from Dustin Johnson, called it a 'nice touch'.
"Fooch is back this week which has been sort of a long awaited arrival for him. I know time has been going very slowly for him and he's been chomping at the bit to get back, but he's stayed very much integrated and engaged in my game, one of his best mates out here on Tour is Gareth Lord; and they have been communicating a lot with what has been going on and Fooch has come down to see me on my weeks off on a couple of occasions.
"Once he knew he was looking good to caddie this week, which was his ultimate goal, he came out to Austin, Texas to kind of get some of the back slapping out of the way and hey, Fooch, how you doing, out of the way, so he could focus on business this week, which was smart of him.
"I'm excited. You mentioned the world No. 1, that's obviously cool but that was a fun little story that, Fooch said to Lordy, you've got one job, just give him back to me as world No. 1. The fact that the ranking switched this week was kind of a nice touch."
Rose, who has been in the final group at the Masters a couple of times and has two runner-up finishes in his last four starts at Augusta, thinks Fooch's past knowledge is going to prove very important over the weekend.
"I think ‑‑ I feel like we've learned together so much here, I wouldn't expect a nugget of information I don't know to come out during practice.
"Where Fooch is going to earn his money and earn his position on the bag and earn his importance on the team is on Saturday and Sunday. Basically when emotions start to get more intense and there's more variability from that point of view, that's when I'm going to rely on him more and more. I think very much, I'm very comfortable.
"If I had anybody caddie for me Thursday, Friday, I would probably be in very good shape and be very comfortable. It's when the going gets tough, that's when I think someone who knows you so well and we have so many positive experiences out there under pressure that we can draw on together; that's where Fooch is going to come into his own for me."
Players react to the changes to the 5th hole at Augusta National
The 5th hole has been extended by 40 yards and has a new tee box, making the hole a more difficult challenge. But what do the players think of the change?
World No.1 Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood and Bryson DeChambeau were all asked about their opinions of the changes to the 5th hole at Augusta National during their press conferences on Monday. Here's what they said...
"No. 5, I think it actually makes the drive a little easier, as far as if you want to push it up where the bunkers are. Today we couldn't because it was back into the wind, so it was tough to get it into that area.
"Beforehand, if you were going to hit driver you had to hug the bunkers pretty close and if you pushed it a little right you would go through the fairway. Now it's a little bit more straight‑on where you have a little bit more room, if you hang it out to the right a little bit, you won't run through quite as quickly.
"But it is a longer hole. They softened the green to allow for some longer clubs in there, adding the potential pin placement on the left side there. Today, back into the wind, I hit driver, 5‑iron ‑‑ my second drive. My first one I hit left of the bunkers. It was still in play. It was fine.
"For me, it's a love/hate relationship with 5. I think it's a tough second shot, just because ‑‑ it is one of the bigger greens out here, but you have to be so precise where you're landing it to put yourself in the right position. I think the changes there, I like. It's a big golf hole now, especially back into the wind, but it will be interesting to see how it plays throughout the week.
"I think No. 5 is probably going to play the toughest hole now.
"For me I always felt like if you can get it through six holes even par, it's a great start. Even 1‑over par through six, it's a great start.
"That's going to be even more so this year, given the fifth hole changing. I hit driver, 4‑iron today and hit a good drive. That makes it much tougher because I feel like now you're having to maybe think about ‑‑ especially, there's a bit of rain coming possibly but if it did firm up a touch, now you're thinking about hitting a long iron and kind of running it up a bit more links style up on to that green, where the hole was just short enough before where you were always hitting a mid‑iron, 7‑iron, 6‑iron, and always trying to land it up on the top for the most part.
"Only if you were out of position were you having to run it up that ridge. I think the extra length, you might see more links style running shots. That's how I see the design of it, anyway. Whether the conditions allow that, we'll see."
"It's funny, because the tee shot is exactly the same, basically. The test off the tee, they brought the bunkers back ‑‑ so the yardages off your drive is exactly the same. But it does make a massive difference to the hole.
"I think in the past, if you hit it into ‑‑ in the past, if you hit it into the bunkers, you actually had half a chance of getting it up somewhere by the green. Now you've got no chance.
"I hit a good drive yesterday and the course is playing really soft and a bit long, and I hit 5‑iron in. You know that was like, good drive last year, if you can be aggressive with the driver, you know, wedge or 9‑iron to that middle part of the green is not a difficult shot.
"So the hole's been made much more of a challenge; that you have to hit two really good shots now to put yourself in position, and you can't ‑‑ I mean, laying up really leaves it, if you want to play short of the bunkers, that really makes the hole in my view, makes it a little bit too long. I think definitely it's a bigger test of a hole for sure."
"So I'll tell you the shot shape is going to be the same for me. I try and hit the same shot pretty much on any hole except some holes where it's a massive dog leg right. That's the only time I'll change it.
"But there are times you'll have a 6‑iron, 5‑iron in. A lot of guys were hitting hybrids yesterday and I'm pretty impressed with that; it was a little into the wind.
"It's difficult. It's going to be a very difficult hole. I like that they shallowed out the green a little bit, flattened it a little bit and created a couple more accessible pins. I think it's a great move, moving it away from the fourth green, the tee box away from the fourth green, that's going to speed up play. Overall I think it's a great design change. "
1. TaylorMade's new release
TaylorMade Golf announced the release of their new P•7TW irons, a premium players set of blades which have been designed and crafted in collaboration with Tiger Woods.
In addition to featuring tungsten in every head, the new P•7TW irons feature fully milled soles for the first time ever in a TaylorMade iron to ensure precision across every set.
2. Justin Thomas' wedges
Justin Thomas took to twitter to share his brand new wedge set-up for Masters week, which have all been freshly stamped with a range of good humoured jokes and nods to the first major of the year.
From his jacket size '38' to 'pimento cheese' the Masters theme is clear, and then there's the hilarious 'Brooks Koepka's money'.
What we saw
Practice Round tradition: From Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy to Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods and Fred Couples, there were plenty of players who we watched take part try to skip their ball across the water on the 16th hole.
Brad Faxon might be the man players like Rory McIlroy have been leaning on for advice recently, but when we were down at the practice area the man giving out free lessons on the greens was Bernhard Langer, who was giving tips to Keegan Bradley on how to correctly anchor the putter to the arm. Right now, Bradley sits 208th on the PGA Tour for SG: Putting with just six players below him, so it's no real surprise he's reaching out for help.
We could barely see the stroke of Tiger Woods on the practice putting green for the crowds that were surrounding the area, but what we did see was him stretching out his neck. Whether it was just to make sure he's loose while practicing, or if he's still suffering a little with the injury that forced him to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it's hard to tell.
Tour trucks: Unlike a normal event where Tour trucks will be set up by the range, there isn't enough room at Augusta National so they are parked opposite the entrances to the grounds. It's pretty hard not to immediately spot TaylorMade's brand new double-decker truck - which is making it's outing on Tour this week (find out more here). But the coolest thing we saw was definitely on board Callaway's Tour truck, where the guys had made up a baby Masters putter for one of the caddies.