Sign in to comment!

Fox News Weather Center

2016 Masters forecast: Gusty winds to challenge golfers during first 3 rounds of play

Another chapter in the rich and storied history of the Masters Tournament will be added this week as play begins Thursday in Augusta, Georgia.

Eighty-nine of the world's best golfers are vying for a chance to don the fabled green jacket on Sunday evening at Augusta National Golf Club. In order to claim victory, they will have to battle an early spring chill and gusty winds.

The 80th edition of the tournament will see an overall weather pattern that will be cooler than normal, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.

Early April weather in Augusta typically means showers or thunderstorms will make an appearance at some point during the Masters, but storms will avoid causing delays this year.

While it will rain Wednesday night, it should end by daybreak on Thursday, Kottlowski said. However, he added that enough rain will fall so greens will remain wet and that will allow the golf ball to roll slower.

Knowing the ball is less likely to roll on the wet ground, it can become easier for golfers to pick a targeted landing spot for their shot.

Dry conditions will last through the final day on Sunday, but in addition to the chilly air, there will be steady winds out of the northwest. The winds are expected to remain a factor through Saturday.

The opening round on Thursday will have highs in the low 70s F, but with the wind blowing about an average of 10-20 mph, Kottlowski said it could feel cooler than that.

Which club a golfer will use, along with their shot selection, can become even more critical with blowing winds possibly altering the distance and trajectory of their shots.

For golfers teeing off early Friday morning, temperatures will be in the 40s, and daytime highs will struggle to reach the low 60s under partly sunny skies.

By Saturday, Kottlowski said heavy dew could appear on the course during the morning and temperatures during the day will be no higher than the 50s with gusts up to 30 mph possible.

"Dew definitely would be an issue on the greens," Kottlowski said.

A normal high temperature for April 7-10 in Augusta is in the mid-70s.

Spectators planning to attend the event will want to bring a jacket for the early rounds since below-average conditions are forecast. However, the weather take a turn for the better before the Masters concludes.

While it will remain cold on Sunday morning, it will turn out to be a "gorgeous" day, Kottlowski said.

The golfers who find themselves at the top of the leaderboard leading up to the final round typically do not tee off until the middle of the afternoon.

"[Temperatures] will warm up close to 70 F in the afternoon," Kottlowski said. "The big story Sunday is no wind. It will be the one day in which the wind will not be a factor."