AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Play has been suspended for the rest of the day on Friday at the 87th Masters Tournament. Play was suspended for second time at 4:22 p.m. An earlier delay at 3:07 p.m. lasted 21 minutes.
Play will resume at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Patron gates will open at 7 a.m.
ESPN television footage showed two large pine trees fell near the No. 17 tee. No injuries were reported.
First round co-leader Brooks Koepka shot 67 on Friday to take sole possession of the lead at the 87th Masters Tournament. Teeing off in the fifth group of the day, the four-time major champion was able to complete his round before expected inclement weather entered the area. Koepka is -12 through 36 holes.
“Yeah, it was really solid,” said Koepka, who entered the week fresh off of winning the LIV Golf Orlando event last week. “Didn’t really do too much wrong. Maybe the speed kind of got me on a few putts. Wasn’t hitting them hard enough there towards the end, but striking the ball really well and leaving it in good spots.”
“And that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to make birdies on these par 5s, take advantage of them. And did a good job of that, playing them 5-under.”
Amateur Sam Bennett, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, carded his second straight 68 on Friday to move within four strokes of Koepka at -8. It is the best 36-hole performance by an amateur at The Masters since Ken Venturi in 1956.
“The hard work’s done,” I made the cut as an amateur. I kind of made my mark. I played steady golf. Now it’s time for me to go out and enjoy, soak it all in, be able to play the weekend at the Masters. I mean, growing up as a kid, if you would have told me that, I would have said you’re probably crazy.”
“To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be too nervous out there come the weekend. I’ll just be out there enjoying it, soaking it in. If I play good, I play good and if I play bad, I go back to my home school and compete in my home tournament Thursday.”
Koepka’s co-leaders were not so fortunate with the weather. Viktor Hovland (-6) , the 2018 U.S. Amateur champion and low amateur at the 2019 Masters Tournament, teed off at 12:54 p.m. and made it through ten holes of his second round before the weather arrived.
“So if you start with a really low round and it gets very difficult, it’s kind of easier to protect the score a little bit compared to if you’re five, six, seven shots back, it’s really difficult to make up that much ground if this place is playing very difficult,” Hovland said after his opening round 65. “So obviously getting off to a nice start is key this week.”
Jon Rahm (-9), the 2021 U.S. Open champion and ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, teed off in the penultimate group of the day at 1:18 p.m. and completed nine holes before play was suspended.
“Every time we’ve had bad weather here, when it’s as warm as it is, it’s usually a thunderstorm, so we’re not really playing,” Rahm said.
“But when it comes, goes through, it softens up the golf course and it gets a little more scorable. If there’s ever a good time to shoot a low score, obviously Sunday would be the best if you’re somewhat close, but knowing that, you know, we don’t know how the week is going to unfold, I’m definitely happy I started this way.”
Saturday morning will also mark the final two holes as a competitor for Augusta native and Augusta Prep graduate Larry Mize (+7). The 1987 Masters champion announced earlier this year that this, his 40th Masters, would be his last.
“I feel I’ve got a lot of peace,” Mize said after Thursday’s round. “This is definitely the right time. It’s time for me to end my playing career here. But I’ll look forward to coming back every year.”
Mize was through 16 when play was suspended on Friday.
This story will be updated throughout the day.