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Rain, wind could be big problem Saturday at Augusta

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta National is already playing plenty tough at the Masters.

Throw in a little wind and rain, and Saturday figures to be very interesting.

The early forecast for the third round calls for rain and possible thunderstorms – as much as an inch of rain is expected – and wind gusts up to 30 mph.

That means a precise course will get even more demanding.

“I don’t think many of us have played in windy, rainy conditions here,” Rickie Fowler said.

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One possible benefit of some Saturday rainfall? It’d slow down and soften the firm, speedy greens.

“But then you deal with the golf ball being wet and getting water in between the ball and clubface,” Fowler said. “Controlling the golf ball becomes tough into these greens when you’re trying to hit into a two- or three-yard section.”

Jordan Spieth said players also need to be more aware of mud balls, since the mowing pattern in the fairways is from green to tee.

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” he said. “You’ve just got to be aware, and obviously it becomes a tactical golf course when the conditions get tougher or you’re presented with tough breaks like that.”

Sunday’s forecast calls for cooler temperatures, in the mid-60s, but no additional rainfall.