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Players Show Briefly If At All on Wednesday

ATLANTA -- It looked more like Sunday evening than Wednesday morning at the East Lake Golf Club in the early hours. The course was close to barren, save a few maintenance workers and a couple of twosomes, like Sergio Garcia and Reitef Goosen.
Only 13 Mercedes SE 320s ' the courtesy car of choice this week ' filled the parking lot as ominous clouds encapsulated the venue.
But once the skies cleared, the field of 30 flocked ' to the range, at least. Those who did decide to attack the course did so with caution, and for mostly nine holes.
One such player was Nick Price, who first reserved a spot to the extreme right of the practice area, trying to find a dry spot where he wouldnt soil his solid white shoes.
Thats not good out here, Price said with a laugh about his choice in footwear. But today is nice and sunny and we got some wind which is going to help the course dry out some, but its going to be pretty wet through Friday. If we dont get any more rain, maybe Saturday and Sunday we might play the ball down.
Rain has been persistent in the Atlanta area over the last month and a half, and continued Monday and Tuesday.
Tour officials said they will wait until Thursday to decide whether or not they will institute lift, clean and place rules - though its evident there is little other option for Thursdays first round.
This golf course is so soaked, said Augusta native Charles Howell III. Ive played a lot of rounds, but never ones where I had to get my SCUBA gear on.
Tiger Woods was among those who made an appearance Wednesday. He flew to his Orlando home Tuesday night, and made the short trip back in the morning. He got in a little practice on the range before playing a quick nine.
Phil Mickelson, who won this event at East Lake in 2000, bypassed a practice round at the course Wednesday, instead opting to play elsewhere in the area.
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