Masters: Practice cancelled for first time in 11 years

Monday practice at The Masters was cancelled for the first time in 11 years due to a thunderstorm at Augusta National.

Organisers were forced to call players and thousands of disappointed patrons off the course due to the conditions.

The bad weather arrived earlier than previously forecast and led to an announcement at 10am asking spectators to leave the grounds and seek shelter.

Tournament officials then announced at lunchtime that the gates would remain closed for the rest of the day, the first time that had happened since the same day in 2003.

Spectators will receive refunds in May and be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase tickets for practice rounds in 2015.

“We are disappointed that our patrons could not enjoy today’s practice round, however safety must be our first concern. We look forward to seeing these patrons next year,” saidĀ Augusta National chairman Billy Payne.

Around 30 players had been out on the course, including Northern Ireland duo Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, German pair Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer and world No 4 Jason Day, who was playing alongside British amateur champion Garrick Porteous.