AUGUSTA, Ga. — The final round of the Masters will be played Sunday morning — with the leaders teeing off more than five hours earlier than normal — because of storms forecast for the evening, Augusta National Golf Club officials announced during play Saturday.

Players normally compete on the weekend at the Masters in twosomes, with everyone beginning on No. 1. But the impending bad weather has compressed the window in which conditions are likely to be suitable for competition.

Play will begin at 4:30 a.m. Pacific in threesomes from both the first and 10th tees — meaning a portion of the field will play the back nine first.

The final group of Francesco Molinari, Tony Finau and Tiger Woods will tee off at 6:20 a.m., 20 minutes after CBS begins its live coverage of the tournament.

“The safety of everyone on our grounds is paramount,” Fred ­Ridley, Augusta ­National’s chairman, said in a statement. “We also believe the earlier start will give us the best opportunity to complete the Masters on Sunday.”

The Masters has not been forced to finish on a Monday since 1983, when Friday’s second round was rained out. Sunday’s forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms in the early afternoon, with increasing likelihood of more consistent storms later in the day.

— The Washington Post

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