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There's been plenty of that already at Augusta, thanks to Mother Nature.
A powerful storm hit early Wednesday, dropping 1.4 inches of rain and sending a tree crashing through a restroom near the 16th hole. More thunder and lightning came later in the day, shortening the Par 3 contest and chasing the few remaining players practicing on the big-boy course home early.
Everyone at Augusta needs as much practice as they can get. Even before they made subtle changes by rebuilding the greens on Nos. 8 and 16, the Masters was best known for producing the toughest putting test in golf. Though the greens figure to be soft because of the rain, competition committee chairman Fred Ridley promised pin positions would be adjusted accordingly.
"Admittedly we won't have the firmness, but we think that we have looked at a setup that takes all of that into consideration, as we always do with weather considerations," he said.
Still, given the way the world's best are playing this year, along with the conditions, Mickelson is expecting low scores.
"The greens are soft," the three-time champion said. "I don't want to say they are slow, but it's just not the same Augusta. It's wet around the greens, and there's no fear of the course. You've got to attack it this week."
Schwartzel certainly knows that drill.
In one of the most exciting finishes at a tournament renowned for them, he started his streak by getting up and down on the par-5 15th for birdie to briefly tie for the lead. Moments later, Adam Scott made birdie to go ahead again and Schwartzel responded with a 15-footer on 16.
He took the lead for himself for the first time with a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 17, then closed it out with another birdie to pad his margin to two shots. His 6-under 66 was the best closing round by a winner in 22 years.
It's life-changing stuff, winning the Masters.
"I was just over the moon putting on the green jacket," Schwartzel said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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