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“Sometimes you can do something nice without anything in return,” Mickelson told them.


WEATHER ALERT: Spring means unpredictable weather in Georgia, and the forecast for Thursday was ominous with late afternoon thunderstorms expected.

It held off, though, until just after the final groups were done and players had signed their scorecards. Rory McIlroy was just beginning his post-round interviews when thunder rumbled and the weather siren sounded and everyone was ordered off the course.

For McIlroy it was a chance to get some dinner early. For the Masters, it was the break the tournament might have needed to remain on schedule.

“Can you believe this,” one green jacketed member said. “What a deal.”

The storms may still come, with a 50 percent chance of rain predicted for Friday. But all 93 players got their full rounds in Thursday despite the best efforts of Mother Nature.


AMATEUR WOES: Alan Dunbar would have been happy to break 80 in the first round after getting his first look at Augusta National this week.

Unfortunately for the amateur from Northern Ireland, he couldn’t even do that.

Dunbar made only one par on the front nine Thursday on his way to an 11-over 83 that was the worst score of the day. It included a triple bogey on No. 2, and he didn’t make a par until the ninth hole.

“It’s definitely a learning experience on a course like this,” said the 22-year-old, who qualified for his first Masters by winning the British Amateur.

Dunbar rebounded after a 46 on the front nine to shoot 37 on the back. He even made a birdie on the par-5 15th, and was positive about his day despite the bloated score.

“I enjoyed the whole way around,” he said. “I wasn’t scoring great, but I enjoyed it. It was a great experience. `’


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