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Masters moves up Sunday tee times with rain in forecast

With severe thunderstorms in the forecast for Sunday afternoon, Masters officials took the unusual step of moving up tee times for the final round.

Players will tee off in threesomes beginning at 6:30 a.m. CDT Sunday from the Nos. 1 and 10th tees. The leaders will tee off at 8:20 a.m., with CBS’ live broadcast coverage beginning at 8 a.m. Before the broadcast starts, coverage is available on Masters.com.

“The safety of everyone on our grounds is paramount,” said Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters, in a statement released Saturday afternoon.

“We also believe the earlier start will give us the best opportunity to complete the Masters on Sunday. This decision should benefit everyone — the players, our patrons and our fans watching around the world. Given the competitiveness and drama of this year’s Tournament, we look forward to an exciting conclusion tomorrow.”

The forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms beginning at 2 p.m., with an 85 percent chance at 3 p.m. and winds gusting up to 15 mph, according to the Weather Channel.

It has been 36 years since the Masters finished on a Monday. In 1983, the second round was completed Sunday at 7:30 a.m. due to storms, with the third round beginning at 9:54 a.m. Seve Ballesteros opened his final round with a birdie-eagle-par-birdie to finish with a 69 for a four-shot victory over Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite.