Firm or soft, Augusta National greens pose problems

(MGN Online)
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April 8, 2014 AUGUSTA, GA-- If you listen close enough, you can hear the sounds from Monday's practice round at the Masters.

Not the horn sending patrons home early,. The sounds of the course softening up

"Yeah, the course definitely played softer today (Tuesday). It will probably play soft tomorrow," Rory McIlroy said.

Tuesday at the Masters, the conditions on the course were perfect, so were the greens-- a little slower than usual. By Thursday, it'll be a whole new animal.

"Certainly, yeah, with the warmer temperatures the ball will start flying farther, the greens will start firming up. They'll have the ability to control the speed of the greens as much as they want," Luke Donald said.

With Monday's washout, Augusta Nationals SubAir System goes to work, essentially cleaning the course dry.

On Tuesday, the golfers went to work. Opinions were mixed on how much was accomplished.

"You can't really put a huge emphasis on the practice round. I mean, you can get used to slopes and stuff, but it's definitely playing different," Harris English said.

Looking ahead to the leaderboard, playing different may not be such a bad thing.

"Soft conditions, it seems to bunch the field up a little bit. So firmer greens and firmer conditions definitely separates it," Rory McIlroy said.

Firm or soft. Come Thursday, the field will feel a new kind of test.