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Payne: Augusta National to be Ready Despite Storm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The chairman of Augusta National says he expects the course to be ready for the first round of the Masters on Thursday despite a ''significant'' storm that downed ''several'' trees and left several bunkers ''completely washed out.''

Billy Payne says 1.4 inches of rain fell on the course during Tuesday night's storm, and conditions Wednesday remained ''extremely wet.'' But he said Wednesday crews are working around the clock, and expects the course to be ''restored to competitive conditions'' by the end of the day.

Despite the rain, the course only opened about 30 minutes late.

Payne says there was significant damage to a restroom on the 16th hole, which was struck by a falling tree. But crews hoped to have it back in operation by the end of the day.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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