Masters 2017 update: Storms stop Par-3 Contest, last day of practice

Preparations for the Masters continued to be disrupted as storms over Augusta caused Wednesday's practice to be suspended for 2 1/2 hours.

Strong spring storms in the Southeast continued to plague the Masters on Wednesday, bringing a halt to the traditional Par-3 Contest and forcing tournament officials to clear to Augusta National grounds a second time.

Play was suspended at1:25 p.m. ET, less than an hour after gates were reopened following a 10 a.m. suspension. The day's secondstoppage cutshort the final afternoon of practice before Thursday morning'sstart of the first Grand Slam event of the year and marked the second day this week that play was suspended.

On Monday, heavy rain and thunderstorms halted play for the day at 2:30 p.m., but clearer skies allowed players to get more time on the course Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, the forecast forduring the tournament is better, although high winds, gusting to 40 mph, are expected Thursdaybefore moderating to the 20 mph range Friday,following the line of storms that are moving through the area into Wednesday evening.

By the weekend, the forecast is for sunny skies, with high temperatures in the 70s.

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