AUGUSTA, Ga. — Extremely blustery conditions created a surreal scene on Friday afternoon—with wind gusts getting up to 30-35 miles per hour—causing sand from the bunkers at the 18th hole to blow out of the hazards and onto the green. Players like Tiger Woods had to shield their faces from the sand as it blew all over the 18th green. One of ESPN’s bunker cameras looked like a snow globe after being shaken up.

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Jon Rahm, who we know runs hot, was understandably peeved after making a few big numbers coming in—most notably a double bogey at the 14th hole caused by a bad three-putt when his five-footer for par ran nearly 20 feet past the hole. 

The Spaniard didn’t hold back on his thoughts on being out in the conditions when asked about it after the round.

“A couple times, [I found myself] questioning why we were out there,” Rahm said, “especially when I got to 18 and saw the whole front of the green just full of sand. It’s rolling a little bit different. I understand they want us to finish.

“I can imagine they were very close to calling it a few times, especially when we were on 11 green and we were getting those massive gusts every couple of minutes or so. It was extremely difficult. We got it in. Hopefully I can just make up some ground tomorrow.”

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Rahm commented on the pace of play—which approached six hours for the afternoon groups due to the extreme winds.

“Yeah, you just put the ball down, and it’s very close to moving,” Rahm said. “Not only that, how long did it take us to play? Over six hours to play just because they had to blow the greens in between groups, and then when you get to a group, people stepping back and back in. It’s just, again, borderline.

“It was very, very close. It’s about as hard a golf course as I’ve seen in a very long time.”

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The defending champion’s round of 76 is his second-highest at Augusta National—matched only by a 77 in the third round of 2022, a year before he won. Rahm (+5) started his third round 11 shots shy of the lead of the lead of Scottie Scheffler, Bryson DeChambeau and Max Homa.

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