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With a Rare Monday Finish Looming, Augusta National’s Stoppage Elicits Contrasting Reactions From Brooks Koepka and Sam Bennett

Published 04/08/2023, 8:15 PM EDT

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The ongoing Masters Tournament has been making quite the buzz thanks to a variety of reasons. But the biggest of them all has been Brooks Koepka and his rise to the top of the leaderboard, with the LIV defector leading the proceedings comfortably. Yet, bad weather has played spoilsport across the weekend, which has left golfers and fans displeased. But could the inevitable halt in play have been decided sooner?

Masters leader, Brooks Koepka and his reaction on the game’s halt

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Despite his status as a four-time major championship winner, Koepka wasn’t among the apparent favorite to win the Masters title. Yet, the 32-year-old finds himself in the driver’s seat heading into the final day of the tournament, with a first-ever Green Jacket on the horizon.

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Koepka was among the many others who were forced to halt play due to returning downpour at the Augusta National. But the timing of the decision was questioned amongst the field, with many believing a quicker stoppage of play could have saved numerous strokes.

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But what did the tournament leader feel about the nature of the decision? “I think it was spot on. Maybe I couldn’t have hit that bunker shot on 7, but at the end of the day, it’s fine. I’m okay with it,” Koepka said afterward. The former World No. 1 also claimed that the seventh hole, named Pampas, was completely soaked, which prevented him from reducing his score.

The extended delay in play could mean the 2023 Masters Tournament could be stretched to the next week. Normally kept as a reserve day, the season’s inaugural major championship could be decided on Monday, with the last instance of the same occurring 40 years earlier, in 1983.

But there were other golfers who claimed otherwise about the decision.

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Talented youngster bemoans late halt of play

Koepka’s words resonated around the course, but not among everyone. Despite playing one of the best games of his young career, 23-year-old Sam Bennett was left complaining about his state of affairs.

“It was brutal out there. I think they honestly could have called it about 45 minutes earlier, but they tried their best,” he claimed after the play was suspended. Indeed, the young amateur scored two-over par in his incomplete third round, which left him seven strokes behind leader Koepka.

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Yet, Bennett stands a chance to rewrite record books come Sunday. No amateur has ever won the Masters title in the tournament’s illustrious career, with three golfers ending up in second place. Can Bennett do the impossible on the final day, or will Koepka end his Masters drought? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Sharan Nair

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One take at a time

Sharan is an Engineering student with a desire to carve out a career in sports journalism. He is an ardent Tiger Woods fan and his 2019 Masters victory is what further cemented his love for the golfer. A die hard football fan, Sharan can be seen cheering for Real Madrid, and playing FIFA every chance he gets.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui

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