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Fine weather greets early starters on Masters Sunday

Andrew Both

The final round of the Masters started in fine weather on Sunday with only an outside chance of play being interrupted by afternoon storms at Augusta National.

Masters Sunday is always one of the most anticipated days on the golf calendar, and this year is no exception with the prospect of history in the making.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama has a four-shot lead, 18 holes away perhaps from becoming the first player not only from his nation, but from all of Asia to claim a Green Jacket.

Fifteen non-Americans have won a total of 22 Masters. The tournament was dominated by Americans in its first four decades. Three-times champion Gary Player was the only international winner until Spaniard Seve Ballesteros broke through in 1980, setting the stage for a period of European dominance.

Former world number two Matsuyama jumped clear with a sizzling back nine of 30 on Saturday.

He posted an 11-under 205 total, with Americans Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris, Englishman Justin Rose and Australian Marc Leishman equal second on seven under.

There were some reasonable early scores on Sunday, suggesting the course should not hold too many terrors assuming no great change in conditions.

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