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Masters 2012: Azaleas Bloom Early at Augusta National

One of the signature sights at Augusta National are the azaleas that bloom and add pops of pink, red and white to the lush green setting of the sprawling bentgrass fairways. With over 1,600 of these bushes lining Hole No. 13 from tee to green, the aptly named Azalea hole is one of the most beautiful in all of golf, but it will be lacking that signature color this year.

That’s because an unseasonably warm winter coupled with an extremely warm spring in Augusta have caused the plants to bloom early, and with the flower having a particularly short lifespan, the few remaining blooms aren’t expected to last through the weekend. For the first time in recent memory, Azalea will be surprisingly bare.

Augusta National is known for being one of the most beautiful golf courses on the planet, but, unfortunately, with the absence of the azaleas, The Masters will be lacking a little bit of that panache. Luckily, it has been said that the natural beauty of the Georgia Pines and the lush green grass is in full effect compliments of a rather rainy spring.

The few remaining azaleas on the course that have not yet wilted have been one of the more popular scenes on the course throughout the first two days of practice, and many patrons have posed for pictures with the flowering bushes, unaware of whether or not they’ll last through the tournament.

It’s certainly sad to see Augusta National without the signature red and pink that make Azalea one of the course’s more picturesque holes, but with perhaps the most anticipated tournament field in the last six or seven years, the golf should be good enough to make up for the fact that the flowers didn’t last.