The Masters Might Be Played Without Its Signature Azaleas This Year

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The 2017 Masters is a month away and Tiger Woods might not be the only notable absence from the year’s first major championship.

While the ailing golfer’s status for the tournament is up in the air as he continues to deal with back spasms, the most beautiful flower at Augusta National already has arrived, and that’s not a good thing.

Due to unreasonably warm temperatures in Augusta, Ga., the famed azalea flowers that line the course already have started to bloom.

This, of course, is devastating news for the tournament, which begins April 6. The premature blooming could leave Augusta National colorless when the 81st edition of the tournament gets underway.

But it won’t be the first time the winner of the green jacket will be crowned without the colorful flowers. As recently as 2012, the flowers that line the 13th hole — named “Azalea”– were wilting by the time golfers got to the first tee.

We wouldn’t fret, though, the Masters is sure to provide must-see TV with or without azaleas.

Thumbnail photo via Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports Images

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