Sport - Golf - Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka in action at last year's Masters Tournament Image Credit: Augusta National

Augusta - Thunderstorms are forecast to hit Augusta National on Thursday morning, likely bringing some disruption to the opening day of the Masters.

While fans basked in the sunshine on Wednesday's final day of practice, players were expecting the conditions to change significantly for the first round.

Organizers said rain and scattered thunderstorms were expected in the region starting about 6am local time and lasting to 1pm on Thursday.

"Heavy rainfall and occasional wind gusts of 40-45 mph are anticipated over this period," said the forecast.

The weather is expected to improve in the afternoon and into the evening and windy conditions are expected to continue in drier weather on Friday with sunshine expected over the weekend.

The prospect of heavy rainfall and high winds means that players who have enjoyed the firm surfaces and relatively calm winds know they will need to be ready for something very different.

"Looks like we're going to have a nasty one overnight and the morning. Not much we can do about it. It's kind of just see how much it dumps and how it will change," said Luke List, who is scheduled to tee off Thursday at 8.36 am.

"Everybody's in the same boat as far as we've done all this preparation, but it will probably play different tomorrow, so I think that that's kind of the unique thing about golf is we're all on a level playing field when we get started," added the Augusta resident.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia, the 2017 winner, says the high winds could be a significant factor.

"There's no doubt with as high as these pine trees are, sometimes it becomes tricky to know exactly where the wind is," he said. "On a course like this, where you have to be so precise in every single shot that you hit, when you play with that amount of wind, it becomes very, very challenging."

American Gary Woodland was hoping that the forecast is mistaken and the course could remain in its current condition.

"The golf course is hard enough without the weather. It's as good as I've seen it, to be honest," he said. "The golf course is absolutely perfect, so hopefully some of the rain misses it. It's firm and fast now. Absolutely perfect.

Hopefully the weather misses a little bit. Golf is tough enough without the wind, so it'll be a challenge, but one that everybody is going to have to face."

Last year's tournament was hit by bad weather with several rain delays leaving some players with nearly two rounds to play on the final Sunday.

Second-round play on the Friday was stopped after three pine trees fell close to the 17th hole.