Expecting a Masters unlike any other didn’t necessarily prepare our Golf Digest photographers, J.D. Cuban and Ben Walton, for the images they’d capture at this year’s tournament. Sure, they knew they’d come across angles and shots never possible without thousand of patrons following golfers and lining every hole. But each day has brought new windows into a setting we thought we knew inside and out. To go with Cuban and Walton’s great early-week photography capturing rare scenes around Augusta National, here are our favorite images from the early competition—Stephen Hennessey
The day started with inclement weather, but it turned into a beautiful day at Augusta National.
A truly beautiful day indeed.
Matthew Wolff’s first round at the Masters got off to a hot start—as he finished his day 4-under through 11 holes. He was all smiles walking off the 18th green (he started on No. 10 in the split-tee start).
Dustin Johnson’s tee shot at the par-5 eighth hole found grass in between the fairway bunkers, allowing him to go for the green. He birdied and finished his day 3-under through nine holes.
Justin Rose has five top-10s and two runners-up at Augusta National and had another solid start on Thursday, sitting at 3-under through his first nine holes.
Rory McIlroy sits at even par through his first nine holes.
A sixth birdie for Justin Thomas at the 10th hole got him to 5-under on his round (after bogeying the seventh). JT is 5-under through his first 10.
Paul Casey set the early pace, shooting a 7-under 65—matching his lowest round ever at Augusta National.
Tiger Woods’ four-under 68 matched his lowest opening-round at Augusta National (2010).
2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed opened with a 4-under 68, too.
Phil Mickelson is 1-under through 11 holes.
Ian Poulter has made the cut in 13 of his 14 Masters appearances—he shot an even-par 72 on Thursday.
Lee Westwood has had two runners-up and six top-10s at Augusta National. The 47-year-old shot an opening 4-under 68, as he pursues his first major title.
The golf world finally got to see how Bryson DeChambeau’s game would translate to Augusta National.
He made a mess at the par-5 13th hole, hitting this approach from the pine straw over the green into the bushes, forcing him to take an unplayable.
Then DeChambeau flubbed his pitch shot, leading to a double-bogey 7.
Erik van Rooyen’s flashy style is easily recognizable.
Tiger’s tee time was delayed almost three hours, but he started his day with a sporty up and down at the 10th hole.
A beautiful day in golfer’s paradise.
The day started with a tradition we’re used to seeing—Masters legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hitting the ceremonial first-tee shots.