Photo Essay

Masters 2020: Exclusive images from behind the scenes of the opening rounds at Augusta National

November 13, 2020

Ben Walton

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 not previously 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

• • •

Friday:

JD Cuban

Tiger Woods came within inches of holing out his bunker shot for eagle at the par-5 second hole. He was even par for the round through the 10th hole when the second round was suspended by darkness.

Ben Walton

In the late-afternoon light, the bunkers at 16 are reflected in the pond.

JD Cuban

Damon Green, caddieing for Sung Kang this week, went near-superhero, having a little fun with the shirt under his Augusta jumpsuit.

Ben Walton

Xander Schauffele hits his second shot into the 13th green.

JD Cuban

In the late afternoon, Gary Woodland hits his second shot up the hill on the eighth hole.

JD Cuban

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 10th hole late in the day.

JD Cuban

Masters volunteers work to update the leader board.

Ben Walton

Jordan Spieth, who opened with a 74, putts on the sixth green, where he made bogey in the second round. The former Masters champ was two under through 10 holes when play was halted.

JD Cuban

Playing in his first Masters, Abraham Ancer shot 68-67 to be among the leaders at nine under when second-round play was halted.

JD Cuban

Bryson DeChambeau reacts with concern after his second tee shot at No. 3. He lost his first drive when he couldn't find the ball that plugged in the second cut. He found the second drive but eventually made a triple-bogey 7.

JD Cuban

Sunlight and shadows mix late in the afternoon on the sixth green.

Ben Walton

Patrick Cantlay plays out of a bunker en route to shooting 66 in the second round.

JD Cuban

Jeff Knox is an Augusta National member who also serves as a "marker" when needed. After Erik van Rooyen withdrew after the first round due to injury, Knox played Friday with Sung Kang.

JD Cuban

Former NFL quarterback and Augusta National member Peyton Manning was among those following Tiger Woods.

Ben Walton

Henrik Stenson plays his second shot from the right on the 13th hole.

JD Cuban

Patrick Cantlay plays his approach to the 18th hole.

JD Cuban

Justin Thomas birdied his final four holes of his outward nine (holes 15 through 18) on Friday. This image is a reflection of JT walking across the Sarazen Bridge at 15.

Ben Walton

South African Dylan Frittelli shared the 18-hole lead after the completion of the first round, shooting an opening-round 65.

Ben Walton

Rickie Fowler triple bogeyed the par-3 12th hole to start his Friday, but fought back to shoot an opening-round 2-under 70.

JD Cuban

Rory McIlroy shot an opening-round 73 as he tried to fight back to get in the mix in his afternoon 18.

JD Cuban

Phil Mickelson finished up his opening round with a 3-under 69.

Ben Walton

63-year-old Bernhard Langer shot a 4-under 68 in his first round, and with Larry Mize carding an under-par round, it marked the first time in major history that two 60-year-olds broke par in the same round.

JD Cuban

Dustin Johnson matched the first-round lead with a 65, and he had it to 10-under at one point in his second round.

• • •

Thursday:

Ben Walton

The day started with inclement weather, but it turned beautiful at Augusta National.

Ben Walton

A truly beautiful day indeed.

Ben Walton

Matthew Wolff's first round at the Masters got off to a hot start—as he finished his day four under through 11 holes. He was all smiles walking off the 18th green (he started on No. 10 in the split-tee start).

JD Cuban

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 three under through nine holes.

JD Cuban

Justin Rose has five top 10s and two runners-up at Augusta National and had another solid start on Thursday, sitting at three under through his first nine holes.

Ben Walton

Rory McIlroy finished at even par through his first nine holes when play was stopped for darkness.

Ben Walton

A sixth birdie for Justin Thomas at the 10th hole got him to five under on his round (after bogeying the seventh).

JD Cuban

Paul Casey set the early pace, shooting a seven-under 65—matching his lowest career round at Augusta National.

JD Cuban

Tiger Woods' four-under 68 matched his lowest opening-round at Augusta National (2010).

JD Cuban

2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed opened with a four-under 68, too.

JD Cuban

Phil Mickelson is one under through 11 holes.

JD Cuban

Ian Poulter has made the cut in 13 of his 14 Masters appearances—he shot an even-par 72 on Thursday.

JD Cuban

Lee Westwood has had two runners-up and six top 10s at Augusta National. The 47-year-old shot an opening four-under 68, as he pursues his first major title.

Ben Walton

The golf world finally got to see how Bryson DeChambeau's game would translate to Augusta National.

Ben Walton

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.

Ben Walton

Then DeChambeau flubbed his pitch shot, leading to a double-bogey 7.

JD Cuban

Erik van Rooyen's flashy style is easily recognizable.

JD Cuban

Tiger's tee time was delayed almost three hours, but he started his day with a sporty up and down at the 10th hole.

Ben Walton

A beautiful day in golfer's paradise.

JD Cuban

The day started with a tradition we're used to seeing—Masters legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hitting the ceremonial first-tee shots.

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