Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

Augusta: A tournament like no other

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Augusta, Georgia

By Phil Noble

It was the author Mark Twain who wrote "Golf is a good walk spoiled" and although the persistent rain that dogged the final round play at this years Masters certainly made it tough for both players and photographers alike, the amazing photographs at the final hole of regular play and the subsequent thrilling playoff certainly ensured our "good walk" wasn't ruined.

I was lucky enough to be asked to return to the Augusta National golf club this year for my second Masters tournament. Along with my Reuters colleagues Mike Segar, Bryan Snyder, Mark Blinch and 24 year Masters veteran Gary Hershorn, who would edit our pictures, we pitched up again at the Mecca of golf to cover a tournament unlike any other.

At most other golf championships we cover, photographers are allowed to work inside the ropes that hold the spectators back, making the job of following play and getting into a good position to photograph the golfers a relatively easy one. At Augusta however, we are accorded no such privilege, the hallowed, well manicured and vibrant green turf being preserved only for those playing in the tournament, meaning we are in with the spectators, or in the case of Augusta, the 'patrons'.

With tens of thousands of golf fans all vying to get a view of their heroes, moving around the course and finding a clear vantage point is more challenging than usual, but once you've got your 'masters head' on and a bunch of "Excuse me", "Would you mind awfully if I..." and a liberal sprinkling of "If I kneel can I squeeze in front of you?" in your camera bag the course offers a wealth of angles and pictures unlike anywhere else.

Masters Live

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Follow all the action and excitement of the Masters with our team of reporters and photographers at Augusta National as Tiger Woods goes in search of his fifth Masters title while a host of rivals, including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and world number one Luke Donald seek the famous green jacket for themselves.

Click here for updates, pics, quotes, commentary and behind the scenes news from golf’s most iconic venue.

McIlroy and Woods still have reasons to be positive

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GOLF-MASTERS/One of the most riveting final rounds at the Masters left Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy dealing with bitter disappointment, although they each appear to have bright prospects going forward.

Woods, without a tournament win for nearly 17 months, looked like the Tiger of old as he charged into contention over the front nine at Augusta National on Sunday, banishing any thought he might be a spent force.

Tiger Woods at the U.S. Masters – live

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Tiger Woods returned from a five-month absence with a blistering first round at the U.S. Masters and we continue to live blog his bid for another win here. Join us for hole-by-hole coverage, commentary, discussion and on-the-spot analysis from the Augusta National.

Tiger back to face the media — but is it too soon?

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GOLF-MASTERS/The eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Augusta National at 1400 local (1900 GMT) on Monday when four-times champion Tiger Woods faces the media ahead of his highly anticipated return to competition at this week’s U.S. Masters.

It will be the first appearance at a news conference by the disgraced American world number one since his private life unravelled at the end of last year amid revelations he had a string of extra-marital affairs.

What sort of reaction can Tiger expect?

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PEOPLE-WOODS/The world’s number one golfer has finally announced his comeback date but it is unclear whether Tiger is completely out of the Woods yet.

Woods told ESPN on Sunday that he didn’t have a clue what sort of reception he would get from the galleries on his return at next month’s U.S. Masters, admitting he was a “little nervous” about the prospect.

Is Woods right to return at the Masters?

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The long wait is nearly over. Tiger Woods, missing from golf since allegations about his private life emerged late last year, will return to the sport at the U.S. Masters tournament in early April and start the long process of rebuilding his reputation.

“The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” he said in a statement.

Looking back, 2009 Masters will go down as one of the best

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Spectators who were fortunate enough to be at Augusta National for the final round of the 2009 U.S. Masters will never forget the experience as the birdie roars returned to the undulating, par-72 layout with a vengeance.

On a sun-kissed spring afternoon in Georgia, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods led the way with a sizzling display of shot-making, charging into contention after starting the last day seven strokes off the lead.

Cabrera wins Masters

Argentina’s Angel Cabrera won his second major title with a nerve-jangling playoff victory at the U.S. Masters on Sunday.

The 2007 U.S. Open champion edged out Americans Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell, clinching the Green Jacket with a par four at the second extra hole.

On the Tiger trail at Augusta National

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GOLF-MASTERS/

Got a look at Tiger Woods during the second round of the U.S. Masters … sort of.

I saw Woods — at least I was pretty sure it was Woods — slam his opening drive down the middle of the fairway, saw the top of his black baseball cap on his second, caught a glimpse of one of his shoes on his third and saw nothing but heard the roar on his putt to save par.

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