18 things you probably missed in this mesmerizing Masters Sunday photo
You could understand if on Sunday evening Jon Rahm would have liked to hit the pause button to better soak up his Masters-winning, legacy-cementing moment.
Turns out, the tournament did it for him.
On Thursday, the Masters published a 1.8 billion-pixel image of Rahm rejoicing just moments after he made a par putt on the 72nd hole to secure his four-shot victory and first green jacket. (My colleague, James Colgan, has more on the photo here.) The panoramic image, with Rahm more or less in the middle — head titled back and roaring in exaltation — captures a wide expanse of at least a few acres of the area surrounding the 18th green. It’s all there in glorious detail: the bunkers, the green, thousands of excited patrons, the clubhouse, the pro shop, the old oak, the leaderboard on 1, merch bags, TV towers. But wait, there’s more, lots more! That’s because the real beauty of this insanely high-resolution photo — and its accompanying functionality — is that you can navigate around it and zoom in so close that you can all but smell the pimentos on the patrons’ breath.
Having spent more time than I’d like to admit browsing the photo Thursday afternoon, here are 18 observations I noted. The numbers on the image directly below correspond with the numbers of each zoomed-in and cropped image further below. (To navigate the photo for yourself, visit here.)
1. Rahm’s unbridled joy
Yeah, yeah, yeah…we know you’ve probably already seen several, if not, dozens of photos of Rahm celebrating, but there’s something about this framing of the new champion in isolation — in the moments before his caddie, family and team embrace him — that is deeply satisfying. Also, not all Tour pros emote in victory, especially after a relatively stress-free 72nd hole. Rahm delivers the goods here, and we approve.
2. Membership has its benefits
Augusta National members enjoy all kinds of perks: Butler Cabin access, a world-renowned course at which to entertain clients and friends, scrumptious olives — and, yep, greenside seats to history. By our count, at least 15 green-coated members were in the first or second row as Rahm sealed the deal. Courtside ticket-holders at the Staples Center have nothing on this crew.
3. Ready for its close-up
Was anyone in this bunker all day? Damned if we can tell.
4. The calm beyond the storm
The best time to take in the majesty of Augusta National? When no one else is on the course. Props to these folks for sneaking in a 1st-hole stroll when everyone else was distracted.
5. Leaderboard watcher
It’s not the most thrilling spot to take in the action. But, hey, with no phones, it is the best — and only — way to know who did what!
6. Mass exodus
We get wanting to beat traffic but, c’mon, people — you’ve made it this far into the final round, and now you leave?!
7. Room with a view
Augusta National isn’t St. Andrews when it comes to depth and variety of 18th-hole lookouts, but it does have a couple of nifty vantage points, including the vista from the room above the pro shop.
8. Cup Guy
One of the many fun collectibles for Masters patrons: the green plastic cups in which drinks are served. If these were filled with anything harder than $2 iced teas, we’re hopeful this guy Uber’d home.
9. Off the clock?
It’s hard to say what, if any, TV job these guys are filling, other than soaking up the view from the best damn seats in the house. We doff our caps to them.
10. Even the cameras…
…wear green jackets!
11. Upper deck
The view from the clubhouse’s second-story veranda is impeded by an oak, but still, with chilled Azalea in hand, this is one of the coolest hangs in golf.
12. Smoke ’em if you got ’em
One of the highlights of the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales was the christening of Cigar Guy, a mustachioed, stogie-munching fan who delighted the golf world when he appeared in the background of a photo of Tiger Woods shanking a chip. This fella below is no Cigar Guy but we still salute him for celebrating Rahm’s win in style.
13. Bird’s-eye view
Carrying a fellow patron on your shoulders isn’t explicitly prohibited at the Masters (at least not that we know of), but it’s certainly a practice you see infrequently. Then again, when things get crazed around the 18th green and sight lines sparse, you need to get inventive. Kudos to this woman for finding a perch. Also, the Pinkerton guards don’t seem too bothered.
14. Yo, it’s this way!
Not sure what these guys are looking at, but it ain’t the 18th green.
15. VIP in the cheap seats
USGA top dog Mike Whan (below, with the pink tie) has a lot on his mind: water conservation, a slate of national championships, a certain Model Local Rule. So you can’t blame him if witnessing Rahm’s crowning moment on Sunday evening was less than a burning priority.
16. The joy of Loy
After Phil Mickelson had finished his own fourth round Sunday — an eight-birdie 65 that would ultimately land him in a tie for second — he shared a tender moment with his longtime agent Steve Loy. As Mickelson and Loy hugged near the clubhouse, tears streamed down Loy’s face. A couple of hours later, Loy (below, in the gray sweater) was celebrating again, this time as he watched another of his clients — Rahm! — put the finishing touches on a Masters triumph.
17. Rolling like Rickie
Respect to Rickie Fowler’s fans. They show out — even when he’s not in the field.
18. Wait, I know that guy!
That’s my colleague Darren Riehl (brown shirt), who shot his first Masters for us this year (and killed it). So composed. Doesn’t look like a rookie, right?