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The Masters 2024: What was it like to watch Tiger Woods make major history at Augusta National?

What is it like to watch Tiger Woods in action at The Masters? How does being a patron at Augusta National compare to other events? We try and put into words what it is like to follow the former world No 1 as he made major history; Watch The Masters all weekend on Sky Sports Golf

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Tiger Woods made history at The Masters by making an incredible 24th consecutive cut at the tournament. Watch the best of his second round as he battled to post a level-par 72 at Augusta

No phones, no cameras and nothing but passionate patrons fixated on the golfing drama makes for a winning formula when getting to follow Tiger Woods at The Masters.

'A tradition unlike any other' has become synonymous with the tournament, with the 15-time major champion a key part of the history and prestige of the event that makes it such an exciting part of the sporting calendar.

Almost everything about watching golf at The Masters and the experience you get is different to what you become accustomed to at other events, with all your senses awoken by the brilliance around you.

The giant leaderboard at the right side of the first fairway has plenty of staff manually updating the scores for each of the 89 players in the field, putting small squares into the gaps, while smaller leaderboards in other areas show the score of the group about to come through that hole.

Those are the only ways to keep up to date with what's going on around the course, other than word of mouth and hearsay between fellow patrons, with the lack of phones and big screens limiting information about what is going on elsewhere.

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The ever-growing swell of people gathered around the ninth green showed that Woods was getting close, while other patrons had perched their seats along the fairway hours in advance to make sure they had their spot for when he made the finishing touches to his front nine.

Those green Masters seats are the equivalent of the beach towel at the poolside of your favourite Mediterranean holiday destination, with patrons putting them down at their desired spot around the course early in the day to reserve their place.

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Chairs sit of the 16th green during a practice for the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Monday, April 3, 2023, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Image: Masters-branded chairs can be seen across the course

Each seat has a cardholder in the back for patrons to put something to identify that chair as their own, with those in attendance respecting those boundaries, while others attempt to line the fairways and walk the course to follow their favourite players.

Green cups are filled with "Crow's Nest", the beer brewed just for this tournament, while the infamous $1.50 Pimento Cheese and Egg Salad sandwiches are among those being munched from Masters-branded packaging.

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Rich Beem gives a unique insight into The Masters as he takes you around the grounds at Augusta National through the eyes of a patron

There are no big backpacks blocking views, with those attending limited on the size of bag they can bring in, with the lack of technology leaving patrons listening to the noises in the distance and trying to second-guess which players are being cheered.

The undulating layout of Augusta National at least gives you an outside chance of finding a viewing spot, with excitement building when a cry of "oh look, it's Tiger!" from one eagle-eyed patron shows Woods walking from the ninth tee box.

The Masters - Live

"Auto bogey" is the verdict of another after hearing his tee shot clatter the trees, although they're pleasantly surprised to see him get close to finding the green with his second shot before pitching on with his third.

One thing you immediately notice as Tiger's group walk to their ball is how few people there are inside the ropes. No coaches, no extra staff, no family members and barely anyone other than the threeball and their respective caddies.

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Even the photography agencies are outside the ropes and Sky Sports' Wayne 'Radar' Riley can be found commentating from inside the patrons, standing on the tips of his toes to call Woods scramble par and reach the turn in level-par.

"I couldn't see it drop but I could hear it drop, and that's all that matters," is the reaction from one patron after hearing a big roar from Tiger's large following, before thousands quickly scurry - without running - to the next tee.

The huge interest gathers on the back nine, with not even the marquee threeball of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele at the first hole coming close to reaching the levels of spectators following Woods' group.

Tiger Woods hits from the bunker on the 18th hole during weather delayed first round at the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club Friday, April 12, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
Image: Tiger Woods is looking for a record-equalling sixth Masters victory

Walking towards the heart of Amen Corner, where the 11th green and the iconic par-three 12th fill your eyeline, is like staring at a huge piece of iconic artwork or a greenscreen of golfing perfection. Beauty and colour of the scenery captures the imagination just as much as the story on the course.

Woods plays the three-hole stretch with pars and cancels out a bogey at the 14th by making a two-putt birdie at the par-five 15th, raising the hopes that this would not be the last time the patrons would see him in action this week.

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Further pars over the next two holes move him on the brink of the weekend, with Woods offering a huge smile after getting up and down on the final hole to close a level-par 72 and earn that record-breaking 24th consecutive cut at The Masters.

Given everything Woods has gone through in the past few seasons, it was a privilege to see one of sport's all-time greats tee it up. That fact he not only played but could still compete against the world's best - however much pain he was in - is something we should never take for granted.

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After making a record 24th consecutive cut at The Masters, Tiger Woods claims he's still got a chance at winning the tournament after shooting a level-par 72 in his second round

Woods will have aspirations to win again, insisting pre-tournament that he "had one more" in his sights. For the patrons able to watch him this week and those who get to whenever he features going forward, that will feel like a victory in itself.

Watch The Masters throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports! Watch Featured Groups at The Masters on Saturday from 3pm via the red button or log in to the Sky Sports app, with full coverage from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Golf.

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