Jason Getz is a staff photographer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was part of our staff of three photographers and five reporters who covered the Masters last week.
My favorite photograph from a memorable 2023 Masters was this image of Jon Rahm reacting after he made his putt on the 18th green to win the tournament. It was the first Masters title for Rahm.
Here is the story behind the photo.
Getting into a good photo position on the 18th green for the final round of the Masters is a difficult task. There are only three photo positions around the green set aside for photographers. If facing the green from the fairway, they are on the left, right and back side of the green. The Sunday pin was placed, as it normally is, on the lower left side of the green. That seemingly favors the photographer position on the left.
The challenge is that you never know how the winner will react. Which direction will the final putt come from? How will the winner celebrate? What direction will he turn? You cannot guess, because chances are you will guess wrong.
Therefore, we try to get as many different angles as possible. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had two photographers (and a photo editor) at the Masters all week. The AJC had a shooting position in the back, staffed by Hyosub Shin, and on the right, staffed by me. No one was in the favored position on the left. I was certainly hoping that Rahm would not turn to the left after winning because we did not have that angle covered.
What happened was the best-case scenario for me. Rahm’s par putt was facing my photo position on the right. When I was preparing to photograph his final putt, I made sure to shoot it to include Rahm’s whole body and plenty of the crowd behind him.
This was my ninth Masters and I’ve never seen a golfer celebrate quite like this. After Rahm made his putt, he dropped his putter, lifted his hands in the air and then he turned to the sky and gave a yell. At the same time the crowd behind him reacted in celebration.
The combination of the golfer and the crowd reacting at the same time makes this photograph my favorite image from the week. And to me this is what the 18th green on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club is all about.
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