Augusta National - hole 6
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Augusta National - hole 6
The par-3 16th hole plays from an elevated tee, over a dip to an elevated green. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
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Augusta National - hole 2
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Augusta National - hole 2
The 2nd hole is a long, downhill par 5 and is traditionally one of the easiest holes at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - Davis Love III - hole 2
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Augusta National - Davis Love III - hole 2
Davis Love III hits his approach shot on the par-5 second hole at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 9
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Augusta National - hole 9
The par-4 9th hole plays uphill to an elevated green at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 18 - Tiger Woods - O'Meara
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Augusta National - hole 18 - Tiger Woods - O'Meara
Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara hug it out on the 18th green after their Wednesday practice round at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - Masters - chairs
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Augusta National - Masters - chairs
For $29, you can buy a Masters folding chair that lets you reserve prime spots up against the ropes anywhere on the golf course. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 10
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Augusta National - hole 10
The downhill, par-4 10th hole kicks off the exciting back nine at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 12 - Ben Crenshaw
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Augusta National - hole 12 - Ben Crenshaw
Ben Crenshaw lets a tee shot fly on the par-3 12th hole during the Wednesday practice round at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 13
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Augusta National - hole 13
The par-5 13th is one of Augusta National's most famous, risk-reward holes. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - sign
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Augusta National - sign
Scenes from the 2011 Masters Wednesday practice round at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 14
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Augusta National - hole 14
The par-4 14th hole has no bunkers, but one of the meanest greens with humps and a false front. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 15
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Augusta National - hole 15
Augusta National's par-5 15th hole has one of the shallowest greens on the course and requires a delicate third shot over water. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - hole 16
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Augusta National - hole 16
Players skip balls across the pond on the 16th hole at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Scenes from the 2011 Masters Wednesday practice round - No. 17
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Scenes from the 2011 Masters Wednesday practice round - No. 17
One of Augusta National's toughest greens is the par-4 17th hole. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National's par-3 golf course
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Augusta National's par-3 golf course
Masters fans watch the Par 3 Contest, a Wednesday tradition at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - Masters gift shop
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Augusta National - Masters gift shop
They churn out the merchandise at the Masters gift shop. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor

Augusta National primed and ready for the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Phil Mickelson defends his green jacket at the 2011 Masters, staged at Augusta National Golf Club .

Also expected to contend is four-time winner Tiger Woods, as well as a strong European field, including Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, last year's U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell and 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer.

The 2011 Masters will feature picture perfect conditions and weather. Though a storm blew through earlier in the week, the golf course is in prime shape leading into the first round on Thursday. Expect plenty of Sunday afternoon fireworks.

You can't bring cell phones onto the grounds at Augusta, but during the practice rounds you are allowed to bring a camera. Brandon Tucker spent Wednesday at the Masters and captured a few shots of the action, both players' practice rounds, and the annual Par 3 Contest held on Augusta's short course .

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
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Augusta National primed and ready for the Masters
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