Thousands of golf fans take in practice rounds at The Masters - CBS46 News

Thousands of golf fans take in practice rounds at The Masters

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AUGUSTA, GA (CBS46) -

The best names in golf are at The Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club.  The Tuesday practice day is a time when fans are able to get closer to the players before the tournament begins on Thursday. 

Thousands of people flooded the course. Some were experiencing The Masters for the first time, while others make it an annual tradition.

"The experience of Augusta is walking inside, and this is paradise. It makes you feel like this all over, goosebumps," Ursin Mirer, of Switzerland, said.

Mirer and five friends traveled from Switzerland to attend the first major of the year. 

"It was big wish since I was a little boy and now it came true," friend Christian Apagaus said. 

Some people are there for the course, like Bobby Grobman from Calgary.

"It's awesome, exciting, exactly as I pictured it, beautiful, lush green, hilly," Grobman said.

He got his practice round tickets through the lottery. 

"I got them on my second try, four tickets for the practice round today. All of a sudden I had new friends," Grobman said.

Other people went to Augusta for the chance to see some of the best golfers in the world up close.

"Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson," 11-year-old Will Harris, of Charleston, said.

"Neither of us could sleep because we were so excited about it," Joy Bonhurst said.

This is the 12th year at Augusta National for Bonhurst and her mom.

"There is so much history is here," Bonhurst said.

It's the first year with two women members of the Golf Club. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was spotted wearing her green members-only jacket.

Former Steelers Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward checked out the course on Tuesday and said he welcomes the change.

"Slowly over time they've evolved and opened things up to not only blacks, white, female, male. It's a great thing to be a part of, and I think it should be like that," Ward said.

This year marks the 77th year of the tournament, and golf fans from all over the world want to take it all in.

"This is one of the best tournaments in the world for golf, and I've never been here, so this is my dream come true," Yoshi Shinozuka, of Japan, said.

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