Golf Monthly's 'On the ground' gallery, with pictures by Robin Barwick, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Global Sponsor of the 2015 Masters

Blue skies brought Augusta National to life on Wednesday

After another dull and damp start to the day at Augusta National on Wednesday, blue skies adorned the course in time for the Par 3 Contest.

Business under Augusta's famous oak tree was bustling

The sunshine ensured that business was brisk beneath the famous old oak tree, the traditional meeting point for golf’s media, players, officials and assorted VIPs at the Masters.

At mid-day, Masters patrons began to flock to the Par 3 Contest

Patrons head to the Par 3 Course for a spell of light-hearted entertainment on the eve of the year’s first major.

Rickie Fowler gave one young patron an excellent photo opportunity

Rickie Fowler made this young patron’s day with a picture before teeing off with Masters defending champion Bubba Watson and former U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson.

Padraig Harrington signs autographs before teeing off in the Par 3 Contest

Padraig Harrington, a three-time winner of the Par 3 Contest, signs autographs before teeing off with Shane Lowry and Stephen Gallacher.

It did not take long for the Par 3 Course to near its capacity

It did not take long for Augusta’s stunning Par 3 Course to fill to capacity.

There was little room for error around the seventh hole

There was no room for error off the 7th tee on the Par 3 Course.

Young masters patrons wait patiently by the 9th green

Children wait patiently by the 9th green of the Par 3 Course. They are only after one thing, we know it, they know it, and so do the players. Just sign your name, please.

Angie, Caleb and Dakota Watson wait by the 9th green

Bubba’s support team: Angie Watson and children Caleb (kneeling) and Dakota wait by the ninth green.

When Bubba Watson missed his putt on the 9th, Caleb knew where the ball belonged

When Bubba Watson missed his putt on the ninth, Caleb knew there was only one thing for it, and he swiftly dispatched the errant ball into Ike’s Pond.

Caleb Watson seemed pleased to offer the 9th green gallery some entertainment

Caleb Watson’s ball throwing antics received warm applause from the gallery, and he seemed to enjoy taking some of the limelight away from the Masters’ defending champ.

Something you don't normally see: a tour golfer tending the pin

Something you don’t see often: a tour golfer tending the pin. Watson offered the courtesy while Webb Simpson putted, although Watson persisted in offering Simpson verbal encouragement throughout his stroke.

Smiles all around on the ninth green

Smiles all around on the ninth green as this group of crowd pleasers complete their round.

Then the kids by the 9th green get rewarded for their patience.

Two players whose signatures are among the most prized by young patrons at the Masters.