It was an ACE day at the Par 3 Contest!
Post by Golf Writer, Kieran Clark
The annual Par 3 Contest at Augusta National has long been considered the calm before the storm of the Masters Tournament, an enjoyable distraction from the main event. Initiated way back in 1960, Sam Snead was the maiden victor of an exhibition that has brought together former champions and present competitors.
It has long been a favourite with the attending patrons, but one that has a mixed response from the players, some of whom are wary of the overblown superstition that the winner of the Contest won't follow that up with a victory in the big event.
In more recent years, with the player's children, grandchildren, wives and girlfriends more involved than before, the Contest on the club's stunning nine-hole short course has taken a more relaxed disposition. But on Wednesday, it was back to the thrilling days of old, with a record nine hole-in-ones being made by the 80-year-old legend Gary Player, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Zach Johnson, Andy Sullivan, Webb Simpson, David Lingmerth and Smylie Kaufman, all earning a piece of coveted crystal for their aces.
As did Jimmy Walker, who shot a record eight-under total of 19 to clinch the Contest from Keegan Bradley and former Masters champion Craig Stadler. It was a memorable day for all, but especially those nine players.
Incredibly, Thomas and Fowler made aces on consecutive shots. Rickie apparently not willing to allow Justin to fully enjoy the moment for himself on his debut at Augusta. The third member of the group, Jordan Spieth, had to console himself with the fact that he only has a Green Jacket in his locker.
Given the considerable weight history now on his shoulders, it might be an idea to wish Jimmy Walker the best of luck. But the curse has to end at some point.
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