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Masters Par-3 Contest: Everything you need to know for Wednesday’s event

Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler played the Par-3 Contest together in 2019.

It’s been a few years since we had the Masters Par-3 Contest grace our TV screens. The Covid-19 pandemic forced Augusta National to cancel the event the previous two years, but it’s scheduled to return in 2022.

Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it. But first, when you boil it down, there are really two main things you should know before sitting down on your couch on Wednesday afternoon.

1. This feel-good event oozes cuteness. Players dress their toddlers in caddie outfits and have them attempt to carry golf clubs, and it really doesn’t get any better than that. I mean, if this video of children getting to be with their dads doesn’t put a big grin on your face, we’re truly not sure what will.

2. And the other main takeaway: No winner of the Par-3 Contest has ever gone on to win the same edition of the Masters. Whether this is a curse, peaking just a few days early, or simple probability and statistics, no one can be quite sure. But how the Par-3 winner does on the big course is always a fun storyline to track.

How it started

The idea for the Par-3 Contest is attributed to Augusta National Chairman and co-founder Clifford Roberts, though not everyone at the club was onboard from the start. Nowadays, there aren’t many who don’t look forward to the distinct tradition. The event was first hosted in 1960 and won by Sam Snead.

The par-3 course itself opened in 1958. The course plays 1,060 yards and was designed by George W. Cobb with lots of input from Roberts himself.

The format

Current and past Masters champions are invited to play a relaxing round on the 9-hole par-3 course the Wednesday before the first round of the Masters. The short course has holes ranging from 70 to 140 yards in the northeast corner of the property. While the winner gets a crystal bowl for lowest score, many allow shots to be hit by children or family members rather than posting an official number (that way they can avoid that pesky aforementioned curse).

Memorable moments

— In 2016, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler made back-to-back aces on the 4th hole while playing in the same group.

Tom Watson is the oldest to win the event. He won in 2018 at the age of 68.

— After making an ace in 2018, Tony Finau sprinted toward the green in celebration, but he rolled his ankle and almost had to withdraw from the tournament.

— Also in 2018, Jack Nicklaus allowed his grandson, G.T., to hit the tee shot on the ninth hole, which he aced.

Facts and figures

— According to the 2022 Masters Media Guide, there have been 100 holes-in-one during the competition. The most in a single year was nine in 2016. The hole with the most aces is No. 9, with 24 total (21 present course, three original course).

— Jimmy Walker set the course record of 19 in 2016.

— Padraig Harrington has the most wins with three (2003, 2004, 2012).

— Paul Runyan was the oldest to ever participate. He played in 2000 at 91 years of age.

— Three amateurs have won the event: Deane Beman (1961), Labron Harris Jr. (1964) and Jay Haas (1976).

How to watch on Wednesday

There will be live coverage from 12-5 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and 3-5 p.m. on ESPN. Live streaming video will also be available on Masters.com beginning at 2 p.m.

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