Tim Clark wins the Masters Par-3 competition
South Africa’s Tim Clark will be the next player to test the Masters Par-Three curse after winning the fun-filled event on Wednesday.
While golfers enjoyed some laughs and a few holes-in-one on a sun-kissed afternoon ahead of Thursday’s opening round, a victory at the Par-Three remains a dark omen.
Since it became part of the tournament build-up in 1960 no winner has gone on to clinch the Masters in the same year.
“It’s one tournament you don’t want to win,” said 1979 Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller. “History will tell you, you don’t want to win.”
Clark’s victory marks the second consecutive year a South African has won the Par-Three following Rory Sabbatini’s success in 2008.
The event has turned into something of a ‘take your kids to work day’ for golfers as they enlist their children or grandchildren into caddie duty, allowing them to take the occasional shot to the roar of approval from the galleries.
The day’s featured group included a trio of golf’s greatest names—Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
Player, who will compete in his 52nd and final Masters on Thursday, exited the Par-Three in style, spectacularly holing out at the ninth for a par after finding water off the tee.
“That was an exciting par,” said Player. “My seven-year-old grandson said: ‘Gramps you still got it’”.
Clark finished with a hole-in-one at the last, his ball holding on the ninth green before rolling back 12 feet into the cup to take the lead.
A hole-in-one for Australian Greg Norman earned a kiss and hug from his caddie and wife Chris Evert.
“That was my first in 23 years being here,” said Norman.
“She (Evert) got the right line.
“She has the right lines anyway,” laughed the twice British Open champion.
Tiger Woods has not been part of the fun for several years, preferring to spend the day fine-tuning his final preparations by playing Augusta National’s front nine ahead of Thursday’s opening round when he will chase a fifth green jacket and 15th major.