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Memorable Moments, Augusta's Par 3 Contest

You can’t mention the Masters Tournament without using the word “Traditions”. Of all of the Masters traditions, none is more endearing than the annual Par 3 Contest. You will find kids, significant others, and family members dressed in replica Augusta National jumpsuits - possibly toting a carry bag, grabbing the flag, or even hitting a shot for their pro. 

The Masters can be stressful for even the best golfers in the world. Having an event that is part competition, and part stress relief helps get your mind right. Whether the golfer needs to focus on relaxing or dialing in their game, the Par 3 Contest provides the last minute bump players need to perform their best at Augusta National Golf Club.

Unfortunately, the annual Par 3 Contest has been cancelled for the 2021 Masters Tournament. But that is not going to stop us from enjoying the historic flashbacks this Wednesday teaser event has created. 

Saintnine compiled a list of our favorite memorable moments from the pre-Tournament attraction, the Masters Par 3 Contest. 

 

A Tony Finau's Ace Ankle Pop

                                                                                                            Video Credit: ESPN

Most aces will cement themselves into any golfer's memory, but Tony Finau’s ace at the 2018 Par 3 Contest is accompanied by a painful and unforgettable celebration. This contest is known to get the spectators amped up, not to mention the reaction a hole-in-one can bring. Finau’s shot took off on a perfect line, with his son cheering him on in the background. Tony carried his shot exactly where he needed to land, with tons of spin to zip the ball back towards the pin. After the ball tracked for over 30 feet, it banged into the pin for an ace. Finau took off sprinting in jubilation - feeding off of the crowd's energy. That energy was then gasped out of the air when Finau dislocated his ankle running down the fairway. A combination of embarrassment and adrenaline led Tony to pop his ankle back into place and limp back to the tee box. 

 

Jack Nicklaus's Grandson Steals the Show

Video Credit: The Masters

There isn’t a man on this planet with more success at the Masters than Jack Nicklaus. He managed to win 6 green jackets throughout his career, yet he says none of them top watching his grandson, Gary, ace the par-3 9th. “My wins, that’s okay,” Jack Nicklaus said, “but to have your grandson make a hole‑in‑one and watch him do it, man, that’s amazing.” This goes to show that the Masters Par 3 Contest is more than just golf - it’s family, friends, and traditions all in sync. 

 

Aces Aplenty during 2016 Par 3 Contest

Video Credit: IOL

The elusive hole-in-one is considered one of the hardest shots to pull off in golf, but that was not the case in 2016. There were a total of 9 aces during the 2016 Masters Par 3 Contest - the previous record was only 5. 

Aces were carded by David Lingmerth, Andy Sullivan, Webb Simpson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and last but not least 80-year-old Gary Player. To make this story even sweeter, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler made back-to-back aces within seconds of each other in the same group. Not to mention the course record was broken by Jimmy Walker, who managed to card 6 birdies along with his hole-in-one to shoot an 8-under 19.

 

Author: Christian Anderson
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