Tradition is a word that echoes around the famous pines at Augusta National. From arrival to departure, Masters week is filled with memories of the most famed moments and reminders of how special the first major of the year is to golfers and patrons alike.
One of the most endearing traditions is the annual Par-3 contest which is held on the Wednesday of the tournament week.
A special day of Masters week allows wives, girlfriends, friends and children to serve as caddies, and the competition consists of tournament participants, noncompeting past champions and honorary invitees.
Famously, no winner of the Par-3 contest has ever gone on to win in the Masters the same year. Call it superstition or plain bad luck, but the majority of those that have gone on to win the Par 3 contest, have fizzled out during Masters play.
Players that win the Par-3 contest are almost immediately written-off to claim a green jacket. The fact that Rory McIlroy decided to pull out of the Par 3 contest this year made instant headlines, and some say it highlights how seriously he is taking his build-up to claim a career grand slam.
Augusta patrons will walk the pine-lined fairways and greens on Wednesday unsure of their commitment to support their favorite players. A win on Wednesday means an almost undeniable failure during the week’s play.
It will take a player at the top of his game to break the Par-3 Masters hoodoo and someone with the mental grit to overcome the 56-year superstition at Augusta National.