The Masters is a championship full of both history and tradition. From clothing like the iconic green jacket or the all white caddy jumpsuits, to the odd affinity for patrons (and press) to gorge themselves on pimento cheese sandwiches, to the opening tee shot customarily provided by a past legend of the sport, there’s no other event quite like the Masters. One of the most fun traditions is the Par 3 contest customarily held on Wednesday, the last practice day before the real tournament starts.
The Par 3 Contest dates back to 1960 and is played on Augusta’s 9 hole par-3 course. It is known for its laid back atmosphere, with past legends playing alongs today's professionals and where family members are often used as caddies. Friends, family and even spectators are also often invited to take a shot. That continued to be the case in 2019 as Justin Thomas handed his putter to a young child from the crowd and watched him subsequently 2-putt fo par. The child was rewarded with claps from the crowd and autographed golf balls from Thomas and playing partners Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Spieth later impressed the crowd by skipping a ball across a water hazard and onto the green, something often attempted but not always successfully during the contest.
The day also saw some serious golf too. In all, 4 aces were recorded, including an impressive hole-in-one from UCLA sophomore Devon Bling who finished just 1 stroke back from eventual winner Matt Wallace. Wallace, an English golfer making his first Masters appearance, also hit a hole-in-one to force a playoff with Sandy Lyle. Wallace won on the 3rd playoff hole, taking home great memories and the crystal bowl awarded the Par 3 Contest winners. Unfortunately, no player has ever won the Masters after winning the Par 3 Contest, though 1990 winner Raymond Floyd did make it all the way to a playoff. Wallace will look to end this streak when he tees off today.