For the first time since it began in 1960, the Masters Par-3 Contest was canceled on Wednesday.
With severe storms coming through the Augusta National Golf Club and the southeastern United States, play was initially stopped at 10:10 a.m., calling into question if tournament officials would even re-open the course to players and patrons in the final day of preparation before tournament play begins on Thursday.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 5, 2017
Then the club announced the gates would re-open at 12:30 p.m. and that the Par-3 Contest would begin then. However, after 55 minutes, 26 players beginning play and a hole-in-one by 2003 champion Mike Weir, play was suspended again and eventually called for the day. The results were wiped out and, officially, there will have been no Par-3 Contest for the first time since 1959.
“The safety of everyone on our grounds was the determining factor in the decision to close the course and cancel the Par 3 Contest,” Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said in a statement. “We share in the disappointment of our patrons, but the safety of our grounds is always our primary concern.”
In one sense, the 94-player Masters field is lucky. While not every player competes in the Par-3 Contest, no players who has won it on Wednesday has ever put on a green jacket as Masters champion the following Sunday.