The Masters: Par Three Contest cancelled due to no patrons

The traditional Par Three Contest on the eve of the Masters has been cancelled next month, officials have confirmed.

Matt Wallace was scheduled to defend the title he won on the Wednesday of Masters week almost 18 months ago, when he denied Sandy Lyle a record third victory in the event, 21 years after his second.

The winner of the Par Three Contest has never gone on to win The Masters in the same week since Sam Snead won the first playing of the competition over 70 years ago.

But with no patrons in attendance this year, Augusta National have decided to cancel the event next month, with the hope of restoring the contest to the Masters coverage in April next year.

Augusta chairman Fred Ridley said: “The fun and excitement of watching Masters competitors with their friends and family is what makes the Par Three Contest such a special part of Masters week.

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“We know that experience could not have been replicated without guests and patrons at Augusta National, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to bring back this signature tradition.”

Ridley also announced “new and enhanced” television coverage for this year’s Masters, with the tournament being broadcast live in over 200 countries and territories.

“Given the circumstances brought about by the pandemic, the delivery of quality content is as important as ever to the storytelling of the Masters Tournament,” said Ridley.

“While we will dearly miss our patrons at Augusta National this fall, we are excited to showcase what promises to be a truly memorable Masters in a variety of ways for viewers around the world.”

It was also confirmed that six-time champion Jack Nicklaus, and three-time winner Gary Player, will be at Augusta to strike the ceremonial opening tee shots ahead of the first round on Thursday, November 12.

And with less daylight compared with the event’s usual date in April, a two-tee start will be in operation for the opening two rounds.

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