The Masters’ Par 3 contest has been a staple of the annual tournament since 1960, when Sam Snead won the nine-hole competition with a score of 4-under.
Snead — who won the Masters in 1949, 1952, and 1954 — would go on to place 11th in the tournament after his Par 3 win. Little did he know what precedent he was setting.
In the 57 years since, no golfer who has won the Par 3 contest has gone on to win the Masters in the same year.
There have been some close calls.
In 1990, Raymond Floyd won the pre-tournament contest with a 4-under score. Floyd would go on to lead the Masters field after the second and third rounds, and held a four-shot lead with six holes left. But a late Nick Faldo charge led to a sudden-death playoff, which Floyd lost on the second hole.
Only one other Par 3 winner came within one place of the green jacket. In 1993, Chip Beck posted a 6-under to win the Par 3 contest, before coming in four strokes behind Bernhard Langer for second place.
Only 11 Par 3 winners have ever finished in the top 10, and recent results don’t look good. In seven of the past 12 years (not counting 2017, where the contest was canceled due to rain), the Par 3 winner failed to even make the cut.
Of the 40 winners that have made the cut since 1960, the average score in the Masters is 289.5, or 1.5 strokes over par.
Here’s the full list:
|Year||Par 3 winner||Par 3 score||Masters finish||Masters score|
|1964||Labron Harris Jr.||−4||43||9|
|1965||Art Wall Jr.||−7||T45||11|
|1974||Sam Snead (2)||−5||T20||-2|
|1981||Isao Aoki (2)||−5||T45||12|
|1992||Davis Love III||−5||T25||-4|
|1996||Jay Haas (2)||−5||T36||7|
|1998||Sandy Lyle (2)||−3||CUT||N/A|
|2004||Pádraig Harrington (2)||−4||T13||E|
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