Jack Nicklaus scores ace in Masters Par 3 Contest, Streelman wins

Michael Madrid, USA Today Sports Images
Jack Nicklaus reacts after a hole-in-one on the fourth hole during the Par 3 Contest prior to the 2015 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 | 3:49 p.m.

By Teresa M. Walker, Associated Press

Six-time Masters champion and all-time leading major winner Jack Nicklaus may be 75 years old, but he still has a way of wowing the patrons at Augusta National.

On the grounds where the Golden Bear has a bank of countless memories, he added another on Wednesday in the Par 3 Contest with a hole-in-one on the fourth hole.

His ball bounced twice, then took a third hop before retreating into the hole. Nicklaus was congratulated by playing partners Ben Crenshaw and Gary Player, then acknowledged the ovation from the crowd, raising his arms in the air with a double fist-pump. 
 
"It's funny, I had an interview this morning and I said, 'Well, all I've got to do is go out and win the Par-3 and make a hole-in-one,' and I make a hole-in-one," Nicklaus said. 
 
"I actually hit two more shots that hit right around the edge of the hole, had a chance to go in," he said. "I didn't finish up very well, but we had a lot of fun." 
 
Kevin Streelman beat Camilo Villegas on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Par-3 Contest. They finished the nine holes tied at 5 under, then each opened the playoff with a par then a birdie before Streelman topped Villegas, who had not one, but two holes-in-one through his first eight holes. 
 
Winning the Par 3 Contest has been considered a bad omen since no one has won both that title and the Masters in the same week. Streelman called it a fun day where his focus was on helping Ethan from the Make-a-Wish Foundation have a great day. 
 
"Done all I can do," Streelman said. "Now I've just got to go out and have fun and play." 
 
Villegas got his first ace on No. 4 along with Jack Nicklaus and Texas Tech star Matias Dominguez of Chile. The Colombian followed that with his second hole-in-one of the day on the 120-yard No. 8, taking him to 5-under 22 and tying Streelman. 
 
Holes-in-one are nothing new for Villegas who had the 14th of his career last week at home with a 5-iron. He said his pitching wedge on his first hole-in-one Wednesday kept trickling back and went in the hole. He used a 54-degree wedge on his second ace. 
 
"The second one, we were a little more emotional there," Villegas said. "We just kind of jumped. Enjoying it, man." 
 
Tiger Woods had company playing the Par 3 for the first time since 2004. His 6-year-old son, Charlie, and 7-year-old daughter, Sam, caddied for him with girlfriend, Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn, joining them. Woods even let his daughter handle his putting, and she showed a deft touch on the green. 
 
"I'll always have memories of my pop at Augusta and now Sam & Charlie," Woods wrote on Twitter. "An amazing day." 
 
Family time is the best part of this event. 
 
Ernie Els let his daughter Samantha putt. Caleb Watson looked adorable in his caddie suit and green hat following his daddy, two-time Masters champ Bubba, from hole to hole. Brendon Todd had his hands full carrying son Oliver when not swinging a club. 
 
"Definitely the best part was carrying my son, six-month-boy, all over showing him off to the crowd," Todd said.
 
Here's Nicklaus's ace:
 

 

As PGA Tour pro Bob Estes noted on Twitter, we golf fans should savor these moments:

 

 

As it turns out, we probably shouldn't have been surprised by the ace. Nicklaus called it in an interview with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt earlier on Wednesday:

 

 

T.J. Auclair of PGA.com contributed to this story.