This is Masters Week. Golfers know spring has arrived when The Masters rolls around. It is held at the picturesque Augusta National Golf Club in the piney woods of Augusta, Georgia, when its many azalea shrubs and Dogwood trees are in full bloom. This is the world’s premier golf event for individual competition. It occurs at a prime time–early in the year when golf fans have not been thinking about golf much for the past several months. Plus, The Masters is the first of golf’s four major competitions worldwide: The Masters in April, the U.S. Open in June, the British Open in July, and the PGA Championship in August.
I competed in six Masters championships. My best finish there was about 15th, which wasn’t very good. Augusta National didn’t quite fit my game. It took me several years on the PGA Tour to get accustomed to fast greens like they have there. That’s because I grew up in Seattle and lived 40 years in Houston. In those places the climate doesn’t allow greenskeepers to make fast greens.
Like nearly all tournaments on the PGA Tour, the Masters is a 72-hole event that starts Thursday and ends Sunday, weather permitting. On Wednesday, the day before the tournament begins, players compete in a fun event at a short, par-3 course there at Augusta National. My most memorable experience playing in this event was being paired with The Squire, legendary Gene Sarazen. Today, a big record was set in this par-three event. My dear friend, 80-year-old Gary Player, a past Masters champion, was part of that record. Mark Sandritter reported minutes ago about it at SB Nation as follows:
The Masters Par-3 Contest began in 1960 with players combining for 80 holes-in-one during the first 56 years. That’s 1.42 aces per contest through last season with a record five made in 2002. That is a whole lot of holes-in-one.
Then this year came around.
Not only did the 2016 field manage to set a new record for aces, they nearly doubled it. Nine players made a hole-in-one on Wednesday. NINE! In one afternoon the field combined for more than 11 percent of the aces it took 56 previous fields of players to make. That’s incredible.
The aces came early and came often. There were even records set within the record. At 80 years old, Gary Player became the oldest player to record an ace in the event when he made the fourth of his career, another record.
There were so many aces, the video team for the Masters had to be exhausted by the end of it all. Fortunately they were kind enough to upload all of the shots to Twitter.
The holes-in-one came so fast and furious, there were two in a span of two golf swings. Justin Thomas made an ace and celebrated with playing partner Rickie Fowler. Fowler then stepped to the tee and made an ace of his own.
There were so many aces, the video team at the Masters had to be exhausted by the end of it all. Fortunately they were kind enough to upload all of the shots to Twitter.