Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

No par-three joy for Harrington

Padraig Harrington hit a three-under 24 at the par-three competition (AP)

Padraig Harrington missed out on a fourth victory in the traditional par-three contest on the eve of the Masters, but is unlikely to be too disappointed.

Since the event started in 1960, nobody has ever become par-three champion and Masters champion in the same week, with Harrington continuing the 'jinx' after wins in 2003, 2004 and 2012 - although he twice had to share the title after bad weather prevented a play-off.

The three-time major winner was in contention again when he posted a three-under 24, but then saw Ernie Els and Nick Watney finish on four under, Watney by making a hole-in-one on the ninth.

Most players treat it as light relief and invite family or friends to act as their caddies, including the 'Big Three' of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, who will be back together to hit ceremonial drives as honorary starters for the tournament proper on Thursday.

Rory McIlroy had tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki on the bag, saying: "It's very special. Caroline could have come last year but it did not quite work out, but I really wanted her to come and see what it's all about."

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