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Harrington claims unique hat-trick

Padraig Harrington became the first player to win a hat-trick of par three titles at The Masters on Wednesday - but just like his first victory in 2003 he had to share the honour.

The competition could not be completed because of a thunderstorm, leaving Harrington as joint winner with American Jonathan Byrd after both returned five-under-par scores of 22.

Nine years ago the 40-year-old Dubliner tied with David Toms, but bad weather prevented a play-off then as well. Twelve months later he beat Argentina's Eduardo Romero in sudden death.

What it means again, though, is that Harrington will have to beat a jinx to become Masters champion on Sunday.

Since the par three event started in 1960, nobody has lifted that crown and then won the event proper as well four days later.

Last year's Wednesday champion Luke Donald did not even take part this time because he wanted to focus on the main event, while Open champion Darren Clarke was another non-participant because he wanted to rest a sore groin.

Most players treat it as light relief and invite family, friends or even celebrities to act as their caddies.

Lee Westwood and Thomas Bjorn had television presenters Ant and Dec - Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly - carrying their bags, with Bjorn finishing with a hole-in-one.


From Belfast Telegraph