Masters Par 3 Tournament 2013: Why Unique Event Is Worth Your Viewing Time

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 10, 2013

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 04:  Henrik Stenson of Sweden (C) watches as his son Karl (R) high-fives Martin Kaymer of Germany (L) during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Masters Par 3 Contest severely lacks in the drama that comes with the real tournament, but that is exactly why it is worth watching. 

For those unfamiliar with the event, think of it as golf's version of the home run derby.

The contest takes place on Augusta's nine-hole, par-three course. It began in 1960, and is held on the Wednesday before the tournament begins. Also, keeping score is optional. 

ESPN will air live coverage from 3 to 5 p.m. ET. Here is why it is always an entertaining view. 


Relaxed Atmosphere 

It isn't often we get to see pros on the course doing nothing but enjoying themselves, or any player on any course in this frustrating game. However, enjoyment is what this contest is all about. 

Without the pressure to win, or even keep score, players will pull out trick shots, or even let their caddies take shots for them.

Speaking of caddies, this is another highlight of the event. Many players choose to have their children or grandchildren carry their bag around the course, and the sense of wonder in these youngsters is worth the price of admission alone. 

Not to mention the sight of cute toddlers in caddie whites carrying a light bag or tending a pin is pretty priceless. 

Of course, caddies aren't always limited to youngsters. Friends, relatives or significant others will also get on the bag, and this year, as the San Francisco Gate's Ron Kroichick points out, it will feature a true sports power couple. 

Rory McIlroy will be participating in the event and he will have girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki on the bag. This fun-loving couple should be good for a few laughs during the round. 


A Glimpse of the Legends

Another wonderful facet of this event is that it gives a chance for fans to get a glimpse of some of the all-time greats. 

The field for this tournament includes not just those playing in the Masters, but also noncompeting past champions and some honorary invitees. 

That means fans get to see the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player roaming the course that helped make them legends. 

I am not old enough to have enjoyed watching these guys during their Tour careers, but seeing them swing the stick at Augusta is still enough to give me chills. 

It also nice to see these legends interact with each other. 

This contest is a fun event that reinforces the heart of what makes this game great. It is a sport where multiple generations can go out for a nice afternoon together and bond. 

As for any meaning to be gleaned as to how the major will play out? Forget about it. No winner of the par three contest has ever gone on to win the Masters in the same year.