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Tiger Woods to Play 2015 Masters Par 3 Contest: Details, Comments, Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIApril 7, 2015

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Four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods will partake in Wednesday's Par 3 Contest at Augusta National Golf Club for the first time in over a decade.  

The Golf Channel's Tiger-centric Twitter feed shared the news Mark O'Meara initially reported Tuesday, as Woods announced his decision to tee it up in the pre-tournament exhibition:

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Tiger confirms he’ll play the Par 3 Contest, just as Mark O’Meara told @GolfChannel earlier today. Both kids will caddie for him.

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Tiger not keen on winning Par 3 Contest. He knows the voodoo stuff that comes with winning.

It's quite rare for Woods to play in the par-three showcase, as the PGA Tour's Twitter account indicated:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Tiger Woods will play the Par 3 Contest for the first time since 2004. Who will caddy? "I have two. Sam and Charlie." http://t.co/R3pyfD6OMH

Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel weighed in on Woods' decision:

Kelly Tilghman @KellyTilghmanGC

Will be truly special to see Tiger with his kids in Par 3 to remind us there's far more to life than winning, even when you're Tiger Woods.

As is implicit in Woods' comments, he will not be at the apex of his legendary competitiveness during the contest. This is the 55th year the competition has been held, and none of the past champions have gone on to wear the green jacket on Masters Sunday.

Woods seems a lot more at ease and not quite as cold and calculated with the media, which he was for much of his prime. At Tuesday's press conference, the 39-year-old veteran was relaxed and jovial:

Tiger Tracker @GCTigerTracker

Tiger says he was listening to hip hop yesterday during range session. Funny to hear him say it, but he said: "I just wanted to rock out."

Injuries and resultant inconsistency have plagued Woods in recent years. The last time he won at Augusta was in 2005, though that isn't to say he hasn't been close, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Since 2005, no one has more top-5 finishes at Augusta than Tiger Woods (7 in 9 starts). Next: Phil Mickelson, 5

However, Woods hasn't added to his total of 14 major championships since his epic 2008 U.S. Open triumph.

The fact that Woods seems fit enough to partake in a bit of extra golf before 72 prospective holes of the most intense competition suggests he's in good health. 

Woods last teed it up in a competition at the Farmers Insurance Open in early February at Torrey Pines—the site of his last major victory—where he was forced to withdraw due to back tightness.

By all accounts, Woods seems in a far better frame of mind from a physical and mental standpoint with regard to his golf game.

The Masters and the game of golf are always enhanced when Woods is in the field, particularly when he's playing well. Despite the lack of positive results of late, it wouldn't be wise to underestimate him in a tournament he almost always has a shot to win.

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