Masters Par 3 Tournament 2018: Tom Watson Becomes Oldest Winner in History

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2018

Tom Watson acknowledges the gallery after a birdie on the third hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Tom Watson won the 2018 Masters Tournament Par 3 Contest with a six-under 21 during the showcase event Wednesday at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. 

Watson, 68, previously won the Par 3 Contest in 1982 and becomes the oldest winner in the tournament's history. He's not in the field for the Masters, so the streak of no golfer winning the contest and the season's first major in the same week will continue.

The eight-time major champion played alongside fellow legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, and all three were in contention with their mostly younger counterparts throughout the afternoon.

Other top finishers included Tommy Fleetwood and Thomas Pieters (tied second place, five under) as well as Adam Hadwin and Chez Reavie, who tied with Nicklaus for fourth at four under. Tiger Woods didn't participate.

The Par 3 Contest is traditionally a light-hearted competition before the intensity picks up Thursday morning as the chase for the green jacket begins. Many players don't even record an official score as they let family members, friends or special guests take shots for them.

Here's a look at some of the day's best moments, highlights and social-media reaction:

John Feinstein @JFeinsteinBooks

Tom Watson just won the par-3 contest at Augusta with a six-under-par 21. He's 68. Amazing. Means the tradition that no par-3 winner has ever won the tournament will continue since he's not playing. He should go ahead and play. Might make the cut. He's remarkable.

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Wait for it… Bubba Watson’s trick putt at #themasters Par 3 Contest was amazing. https://t.co/9aHwCc5OAz

Masters Tournament @TheMasters

Watch @Dylan_Frittelli make the first hole-in-one of the 2018 Par 3 Contest on No. 8. #themasters https://t.co/9KQIM13TFB


💚💛 There's nothing like the Par-3 Contest at #theMasters. https://t.co/a0JZ2zX8Y3

Masters Tournament @TheMasters

Watch Jack Nicklaus' grandson, Gary, ace the final hole of the 2018 Par 3 Contest. #themasters https://t.co/pk2FTqprwv

Will Brinson @WillBrinson

Jack Nicklaus' grandson just hit his first hole in one (camera caught him saying so) while caddying for the Golden Bear at the Masters Par 3 contest. Can't even make it up.

Scott Van Pelt @notthefakeSVP

I always tell folks Wednesday is my favorite day of the week at The Masters. Jack’s grandson Gary making an ace on the last hole of the Par 3 is why. Made his grandpa cry. Absolutely awesome. Meanwhile, Tom Watson is going to win it? What a day.

Shane Bacon @shanebacon

The hype for this week already at an all time high and then we get Jack Nicklaus’ grandson making an ace and Tom Watson winning the Par 3 Contest? I fully expect a Rory-Tiger-Spieth-Phil playoff come Sunday.

Looking ahead, this year's Masters has received a monster hype boost thanks to Woods' strong play in recent months. After a couple years where it looked like his days of seriously competing on the sport's biggest stages were over because of back problems, he's showcased top-tier form as of late.

That means the one moment golf fans have been hoping for may finally come to fruition—Tiger in his trademark red and black battling the current era's top stars, led by Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, for a major title on the back nine Sunday.


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