Nobody has ever won Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest and the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in the same week.
Raymond Floyd came closest in 1990, when the 47-year-old was in line to become the oldest Masters champion. Floyd recorded his only Par 3 victory and seemed on course to snap the curse Sunday afternoon. Following a birdie on No. 12, Floyd was four strokes clear of Nick Faldo with six holes to play. But Faldo ended up slipping into a Green Jacket in a playoff for a second straight year.
Just three years later, Chip Beck won the warm-up act and was three strokes behind Bernhard Langer entering Sunday’s 15th hole. But Beck laid up from the fairway and Langer coasted to his second Masters crown.
Masters 2023 leaderboard: Get the latest news from Augusta
All these years later, the curse of the Par 3 Contest winner lives. Do today’s pros believe in it, and did the Par 3 curse deter them from participating or trying to win the Par 3?
“I’d love to win it. I had a chance one year, and I missed a birdie putt at the last.”
“Not really. It’s got to happen at some point.”
“I don’t think I ever came to the last hole with a good round going but I do believe in the curse. How can you not? It’s never happened.”
“Definitely not. If I happen to win, I won’t be thinking I have a worse chance of winning. It would just make me feel like I’m playing well and have a chance to win.”
“Someone is going to break that curse one year and I hope it’s me.”
“I participate because I love having my wife and kids out there, but I will never try to win it. Let’s not try to test the waters.”
“No. It’s great fun. I’d never miss it. I try to relax and if I make a bunch of birdies then great and if I don’t I’m not really upset.”
“My dad caddied for me my first year and he was on me all day to win it. I’d love to be the first to win them both the same week.”
“I always participated, but it definitely deterred me from trying to win. I’m superstitious so I wasn’t above firing one in the water. I don’t remember what year it was, but I was a bunch under and just wanted to make sure (I didn’t win).”
“I think it would be so cool to be the one to break that curse. I grew up on a par-3 course and that’s the ultimate par-3 course I’ve ever been to.”
“Yes. I am superstitious. I would love to win the Par 3 but I want to win the tournament first. All I try to do is hit one as close as I can to win some crystal, which I did last year, but I let my kids putt on every hole so I don’t have to keep score.”
“I’d like to win it. It’s more about having fun. You’re not really trying to keep score.”
“Never needed to because my kid’s hit shots by the third hole.”
“I don’t buy into it. Crystal is crystal.”
“I never finish a hole because I’m too busy rounding up kids. I couldn’t shoot 5 under on that thing anyway. It’s too hard.”
“I think somebody has to break that curse. That’s got to be broken and would be pretty cool to break.”
“It doesn’t deter me. I’d love to win it. Why not? It’s got to happen at some point.”
“No. I don’t tank.”
“Absolutely not. The Par 3 Contest is for the fans who make the Masters so very special. I feel it’s our duty as participants to play in the Par 3 and interact with them in a more lighthearted way than we do when playing in the actual tournament. I took and still take pride in playing well in the Par 3. They give prizes for closest to the pin and I always want to win those.”
“I kind of believe in it because nobody has done it. I don’t go out there trying to win. I try to make a hole in one and be as aggressive as possible. I let my wife hit putts and in the future I’m sure my kids will be putting.”
“It’s a really fun thing but it takes a lot out of you. I’ve done both. The curse doesn’t cross my mind at all.”
“Yes. It’s a fact. One year, I think it was 2012 when my sister was caddying for me, I was 5 under through seven holes and I hit it in the water at the eighth. I wasn’t trying to hit it in the water, but I wasn’t disappointed either.”
“It’s really hard to win so if you do I’d just take confidence off of hitting good wedges and making putts. I think it would be great to win it.”
“I’ve never finished out so that probably answers your question.”
“I’m a superstitious guy. I’ve had my caddie at least hit a putt every single time (thus eliminating me from being in contention to win).”
“Covid and Mother Nature have gotten in the way, and I’ve yet to play. But I do firmly plan to have my wife hit one shot, which will disqualify me anyways but it’s definitely not because I’m superstitious.”