The 2016 Masters doesn't begin until Thursday, but players will be competing Wednesday on the Augusta National Par-3 course. The tradition of the Par-3 Contest, like every year, will be filled with great moments from all-time legends, good golf and cute kids.
The Masters Par-3 Contest dates back to 1960, but the title on the line on Wednesday is not one players want. No player has won the Par-3 contest and gone on to win the Masters in the same year. Many players will ensure they don't try to become the first by hitting a few errant shots late in the event or not even submitting a score card. Have a good round going? That's about the right time to "accidentally" knock one in the water or let a child take a turn at putting to invalidate the score.
Although it's not exactly a fierce competition, it is a fun one for golf fans. It's a time for some legends to once again take center stage. Arnold Palmer no longer plays in the event, but the trio of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson will be the featured group of the afternoon. Nicklaus will have to play very well if he's going to top his performance last year, which included an ace on No. 4. Even without another ace, having the legends of the game tee it up again in the Par-3 Contest is one of the best Masters traditions.
Oh, and there will be kids. A lot of adorable kids. Players lock in and focus on winning the green jacket by Thursday, but many take Wednesday as a chance to enjoy some time with their families. That means kids as caddies and players. Some will attempt to lug around the bags, many others will take a turn on the green. It all makes for a pretty great scene.
ESPN picked up television coverage of the event in 2008 and will continue this year. There will be no Tiger Woods -- who is missing the tournament while he recovers from back surgery. And there will be no Rory McIlroy either -- who is taking the Par-3 Contest off to focus on his pursuit of the green jacket. But, there will still be a good field and a lot of fun. ESPN's coverage will be available on TV and online with an additional feed available at Masters.com.
Your Par-3 Contest coverage details:
Wednesday's Par-3 Contest Coverage
3 to 5 p.m. ET -- ESPN
5 p.m. ET -- SportsCenter at the Masters with continuing coverage/highlights
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