The Par-3 contest, a light-hearted Wednesday tradition at the Masters since 1960, will make its television debut on ESPN tomorrow (3-5 p.m. Eastern). Padraig Harrington, who won it (with David Toms) with 21 shots in 2003, and successfully defended his title with 23 shots in '04, doesn't believe the winner of the Par-3 tournament can't win the actual tournament. (It's never happened.)
The 2007 British Open champion said in his press conference on Tuesday: "I believe if you win it three times, you're bound to win the actual event."
Contrary to its low-key reputation, Harrington said the Par 3 provides players with at least one significantly stressful shot: the first one. It's only 130 yards, but players aren't yet warmed up, they can't tell which way the wind is blowing, "and the crowd is standing six, eight feet from the hole," Harrington said. "You're thinking, Don't hit it in the crowd. It's one of the most nerve-wracking shots of the week."
Read Harrington's complete press conference here. (Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)