The Masters Par-3 Contest Winners, Records and Facts

Plus: When did it start? Has a Par-3 winner ever won The Masters?

Arnold Palmer in the Masters' Par-3 Contest
Arnold Palmer tees off in the Par-3 Contest in 2013. The tournament draws huge crowds and, over time, has taken on the feel of a casual, family fun day. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The Par-3 Contest is one of the beloved traditions of tournament week every year at The Masters. It is played on Augusta National Golf Club's Par-3 Course, a collection of nine par-3 holes that Paul Azinger once called one of the world's best golf courses.

Let's go over some of the history of the tournament, its origins, its winners, and share some trivia and fun facts.

What Is the Origin of Augusta's Par-3 Course and the Masters' Par-3 Contest?

The Par-3 Course was added to the grounds of Augusta National, in an area near Augusta's No. 10 hole, in 1958. It was designed by Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts and architect George Cobb. (Tom Fazio later did some work on the short course, too).

The Par-3 Course is 1,060 yards in length and plays to a par of, surprise, 27. DeSoto Springs Pond and Ike's Pond serve as water hazards on the course.

The first Par-3 Contest was held in 1960, and it's been played every year since. The contest is held on Wednesday, the day before the tournament proper opens, and is open to the field for that year's Masters, plus former champions in attendance.

Sam Snead won the first Par-3 Contest. Jack Nicklaus has never won.

Winners of the Masters Par-3 Contest

2019 - Matt Wallace
2018 - Tom Watson
2017 - None (canceled due to bad weather)
2016 - Jimmy Walker
2015 - Kevin Streelman
2014 - Ryan Moore
2013 - Ted Potter Jr.
2012 - Padraig Harrington, Jonathan Byrd (tie)
2011 - Luke Donald
2010 - Louis Oosthuizen
2009 - Tim Clark
2008 - Rory Sabbatini
2007 - Mark O'Meara
2006 - Ben Crane
2005 - Jerry Pate
2004 - Padraig Harrington
2003 - Padraig Harrington, David Toms (tie)
2002 - Nick Price
2001 - David Toms
2000 - Chris Perry
1999 - Joe Durant
1998 - Sandy Lyle
1997 - Sandy Lyle
1996 - Jay Haas
1995 - Hal Sutton
1994 - Vijay Singh
1993 - Chip Beck
1992 - Davis Love III
1991 - Rocco Mediate
1990 - Raymond Floyd
1989 - Bob Gilder
1988 - Tsuneyuki Nakajima
1987 - Ben Crenshaw
1986 - Gary Koch
1985 - Hubert Green
1984 - Tommy Aaron
1983 - Hale Irwin
1982 - Tom Watson
1981 - Isao Aoki
1980 - Johnny Miller
1979 - Joe Inman, Jr.
1978 - Lou Graham
1977 - Tom Weiskopf
1976 - Jay Haas
1975 - Isao Aoki
1974 - Sam Snead
1973 - Gay Brewer
1972 - Steve Melnyk
1971 - Dave Stockton
1970 - Harold Henning
1969 - Bob Lunn
1968 - Bob Rosburg
1967 - Arnold Palmer
1966 - Terry Dill
1965 - Art Wall Jr.
1964 - Labron Harris Jr.
1963 - George Bayer
1962 - Bruce Crampton
1961 - Deane Beman
1960 - Sam Snead

What Is the Par-3 Contest Scoring Record?

The tournament record for the Par-3 Contest is 19, set by Jimmy Walker in 2016. That lowered the previous mark of 20, which was shared by Art Wall (1965) and Gay Brewer (1973).

Who Is Eligible to Play in the Masters Par-3 Contest?

Beginning in 2017, the Par-3 Contest is open only to those in the field for The Masters Tournament, plus past champions of The Masters (whether they are playing in the current year's Masters or not).

Prior to that, the par-3 tournament was also open to anyone that Augusta National decided to invite. That often included golfers who never won The Masters (but did win one of the other majors), some Augusta National members, and sometimes VIPs from the business world.

Has the Par-3 Contest Champ Ever Won the Masters?

No golfer has ever won the Par-3 Contest and then won The Masters in the same year. This has led some to refer to winning the Par-3 Contest as "the Masters jinx." However, plenty of Par-3 Contest winners have won The Masters in other years.

The most famous Masters champion, Jack Nicklaus, has never won the Par-3 Contest; however, Masters champs such as Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw and Vijay Singh have.

And there's no particular reason to expect that winning the Par-3 Contest should be a harbinger of performance in The Masters.

The Par-3 Contest, after all, is a pitch-and-putt, and it's also a very casual affair. Many players bring along friends or family members as caddies; not all golfers who are entered in The Masters also enter the Par-3 Contest. Prior to 2017, many golfers who played the Par-3 Contest were not entered in The Masters. (In 2017, Augusta National changed the rules, making only those golfers in the field for The Masters plus past Masters winners eligible to play in the Par-3 Contest).

There are two players who won the Par-3 Contest and then finished second in The Masters the same year: In 1990, Par-3 winner Raymond Floyd lost a playoff to Nick Faldo; in 1993, Par-3 winner Chip Beck was runner-up to Bernhard Langer.

Does the Par-3 Contest Winner Get a Trophy?

Yes - the Par-3 Contest winner is presented with a trophy in the form of a crystal bowl. See Masters Trophies and Medals for a photo of it.

Plus a Few More Trivia Tidbits ...

  • Padraig Harrington is the leader in Par-3 Contest wins with three (2003, 2004, 2012). In 2003 and 2012 Harrington tied others for the win, in both cases after the day was cut short by bad weather.
  • The Par-3 Contest was canceled for the first time in its history in 2017 due to bad weather.
  • The most holes-in-one recorded in any Par-3 Contest is nine, which happened in 2016.
  • One of those nine aces in 2016 was by 80-year-old Gary Player, and it was his fourth career ace in the Par-3 Contest. And four aces is the tournament record for most career holes-in-one.