The annual Par-3 Contest is a fun part of the Masters. It's a chance for players to interact with fans, free from the pressure they'll be under from Thursday to Sunday. It features a host of celebrities, helping showcase golf to a wider audience. And it tends to feature an exciting mix of holes-in-one and outrageous scores, as the world's best players make mincemeat of what is, in essence, the world's greatest pitch 'n' putt. This year's par-3 contest broke the records on both of those fronts.
A record nine aces were recorded yesterday, including this back-to-back pair by Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler:
Gary Player also registered an ace, becoming the oldest player in the history of the event to do so.
The previous record for most aces was five, and we're taking this as definite proof that we're in for the best Masters we've ever seen.
Jimmy Walker was another one to grab a hole-in-one, on his way to a nine-hole total of 19 shots, another Masters Par-3 Contest record. The previous best score was 20, set by Art Wall Jr. in 1965 and matched by Gay Brewer in 1973.
Sadly, Walker, already a 66/1 shot, has almost ruled himself out of contention for a green jacket, as the Par-3 winner has never won the Masters in the same year. Walker did finish in the top-10 in 2014, but will have to break the ancient curse if he's to top the leaderboard this time round.