American golfer Ted Potter Jr. has had a good warm up in Augusta winning the par-three contest held on Wednesday to prepare himself for the competition of the Masters which begins today. It wasn’t like he had the toughest competition around him however he did manage to defeat Phil Mickelson who has impressive experience of the Masters winning the major on three different occasions in his career so far.
Potter tied with Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Nick Watney and Matt Kuchar on four-under par after nine holes but he just managed to defeat Mickelson and Kuchar in the play-off, in which Watney and Els didn’t take part. Even though he has begun his major campaign well, reigning triumphant in the pre-major tournament, it is unlikely he shall win the actual Masters, so history suggests. Whichever golfer has won the par-three tournament has never won the Masters in the same year.
After the par-three tournament the Augusta chairman, Bill Payne, announced that the players in the top 50 after the 36th hole will make the cut this year. For 50 years now, the top 44 players and those tied for 44th after 36 holes in the major have made the cut but Payne has seen fit to increase that number this week. Also, any golfer who is within 10 shots of the lead shall also advance into the final two rounds this year.
In the annual par-three event, the players will allow family or friends to caddy for them and on some occasions, if the event isn’t taken too seriously, they will let the caddy’s take shots for them, which at the same time means their score will not be registered. It was also nice to see the golfing veterans getting involved as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and 91-year-old Jack Fleck all took part.
World number two Rory McIlroy, who is looking to secure his first Masters, had his girlfriend and world-wide tennis star Caroline Wozniacki as his caddy. McIlroy allowed Wozniacki to take his tee shot at the ninth meaning that he did not get his score registered. American Bo Van Pelt also followed in McIlroys footsteps allowing his two sons to take a putt each on the ninth despite having a chance to take the lead.
Author Daniel Foster.
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