AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tom Hoge had one of five holes-in-one on the day — including two by Ireland’s Seamus Power — en route to winning the Par 3 Contest at Augusta National on Wednesday.
Hoge, who aced the eighth hole over Ike’s Pond, finished at 6-under 21 on the short, nine-hole layout in the casual, fun-filled event that is one of the most beloved traditions at Augusta National.
Hoge received a crystal vase for the hole-in-one, a crystal bowl for his winning round of 6 under, and some steep history to overcome: No winner of the Par 3 Contest, which goes back to 1960, has gone on to win the Masters.
“I made a few birdies early and then the hole-in-one on 8, so that was cool to see that go in,” Hoge said after walking off the recently renovated Par 3 Course in the northeast corner of the property. “Just a fun day out here this afternoon.”
LIV Golf’s Bubba Watson, who also had an ace on No. 4, finished 1 stroke back in a share of second place.
Watson will make his first Masters start since joining LIV Golf last July when he and 17 others from the Saudi-backed circuit tee off Thursday in the opening round of the year’s first major.
“Keep hitting the ball well,” the 44-year-old said when asked about his aspirations for the rest of the week, which has plenty of rain in the forecast. “I was hitting the short irons well on the Par 3 here. Been hitting it good all week. With the weather coming in, nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
The event, where players can use friends and family as caddies, has proved to be a bad-luck omen for the main Masters tournament. Since the Par 3 Contest’s inception in 1960, no winner of the event has gone on to win the Masters in the same year.
Power finished the Par 3 Contest in style, hitting back-to-back aces on the final two holes of the short course. He joined Claude Harman (1968) and Toshi Izawa (2002) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
“Obviously to get one was special,” Power said, “but to get the second one was a bit surreal.”
The five holes-in-one Wednesday brings the all-time total for the event to 106.
Reuters contributed to this report.