Masters Par-3 Contest: Winners, Records, Who Can Play and More

Scene from a Masters Par 3 Contest

The Masters Par-3 Contest is played every year at Augusta National Golf Club on the Wednesday of Masters Tournament Week, the day before The Masters proper tees off. Founded in 1960, it has become one of the most beloved (by fans and players) parts of the annual golf calendar.

Over that time, it has evolved into as much a party as a golf tournament. Many of the golfers competing bring their children onto the Augusta National Par-3 Course with them, or use their spouse, or a parent, or child, or friend, or even a celebrity as a caddie. In any given year, golfers in their teens to golfers in their 80s might be playing.

And there are always holes-in-one to thrill fans and players alike. The most aces in any given year was nine in 2016, including one that year by 80-year-old Gary Player.

On this page we'll list all the Masters Par-3 Contest winners, plus answer other questions about the event.

Who is eligible to play? Every golfer entered in that year's Masters Tournament is eligible to play. So is every Masters champion, whether he is playing that year or not. Augusta National also invites all former U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur champions to the golf course during Masters Week, and they are allowed to play practice rounds on the golf course and to enter the Par-3 Contest if they wish. That's how Jerry Pate, who never won The Masters and was not entered in The Masters, won the 2005 Par-3 Contest.

What does the Par-3 Contest winner receive? An engraved crystal bowl.

Most Wins in the Masters Par-3 Contest

The record-holder for wins is Padraig Harrington, with three. Interestingly, Harrington, despite his three wins, has never won the tournament outright. Two times he tied for the title (a playoff was not played), and once he got the trophy after a playoff. These are all the multiple champions in the par-3 tournament:
  • 3 wins — Padraig Harrington, 2003, 2004, 2012
  • 2 wins — Sam Snead, 1960, 1974
  • 2 wins — Isao Aoki, 1975, 1981
  • 2 wins — Jay Haas, 1976, 1996
  • 2 wins — Sandy Lyle, 1997, 1998
  • 2 wins — David Toms, 2001, 2003
  • 2 wins — Tom Watson, 1982, 2018

List of Winners of the Masters Par-3 Contest

The roster of champions with their winning scores, from most recent back to the first in 1960 (a-amateur):

2020 — No tournament due to COVID-19 restrictions
2019 — Matt Wallace, 22
2018 — Tom Watson, 21
2017 — No tournament due to rain
2016 — Jimmy Walker, 19
2015 — Kevin Streelman, 22 (won playoff)
2014 — Ryan Moore, 21
2013 — Ted Potter Jr. 23, (won playoff)
2012 — (tie) Padraig Harrington, Jonathan Byrd, 22
2011 — Luke Donald, 22
2010 — Louis Oosthuizen, 21
2009 — Tim Clark, 22
2008 — Rory Sabbatini, 22
2007 — Mark O'Meara, 22
2006 — Ben Crane, 23
2005 — Jerry Pate, 22
2004 — Padraig Harrington, 23 (won playoff)
2003 — (tie) Padraig Harrington, David Toms, 21
2002 — Nick Price, 22 (won playoff)
2001 — David Toms, 22
2000 — Chris Perry, 23 (won playoff)
1999 — Joe Durant, 22
1998 — Sandy Lyle, 24
1997 — Sandy Lyle, 22 (won playoff)
1996 — Jay Haas, 22 (won playoff)
1995 — Hal Sutton, 23 (won playoff)
1994 — Vijay Singh, 22
1993 — Chip Beck, 21
1992 — Davis Love III, 22
1991 — Rocco Mediate, 24 (won playoff)
1990 — Raymond Floyd, 23
1989 — Bob Gilder, 22 (won playoff)
1988 — Tommy Nakajima, 24
1987 — Ben Crenshaw, 22
1986 — Gary Koch, 23 (won playoff)
1985 — Hubert Green, 22
1984 — Tommy Aaron, 22
1983 — Hale Irwin, 22
1982 — Tom Watson, 23 (won playoff)
1981 — Isao Aoki, 22
1980 — Johnny Miller, 23
1979 — Joe Inman Jr., 23
1978 — Lou Graham, 22 (won playoff)
1977 — Tom Weiskopf, 23 (won playoff)
1976 — a-Jay Haas, 21
1975 — Isao Aoki, 23 (won playoff)
1974 — Sam Snead, 23 (won playoff)
1973 — Gay Brewer, 20
1972 — Steve Melnyk, 23
1971 — Dave Stockton, 23 (won playoff)
1970 — Harold Henning, 21
1969 — Bob Lunn, 23 (won playoff)
1968 — Bob Rosburg, 22
1967 — Arnold Palmer, 23 (won playoff)
1966 — Terry Dill, 22
1965 — Art Wall Jr., 20
1964 — a-Labron Harris Jr., 23
1963 — George Bayer, 23 (won playoff)
1962 — Bruce Crampton, 22
1961 — a-Deane Beman, 22
1960 — Sam Snead, 23

Par-3 Contest winners who also won The Masters Tournament: So far in the tournament's history, 11 golfers who won The Masters Tournament have also won the Par-3 Contest. Those golfers are: Sam Snead, Art Wall Jr., Arnold Palmer, Gay Brewer, Tom Watson, Tommy Aaron, Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd, Vijay Singh, Sandy Lyle and Mark O'Meara. See Has a Par-3 Contest Champ Ever Won The Masters? for more details.

Has anyone won the Par-3 Contest and The Masters in the same year? Not yet. Raymond Floyd tied the lead but lost in a playoff in 1990, and Chip Beck was runner-up in 1993, after winning the Par-3 Contest.

Masters Par-3 Contest Scoring Record

The current tournament scoring record is 19, established by Jimmy Walker in 2016. That is 8-under par on the par-27 short course. Walker's round included six birdies plus a hole-in-one.

The evolution of the Par-3 Contest scoring record:

  • 23 — Sam Snead, 1960
  • 22 — Dean Beman, 1961 (tied by Bruce Crampton, 1962)
  • 20 — Art Wall Jr., 1965 (tied by Gay Brewer, 1973)
  • 19 — Jimmy Walker, 2016
What is the highest score to win? 3-under 24 is the highest winning score. Those who won at that score are Tommy Nakajima in 1988, Rocco Mediate in 1991, and Sandy Lyle in 1998.

Have there been any back-to-back winners? Yes, two: Sandy Lyle in 1997-98, and Padraig Harrington in 2003-04.

Has an amateur ever won the Par-3 Contest? Yes, three amateurs have won it: Deane Beman in 1961, Labron Harris Jr. in 1964, and Jay Haas in 1976. None of those three went on to earn low amateur honors in The Masters in the same year they won the Par-3 Contest, although Beman and Harris both were low amateurs in other years.

Longest gap between wins: 36 years. Tom Watson won in 1982 and again in 2018.

Photo credit: "The Masters - Par 3 Contest" by fabfiver5 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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