82-year-old Nicklaus farewells Masters Par 3 contest
82-year-old Jack Nicklaus is farewelling the annual Masters Par 3 contest after indicating in an interview with Golfweek that he is “done with the Par 3.”
The six-time winner hasn’t played the Masters proper since missing the cut in 2005 and hasn’t made it through 72 holes since his T54 finish in 2000.
“Even though I don’t play anymore, it’s fun to be there [at the Masters]. It’s fun to go to the Masters dinner. I’m done with the Par 3, but toward the end of my career, I used to play every year. But I just can’t play anymore,” said Nicklaus in a survey conducted by the venerable website.
Nicklaus last played the Par 3 contest in 2019 alongside Tom Watson and Gary Player but has sadly missed out on competing due to the COVID-19 pandemic sidelining the event. In recent years, the outing has served more as a special occasion for his kids and grandchildren than something for himself.
Jack Nicklaus (Credit: PGA Tour)
He will enjoy fond memories of his then-15-year-old grandson Gary Nicklaus Jr. aceing the par 3, 9th hole in 2018 and just three years after the Golden Bear secured his first ever hole-in-one at Augusta National during the 2015 Par-3 contest.
Following the passing of Lee Elder, Nicklaus will join good friends Tom Watson and Gary Player as Honorary Starters this year, who between them have won eleven Masters titles.
The Par 3 Contest tees off on Wednesday (US time) and will be available to watch in Australia via Foxtel and Kayo Sports.