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April 6 2011

2:29 PM

Par 3 Contest on tap today

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Henrik Stenson gets tips from daughter Lisa during the 2010 Par 3 Contest.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Wednesday’s highlight at Augusta National is the annual Par 3 Contest held on the adjacent course across the road from the Butler Cabin.

Players often have their children – or, in the case of the legendary Jack Nicklaus, their grandchildren – caddy  for them in the competition, which will be televised on ESPN at 3 p.m.

Nicklaus’ grandson, Nick O’Leary, will be on the bag, and the six-time Masters champ admitted the two will look like Mutt and Jeff. O’Leary, who will play tight end at Florida State next year, is 6-foot-4 and a solid 235 pounds.

Lee Westwood’s 10-year-old son Sam will be caddying for his dad although the world No. 2 expects his daughter, Poppy, who is 6 to be tagging along as well.

“It will be nice to get them out there,” Westwood said. “I don’t think they realize what I do until they see this.”

Of course, as much fun as players have during the Par 3 Contest – and as nice as the crystal prizes are, it’s not a tournament the pros exactly want to win. No one has ever won the Par 3 Contest and gone on to win the Masters.

Louis Oosthuizen was the most recent player jinxed after winning in 2010. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to play today – the reigning British Open champ just has his priorities set.

“My little girl is going to walk with (me),” Oosthuizen said. “So I’ll probably try and get her to kick the ball or something so that my score doesn’t count.” – Helen Ross

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