April 4 2012
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Padraig Harrington and Jonathan Byrd were declared co-winners of Wednesday's abbreviated Par 3 Contest, which was halted late in the day to inclement weather.
Does that mean we should cross them off the list of contenders for this week's Masters title?
No player who has won the Par 3 Contest has gone on to win the Masters in the same week. Last year’s winner, Luke Donald, opted not to defend his title this year so he could concentrate on winning the main event.
But Byrd said he wasn't worried about the jinx as he stood over his birdie putt at the final hole at the ninth. He rolled in the putt just before the sirens sounded to suspend play. That moved him to 5 under, tying Harrington atop the leaderboard.
"I like making putts, whatever they are for," Byrd said.
Harrington, meanwhile, is used to winning the Par 3 Contest. In 2003, he shared the honors with David Toms and in 2004, he won outright. This year and 2003 are the only times in the history of the Par 3 Contest that dual winners have been declared.
Harrington, playing the Par 3 Contest for the 13th time in his career, said he didn't do anything special this time.
"I didn't hole out. I didn't hit anything stone dead or anything like that," the Irishman said. "Actually pretty average shots and played nicely for nine holes."
Adam Scott also reached 5 under at one point during his round but fell back to 4 under and in a tie for third with Webb Simpson and Jerry Pate. The latter two were still on the course when play was halted.
Two holes-in-one were made – by Mark Wilson at the fourth hole and Thomas Bjorn at the ninth. Since the inaugural Par 3 Contest in 1960, 75 holes-in-one have been recorded.