While Augusta National Golf Club has invited ESPN’s “College GameDay” to host its show on tournament grounds Saturday of the Masters, there will be no Par 3 Contest.
Augusta National announced on Tuesday that the traditional Wednesday event will not take place this year as no patrons will be allowed on the course throughout the week.
“The fun and excitement of watching Masters competitors with their friends and family is what makes the Par 3 Contest such a special part of Masters week,” Fred Ridley, chairman, Augusta National, said in a statement. “We know that experience could not have been replicated without guests and patrons at Augusta National, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to bring back this signature tradition.”
The Par 3 Contest began in 1960 and has only been canceled once before, in 2017, because of inclement weather.
This year’s tournament has been moved to Nov. 12-15, because of the coronavirus pandemic. With less daylight hours than its usual April date, further changes were announced.
Officials said that they will use a two-tee start with threesomes in Rounds 1 and 2. With the return of Eastern Standard Time, sunrise will be around 7 a.m. and sunset near 5:30 p.m. Even with a limited field – 96 players set for this year – there likely would not be enough time to finish rounds with all players going off the first tee in threesomes, as the Masters usually does.
A cut will be made to the top 50 players and ties and a standard one-tee, twosome start is anticipated for Saturday. Sunday will have an early finish, which will again call for a two-tee start.
One thing that will not change, however, are the ceremonial opening shots, which six-time Masters champ Jack Nicklaus and three-time winner Gary Player will perform ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
Here’s a look at the scheduled TV times for all four rounds:
1-5:30PM ET: ESPN
1-5PM ET: CBS Sports
10AM-3PM ET: CBS Sports