The tee sheet for the Masters Par-3 Contest will be significantly lighter than usual next month.
The contest is a part of Masters tournament lore, played annually on Wednesday of tournament week on the par-3 course at Augusta National Golf Club. In years past, the low-stress outing was open to all Masters participants as well as former major champions and past U.S. Amateur winners, deemed "honorary invitees."
But according to an AP report, the contest will now be open only to the current Masters field as well as past Masters champions. Winners of other majors outside the last five years will still receive honorary invitee status, but will be asked not to play practice rounds, use the practice facility or participate in the Par-3 Contest.
"It's sad," said 2001 Open champ David Duval. "But I understand it. Maybe there's not enough spots in the Par 3."
According to the report, honorary invitees will continue to receive other perks that include two clubhouse badges, a $1,000 honorarium, a commemorative gift and "special access" during tournament week.
No player has ever won the Masters and the Par-3 Contest in the same year. Last year Jimmy Walker won by three shots with a score of 8 under.