Avoiding the Par 3 curse


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Masters office pools globally took a hit late Wednesday afternoon when Luke Donald signed for 5-under 22 for the clubhouse lead in the Par 3 Contest.

The Englishman, an early betting favorite, is enough of a historian to know his plight – no player has ever won the Par 3 and the Masters the same year.

In fact, it was a familiar conversation as the day wore on with friends and family members offering odd reminders. “Don’t win,” one observer offered first-timer Gary Woodland. “No way,” he smiled.

Asked what he would do if he stepped to the ninth tee with a three-shot lead Davis Love III didn’t hesitate, “I’ve won it once before (1992) so I start skipping it over the lake.”

There is a small consolation for Donald. Louis Oosthuizen won last year’s Par 3 with a 6 under total. He didn’t win a green jacket, but did OK in July at St. Andrews.