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Jack Nicklaus to bow out of Masters Par-3 Contest

Apr 4, 2018; Augusta, GA, USA; Gary Nicklaus, Jr. the grandson of Jack Nicklaus holds up the ball after making a hole-in-one on the 9th hole during the Par 3 Contest before the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The famed Par-3 Contest at The Masters will return after a two-year hiatus next week, although Jack Nicklaus, a six-time major champion at Augusta National, said he no longer will participate.

“It’s fun to go to the Masters dinner (but) I’m done with the Par-3 (Contest),” Nicklaus told Golfweek. “Toward the end of my career, I used to play every year. But I just can’t play anymore.”

The 82-year-old last participated in the 2019 par-3 contest, with his appearance better known for the hole-in-one his grandson Gary Nicklaus Jr. delivered. The younger Nicklaus was serving as caddie that day when he was given an opportunity to swing a club instead of carrying them.

Despite winning The Masters in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and his famed victory in 1986 at the age of 46, the elder Nicklaus called his grandson’s hole-in-one “the greatest day I’ve had at Augusta National.”

The Par-3 Contest was not held in 2020 or 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicklaus still will participate in the traditional first-tee ceremony before the opening round begins next Thursday. Nicklaus will be joined for the early morning tee shot by Gary Player, a three-time Masters winner, and Tom Watson, who twice won the year’s opening major.

–Field Level Media