Typically, the Wednesday of Masters Week is one of the best days of the golf year. It’s the day of the Masters Par-3 Contest, when current Masters competitors, past champions and other golf legends take to the short course on Augusta National Golf Club property in a delightfully fun tournament.
In 2020, though, there will be no Masters Par-3 Contest on Wednesday.
When Augusta National announced that the 2020 Masters Tournament would be played without patrons in attendance, they also announced there would be no Par-3 Contest this year. The decision was likely motivated by several reasons.
First, there won’t be any patrons on the ground. The Par-3 Contest is really for the tournament-going fans who are there to watch the best golfers in the world and some of the legends of years gone by compete on equal ground on the short course. Just two years ago, Tom Watson — nearly 70 years old — won the Par-3 Contest. The patrons are also there to see the inevitable holes-in-one and cheer wildly. Without their presence, the Par-3 Contest doesn’t feel quite the same.
Second, there will be fewer people on the grounds period. With Augusta National expecting just around 700 total people on the grounds during each day of the tournament — between players, caddies, media and officials — the idea of putting on the tournament isn’t worth it. Without many people to watch, it’ll feel like a slog, and the idea of asking people to do something with some small element of risk to it probably wasn’t ideal.
This marks the second time in four years that the Masters Par-3 Contest has been canceled. It was canceled due to weather in 2017, marking the first time the contest was not played.