Golf’s greats – and their grandsons – got the Masters off to a dramatic start.
The 68-year-old Tom Watson won the Par 3 Contest.
The 15-year-old Gary Nicklaus aced the ninth hole as the caddie for his grandfather Jack Nicklaus.
Watson would have damaged his chances to win another Masters when he was the surprising winner of the contest at 6-under par on Wednesday. Known as a jinx, no one has ever won the Par 3 contest and the Masters in the same year. So, Watson will have to wait for a second green jacket. Actually the two-time of the Masters stopped playing the event two years so he might as well win the contest.
“After I birdied the first four holes, I said let’s go for it,” Watson said.
The previous oldest winner of the Par 3 Contest was Sam Sneed at 61 in 1974.
Gary Nicklaus, known as GT, scored his first-ever ace and had his grandfather in tears in a wild celebration. The 78-year-old Nicklaus finished tied for fourth at 4-under par. Their playing partner was 82-year-old Gary Player who finished tied for 10th.
Nicklaus, the six-time Masters champion, said he ranks the hole-in-one by his grandson as his number one golf memory.
“To watch your grandson to that is special,” said a still choked up Nicklaus said.
Gary Nicklaus said he was just trying to hit the ball on the green.
“For that to happen was unbelievable,” Gary Nicklaus said. “… It was surreal.”
Nicklaus said he asked his grandson three days ago whether he wanted to take the last tee shot. When he agreed, Nicklaus said he told the youngster he would get a hole-in-one.
Nick Fleetwood and Thomas Pieters finished tied for second at 5-under par and Adam Hadwin and Chez Reavie finished tied for fourth with Nicklaus.