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Wednesday, 08 April 2015
Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry react after Harrington almost aced the ninth hole during the Masters Tournament's Par 3 Contest  (Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry react after Harrington almost aced the ninth hole during the Masters Tournament's Par 3 Contest (Getty Images)

By Jamie Kennedy and Will Pearson, europeantour.com
at Augusta National
 

The Masters Tournament has many traditions and one of the most popular is the annual par three contest. Since 1960, players, their families and thousands of lucky fans have made their way to the par three course at Augusta National on the Wednesday before the event. While scores are registered, it's all about having fun - as these photos show.

Here are the best pictures from this year's Par 3 Contest.

Ike's Pond

Fans pack the hills around Ike's Pond early on Wednesday afternoon to catch a glimpse of the legends playing the Par 3 Contest today.

Two Days

He has two top three finishes at the Masters but today he was just a dad. Jason Day helps tee up his son, Dash Day, on the green during Wednesday's Par 3 Contest.

Chicks dig the long ball

Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Alexis Randock (Fowler's girlfriend) look on as Caleb Watson hits a tee shot during the Par 3 Contest. With a pink driver, of course!

Fire the caddie

The life of a former Masters champion. Charl Schwartzel is forced to carry his own bag as his caddie for the day, daughter Olivia, walks behind with the South African's wife, Rosalind.

Tiger cubs

Tiger Woods is cheered on by his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, son Charlie and daughter Sam. This was the first time Tiger has played the Par 3 Contest since 2004. “We had an absolutely great time," said the 14-time Major winner. "These were memories for a lifetime.”

Tip your cap

Golf is a sport of manners and Austin Snedeker wasn't going to forget that. The son of Brandt Snedeker waves his cap to the gallery behind the ninth green as Dad finishes his day's work.

"Before"

Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington get ready to celebrate a hole-in-one at the ninth hole.

"After"

So close! Sadly for the Irish pair, the ball narrowly missed. Harrington won't mind though, he's won the Par 3 Contest on three occasions (2003, 2004 and 2012) - more than anyone else.

The only caddie with more Twitter followers than his pro

Niall Horan of One Direction (22 million followers on Twitter) carries the bag of Rory McIlroy (2.4 million followers). "He's never been to the Masters" McIlroy said. "I caught up with him in Australia at the end of last year and he was really excited, and I said if you're available Wednesday afternoon and you want to carry the bag for nine holes, you're more than welcome.”

The next generation

Two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer acknowledges a good shot from his fellow countryman, Martin Kaymer. They played the Par 3 Contest alongside 1987 Masters winner Larry Mize.

Are you not entertained?

The Big Easy enjoying himself. Ernie Els takes the applause after finishing up on the ninth hole.

Aces high

You just can't write this stuff. Aged 75, Jack Nicklaus makes makes a hole-in-one at the fourth hole. He may have six Green Jackets but he's never won the Par 3 Contest and until today, he'd never made a hole-in-one at Augusta.

One for the Poulter family album

England's Ian Poulter and his son pose for a photo in front of Ike's Pond. Nine year old Luke almost hit the green at the final hole but his dad admitted misclubbing.

"I apologise to golf"

Niall Horan admitted afterwards that he was far more nervous on the ninth tee than he is playing a concert in front of thousands of people. He then apologised to golf for a disappointing pulled tee shot that found the water.

A Special Place

The fortunate patrons who found a view of the ninth green. A truly beautiful spot.

Winner

Kevin Streelman and Camilo Villegas contested a sudden-death play-off to decide the 2015 Par 3 Contest after the pair finished on five under par 22 and it was the American who prevailed on the third additional hole. Amazingly, on Wednesday Villegas became just the third player after Claude Harmon (1968) and Toshi Izawa (2002) to card multiple holes in one during a single Par 3 Contest after acing the fourth and eighth holes in regulation play. As well as Villegas and Nicklaus' combined three holes in one there were also slam dunks for Chilean amateur Matias Dominguez and 2008 winner Trevor Immelman, tying 2002 for the most aces in a single Par 3 Contest.

A lovely story

In what was one of the most memorable stories of this year's event, Streelman had invited 13 year old Ethan Couch, who is suffering with an inoperable brain tumour, to caddie on Wednesday at Augusta - summing up in fine fashion what this age old, heartwarming day is all about.

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