Why the Masters Par 3 Contest is one tradition that won’t happen at Augusta in 2020
The winner of the Masters Par 3 Contest has never won the full Masters tournament, but golfers won’t have to worry about that in 2020.
The Par 3 Contest won’t take place at the 2020 Masters, just one tradition that’s lost in a year filled with cancellations due to COVID-19. The Masters itself is taking place in November instead of April just so it could happen at all, so most golf fans will likely manage the loss of the Par 3 tournament. And despite the cancellation of that event, the Masters isn’t without all traditions this year — the Champions Dinner and ceremonial first tee shots are still on schedule, and College Gameday is coming to town to add a new concept to the mix.
Here’s what you need to know about the traditions that are (and aren’t) happening at the 2020 Masters.
Why was the Masters Par 3 Contest canceled in 2020?
The Masters’ Par 3 Contest was officially canceled for 2020 on Oct. 27. In a press release by Augusta National Golf Club chariman Fred Ridley, he refers to the lack of spectators as the main reason for not holding the Contest.
“The fun and excitement of watching Masters competitors with their friends and family is what makes the Par 3 Contest such a special part of Masters week,” Ridley said in a release. “We know that experience could not have been replicated without guests and patrons at Augusta National, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to bring back this signature tradition.”
Also already canceled at the 2020 Masters were this year’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
What day is the Par 3 tournament at the Masters?
The annual Par 3 Contest at the Masters normally takes place on the Wednesday of Masters week. The first round of the four-round official tournament begins Thursday at each Masters, so the Par 3 tournament is played one day before.
The Par 3 Contest began in 1960 and has run every year since, prior to 2020, besides its 2017 cancellation due to bad weather. It is played on Augusta’s Par 3 course, which opened in 1958. It’s a nine-hole offering, and the inaugural 1960 event was won by Sam Snead.
Masters TV schedule 2020
ESPN and CBS will handle the coverage of this year’s Masters, with ESPN broadcasting the first two rounds and CBS handling the weekend. Normally, the Par 3 Contest would take place on Wednesday on ESPN, too.
|Date||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|Thursday, Nov. 12||1-5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Friday, Nov. 13||1-5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Saturday, Nov. 14||1-5 p.m.||CBS|
|Sunday, Nov. 15||10-3 p.m.||CBS|
Is the Masters’ Champions Dinner happening in 2020?
The Masters’ Champions Dinner, which takes on the Tuesday evening preceding the tournament, is still scheduled to take place in 2020. The tradition dates back to 1952, and as the name suggests, past champions of the Masters are invited.
Tiger Woods, the defending champion, spoke recently and suggested that it’d likely be held in a larger room than usual to accomodate social distancing.
The reigning champ gets to pick the menu for the Champions Dinner, and Woods also noted what would be served at this year’s dinner: steak and chicken fajitas, sushi and sashimi, along with milkshakes for dessert.
Who hits the ceremonial first tee shots at the Masters 2020?
The Masters will also continue with its tradition of ceremonial opening tee shots in 2020. The honorary starters who will hit the first shots ahead of Thursday’s opening round are Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Why is College Gameday at the Masters?
ESPN’s College Gameday will air live from Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, Nov. 14, before the Round 3 broadcast of the Masters. The show will air from 9 a.m. until noon that Saturday.
The show’s main desk will be perched overlooking Ike’s Pond and the ninth green of the Par 3 course, getting action for the Par 3 course after all.