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Posted March 15, 2021, 1:59 pm
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No Masters Par 3 Contest again this year, Augusta National announces

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    Paul Casey's son Lex runs the flag back to the hole with the help of Pollyanna Woodward during the Par 3 Contest in 2019. [ANDY NELSON/FOR THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Yet another indication we’re still in a pandemic came when Augusta National Golf Club delivered some bad news — for the second straight time, the Masters Par 3 contest will not be held.

The event, which precedes the tournament each year, was also scratched for the 2020 Masters. The news came on Monday from ANGC officials.

This marks the third time in the last five tournaments the Par 3 Contest has been canceled as storms forced the event to be nixed back in 2017.

The reigning champ of the Par 3 Contest is Matt Wallace, who topped Sandy Lyle in a playoff back in 2019. It took three sudden-death holes before Wallace prevailed with a birdie on the pairing’s second attempt at No. 8

Lyle, winner of the 1988 Masters, was attempting to tie Padraig Harrington for the most all-time Par 3 wins at three. He previously won in consecutive years from 1997-98. The event often produces some of the most heart-warming moments of the tournament, such as when Jack Nicklaus allowed his grandson, Gary, to hit a shot during the 2019 event. Gary stepped up and delivered a hole-in-one.

In January, Fred Ridley announced that the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals were both scheduled to return with limited patrons, but there was no mention of the status of the Par 3 Contest.

When canceling last year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, the club noted that the 2020 field would remain intact for 2021. Later in the spring, when canceling the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the club also noted it would honor invitations for the 2020 field in the 2021 ANWA, provided a player remains an amateur.