Potter wins par-3 crown, Wozniacki flops
- Published: 11/04/2013 at 06:49 AM
- Online news:
Ted Potter set the stage for the 77th Masters by winning the traditional eve-of-tournament Par-3 Contest, while tennis star Caroline Wozniacki provided comic relief.
Rory McIlroy and his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki are pictured during the Par-3 Contest at the Masters tournament on April 10, 2013. Wozniacki's effort off the tee at the ninth barely covered 10 yards before plopping into the water.
The 29-year-old American debutant carded a five-under 22 Wednesday on the nine-hole par-three layout, which lies adjacent to the famed Augusta National course.
That left him in a five-way tie for the lead along with Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney and Ernie Els.
Potter then sealed a solo win on the second hole of the ensuing playoff against just Kuchar and Mickelson, the two others having opted out.
By winning, Potter invited the curse of the Par-3 contest to fall upon his head as, since 1960 when the family and friends knockabout was first held, no winner has gone on to win the green jacket four days later.
The glamour team of the day, however, was undoubtedly Rory McIlroy with his tennis-playing girlfriend Wozniacki on the bag, which produced the unlikely scenario of autograph hunters surrounding both player and caddie.
McIlroy and Wozniacki have been dating for the last 18 months and the Ulsterman has already tried his hand at his girlfriend's sport, playing a point against Maria Sharapova, opposing Wozniacki in an exhibition match in New York.
The Dane, a former world number one, has often been seen at McIlroy's side at tournaments when her own playing schedule allows, but this time she actually tried her hand at hitting a shot competitively.
As it turned out her swing was not up to the standard of her serve as her feeble effort off the tee at the ninth barely covered 10 yards before plopping into the water.
That still produced a consolation high-five from the watching McIlroy.
"Excited to be @mcilroyrory's first ever female caddie today," tweeted Wozniacki, who is not the first women's professional tennis star to caddie in this event. Chris Evert was on her then-husband Greg Norman's bag in 2009.
Chinese prodigy Guan Tianlang was also in action ahead of his date with history on Thursday when, at just 14, he becomes the youngest-ever player at the Masters.
At the other extreme of the age span was the grouping of three former legends of the game -- Arnold Palmer (83), Gary Player (77) and Jack Nicklaus (73).
"The Big Three" will be back at the course early Thursday as honorary starters when the tournament proper begins. It will be the second straight year all three have served together as starters.
The biggest cheer of the day went to two-time winner Ben Crenshaw (1984 and 1995) when he aced the 115-yard seventh hole.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency