Tiger Woods will play in Wednesday’s traditional Par-3 Contest at the Masters — and he’ll have his two children Charlie and Sam as his caddies. The last time he entered the “fun” event dates all the way back to 2004.
“My two little ones are going to be out there with me,” said Woods during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s special.”
It’s tradition for many competitors to play in the chill and enjoyable event that serves as a relaxing way to ease into the real tournament that kicks off the day after.
“We all know what happened in ’97 with my dad’s health, and he was pronounced ‑‑ well, he was dead at one point earlier that year; came back, and then came here and I won the Masters,” said Woods.
“To now have come full circle and to have a chance to have my kids out there and be able to share that with them, it’s special. Charlie has seen me win a golf tournament before. Sam, actually she was there at the U.S. Open in 2008, but doesn’t remember it. It’s nice to be able to share these things with my family and it just means the world to me. They are excited, I’m excited and can’t wait to go out there.”
In Woods’ last appearance in the Par-3 Contest, he played alongside Arnold Palmer and Mark O’Meara. Tiger aced the last hole that ultimately tied him for the lead for the best score. However, he chose to sit out of the playoff — which might have been a superstitious move considering no one who has won the Par-3 Contest has gone on to win the Masters.
Woods, who played practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday with his old pal Mark O’Meara, will tee it up with O’Meara again on Wednesday.
“He had mentioned it to me in January. He called me after I finished second in Hawaii, lost by a stroke to [Miguel Angel] Jimenez in Hawaii,” O’Meara said via ESPN.com. “He called me, we had a 45-minute conversation, which we hadn’t had in a long time. He mentioned the Par 3 Contest and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to bring my kids up. Do you want to play?’ I said, ‘Tiger, I’m all for this. If you want to play, I want to play. If you don’t want to play, I understand.’ I said, ‘I’ve had my kids caddie for me; I’ve had my stepson caddie for me; I had my wife caddie for me last year when I had a hole-in-one. So I get it.’ And he said, ‘Let’s do this.’
“But then he moved away from the game for a while, so I didn’t know if he was going to play here or not. But he signed us up in the Par 3 and I said, ‘Let’s go out and have some fun.’ I think it’ll be neat. Yeah, he’s getting more focused today, because the tournament is getting near, but I just think he’s in a better place. On a scale of 0-10 on his game, I’m a very hard grader, but I’d give him an 8.”