Wednesday, April 10, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Wednesday kicked off with a news conference with Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne.
Payne opened up the news conference reaffirming his enthusiasm for Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore joining as the first female members of the club.
"It's been delightful," Payne said.
He says both are at the course this week working to make sure that patrons have the best experience possible.
Payne noted changes in qualifications to play in The 2014 Masters:
- The top 12 (not the top 16) from the previous year's tournament will be invited back.
- The top four (not the top eight) will be invited from the U.S. Open.
- The qualification for year-end top-30 PGA Tour money winners will be removed.
Payne also announced a major change in who makes the cut to play over the weekend, saying the top 50 and ties will make the cut instead of the top 44 and ties. Those within 10 shots of the lead will still make the cut.
As for course changes, Payne says the only change was the 14th green, which was rebuilt to add heating and cooling systems.
In response to the question of a plaque being built on the 10th hole in honor of Masters Champion Bubba Watson's amazing shot from last year, Payne says he doesn't know the answer and that they have not discussed a plaque at this time.
Wednesday is known for the Par 3 Contest, a separate course at Augusta National where players get to relax and have some fun before every hole counts.
Here’s Bubba Watson and his wife and son on the course. Angie and Caleb were his caddies today.
Phil Mickelson had many caddies today.
Here’s the scoreboard toward the beginning of the day.
No, your eyes don’t deceive you, the course is actually this gorgeous.
Patrons on the Par 3 Course
Here’s Charl Schwartzel with his little caddies.
Check out Louis Oosthuizen’s little caddie!
Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old amateur, practices before starting the contest. Guan was paired with Nick Faldo and Angel Cabrera.
Here are two of Trevor Immelman’s caddies.
Nicolas Colsaerts, Ernie Els, Jose Olazabal
Fowler’s grandmother was his caddie.
It’s safe to say that John Merrick had cute caddies!
The list by the end of the day.
Rory’s girlfriend, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, was his caddie.
Patrons enjoying dinner and the shade of the big oak tree at the clubhouse.
Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player sign autographs.
Caddies teeing off on the ninth hole.
The Par 3 Contest ended in dramatic fashion Wednesday evening with Ted Potter Jr. and Matt Kuchar duking it out until the very end. After Phil Mickelson dropped out of the running on the eighth hole, Potter was able to sink in a birdie on the 9th, becoming the 2013 Par 3 Contest winner.
The announcement is made about the playoff, and Mickelson and Matt Kuchar warm up.
The balls on the 8th green.
Mickelson is eliminated, and now it’s Kuchar and Ted Potter Jr. on the ninth hole.
Potter and his caddie on the ninth hole.
Now, it’s Potter’s turn.
And he wins!
But Potter’s win could be a sign of bad luck in the days to come … No Par 3 Contest winner has ever gone on to win the Masters. Could this be the year that the curse is broken? Only time will tell.