With its signature green jackets, lush course and typically top-flight field of competitors, the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club is billed as "a tradition unlike any other." The annual Par 3 contest held on the Wednesday before the opening round is a family-friendly tradition unlike any other part of the tournament.
With the players' wives, girlfriends, children, family members and even celebrity guests serving as caddies, the Par 3 contest showcases the softer sides of the golfers who spend the next four days competing for the most prized wardrobe item in the sport. In 2013, defending champion Bubba Watson had his wife, Angie, and son, Caleb, with him during the Par 3 contest, with both sporting white caddie jumpsuits. Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson had their daughters helping them around the course while Lee Westwood brought his mother, Trish. Perhaps the most anticipated guest caddie was Caroline Wozniacki. Ahead of the contest, Rory McIlroy revealed that his girlfriend, the tennis star, would be pitching in.
Consisting of nine holes, the Par 3 contest was conceived by Augusta National Chairman Clifford Roberts, according to the official website of the Masters. The inaugural event was won by Sam Snead in 1960. Entering this year, no golfer who won the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday has been fitted for a green jacket on Sunday.
Of course, the allure of the Wednesday event is that the pressures of the coming days are joyfully absent. Here are some of the most cheerful images from Wednesday at Augusta: