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Fun is par for the course at Par 3 Contest

Par 3 Contest features record-setting nine aces

Jason Day didn’t have time to ponder his putt as he clambered up a hill to the first green at Augusta National.

He was too busy keeping his “caddie” moving.

“You’ve got it, you’ve got it,” Day said, urging his son along. Three-year-old Dash Day made it to the top and through all nine holes at the Masters’ annual, mostly-for-fun Par 3 Contest. So did daddy and mommy.

The event is a fun tradition like no other -- at the Masters, at least. Once the actual tournament begins Thursday, the easy laughs, juvenile hijinks and friendly exchanges with fans often only a few feet away on the nine-hole short course will be replaced by the grind of competition.

But this is about fun.

For the record, Jimmy Walker won the competition with an 8-under 19, including a hole in one on No. 2. Craig Stadler, the 1982 Masters champion, and Keegan Bradley tied for second at 5 under. The field is comprised of Masters competitors, past champions and honorary invitees.

Most players had their wives and/or kids carrying their bags in an event that’s been around since 1960 and is popular enough to draw big galleries and a TV audience.

Webb Simpson closed his round with a finishing hole-in-one on No. 9. OK, it wasn’t as glorious as a victory-clinching finale on Sunday. Still cool, though.

“It’s just always been a miniature dream to have a walk-off hole in one,” Simpson said. His caddie was longtime swing coach Ted Kiegiel, a former Augusta National staffer who first brought a 12-year-old Webb to play the course.

There were a lot of things fans won’t see on Sunday.

Justin Rose took a selfie with his children Leo and Charlotte, two fans he was more than happy to pose with in the middle of a round.

Little Caleb Watson carried one of Bubba’s clubs, that was about as tall as him. Dash Day walked along the ropes giving high-fives to fans on the final hole.

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