Jack Nicklaus' Grandson Hits Hole-in-One at Masters Par 3 Contest

Player and Nicklaus continued their role as honorary starters by each hitting a tee shot on the opening hole, with 82-year-old Player producing the longest - and most accurate - drive by around five yards from 78-year-old Nicklaus.

Eight-time major champion Watson became the oldest Masters Par-3 Contest victor at age 68, capturing the casual competition at Augusta National on the eve of the 82nd Masters which starts on Thursday.

Thursday morning, Masters champions and golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player served as honorary starters of the 2018 tournament. "He's had to accommodate his fusion and I think that his golf swing is considerably better than it ever was because of that".

Watson, 68, who won the Masters in 1977 and 1981, also won the Par-3 Contest in 1982.

Player won at Augusta in 1961, 1974 and 1978, while the Nicklaus holds a record six Masters wins - in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 before a vintage performance in 1986.

"What I did compared to that doesn't matter, " Nicklaus said through tears.

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The tee shots of Nicklaus and Player offered a quaint respite from a modern age focused on quantitative analysis.

Gary Jr celebrates the shot with his grandfather and Tom Watson by his side. To have that happen is unbelievable. The Golden Bear was the first one to greet his grandson, giving him a huge bear hug and Gary Player followed with a pat on the back.

"Tiger says, 'Phil, two to one.' And he never played him again the rest of the week", Nicklaus said with a laugh.

"Isn't that encouraging for people who are playing the game?" said Player, a three-time Masters champion.

If you haven't seen the shot, Nicklaus tweeted it out too.

After making a hole-in-one on No. 7, Finau took off running in celebration, but when he tried to stop and turn around, he appeared to dislocate his left ankle. What a day. I'm sure his father is up there in the trees and hasn't come down.

  • Regina Holmes