Matt Wallace, seen here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament, won the par-3 contest at Augusta National by acing the eighth hole and winning a three-hole playoff with 61-year-old Sandy Lyle. File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Masters Notebook: Matt Wallace wins par-3 contest

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Matt Wallace won the par-3 contest at Augusta National by acing the eighth hole and winning a three-hole playoff with 61-year-old Sandy Lyle.

Wallace’s hole-in-one was one of four in Wednesday’s family-friendly event that precedes the Masters, leaving him tied with Lyle at 5-under 22. The playoff rotated between Nos. 8 and 9, with both players making par on the first two holes. That took them back to the eighth, where Wallace nearly made another hole-it-one, plopping his tee shot less than a foot from the cup.

Lyle knocked his shot in the water, handing the victory to the 28-year-old Englishman playing in his first Masters. He is the ninth player — and the first since 2013 — to win the par-3 contest on his initial try.

But also worth noting: No winner of the par-3 has gone on to capture the green jacket.

Lyle, the 1988 champion, is playing in his 38th Masters. It was initially thought he had won the par-3 tournament, but officials discovered a scoring error that forced the playoff.

In all, there were four aces on the day, including Shane Lowry at No. 2, Mark O’Meara on No. 5 and Devon Bling at No. 7. Wallace’s hole-in-one was the 100th since the contest began in 1960.

CELL PHONES

Don’t expect Augusta National to allow cellphones anytime soon.

Masters chairman Fred Ridley said Wednesday that fans and players appreciate the fact cellphones are banned at the Masters, and there are no plans to change the policy.

“I know that we have now become an outlier, if not the only outlier in golf, as well, at allowing cellphones,” Ridley said. “But I think it’s part of the ambience of the Masters.”

Ridley cited comments made earlier in the week by Rory McIlroy about it being nice to see people actually watch shots instead of trying to take videos or pictures.

“I don’t believe that’s a policy that anyone should expect is going to change in the near future, if ever,” Ridley said. “I can’t speak for future chairmen, but speaking for myself, I think we got that right.”

RAHM’S TEMPER

Jon Rahm says he’s a work in progress when trying to control his emotions on the golf course.

That applies to the interview room, too, at least when he’s asked about his tempermental outbursts.

“I’m going to try to think a different way to answer that question for the 10,000th time,” Rahm said. “I really, really don’t know what to say.”

Actually, Rahm had a lot to say.

“It’s just the way I am. I’m a very passionate person in everything I do, for the good and the bad,” he said. “It’s very enjoyable when I win, and I really don’t like it when I lose.”

Rahm said he learned something at the Player’s Championship about controlling his temper, after ignoring his caddie’s advice and hitting it into the water in the final round while in contention. Rahm angrily hit his club on the ground and shouted an expletive.

Still, the Spaniard said, having some emotion on the golf course isn’t always such a bad thing.

“There’s something about people like me where things get difficult and the pressure’s on, those emotions help,” he said. “This is much more in mind to remember than what was going on, so having those emotions helped.”

NEW STUFF

Augusta National is building a golf club which Bobby Jones might not recognize.

This year players found the tee on the fifth hole pushed back 40 yards, the fairway regraded and the green flattened out. Fans may not notice the difference, but players say they are hitting hybrids at times to the green when the wind is blowing against them.

Next up? Well, how about a tunnel under the main road that fronts the golf course?

Masters chairman Fred Ridley said the tunnel is under consideration, and can be constructed without closing down Washington Road, which is lined by restaurants and other businesses. On the other side, he said, would be a large broadcasting compound and possibly more.

The move is just the latest in a series of revisions to the club over recent years, including a new driving range, press centre and merchandise area.

WOODS MOVING UP

Tiger Woods is moving up the leaderboard at the Las Vegas sports books.

Woods had been a 14-1 pick to win his fifth Masters — and first since 2005 — but is now a 10-1 pick along with Dustin Johnson to win the green jacket at the Wililiam Hill books.

That’s behind Rory McIlroy, the favourite at 7-1. The odds on Woods shifted after a bettor put $85,000 on him at 14-1, which will be a payoff of $1.19 million should he win.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer gets $7-million from province for an emergency 12/7 homeless shelter

Councillor says the location will be decided through community consultations

‘Finer focus on job creation:’ Alberta government files red-ink budget

EDMONTON — The Alberta budget is counting on oil and gas bouncing… Continue reading

WATCH: Tabling of the 2020 Alberta budget

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is scheduled to reveal the provincial budget at… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grumpy sea lion resists help back to water in Washington state

Crews were able to coax her into a crate to carry her back to water

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Gardening: Taking a break from the winter

Looking for a break from winter and dream of summer without leaving… Continue reading

Ottawa imposes new rules to protect fragile population of right whales

HALIFAX — Canada has rolled out new measures to protect the critically… Continue reading

Canada pumps nearly 900 billion litres of raw sewage into waterways since 2013

OTTAWA — Canada’s old-fashioned city sewer systems dumped nearly 900 billion litres… Continue reading

Federal government in good financial shape, provinces not so much: PBO

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals could add billions of dollars in spending… Continue reading

Ottawa’s LRT line leaves thousands out in the cold during heavy snowstorm

OTTAWA — Many transit riders in Ottawa were left out in the… Continue reading

All eyes on Wet’suwet’en chiefs’ meeting with federal, provincial ministers

SMITHERS, B.C. — The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation prepared… Continue reading

Scheer appears to backtrack on commitment not to allow debate on abortion

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer appears to be backtracking on a… Continue reading

Most Read