Masters: Watney and Els share par-3 title as weekend begins

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, at the Par 3 Contest. Picture: Getty
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, at the Par 3 Contest. Picture: Getty
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RORY McIlroy has already secured a “special prize” in this year’s Masters after letting his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki caddie for him in the par-3 tournament.

On a sun-kissed day in Georgia, the celebrity pair joined the groups mainly made up of family members in the traditional event at Augusta 
National.

“Hopefully, he won’t give me any bad looks for wrong club,” said tennis star Wozniacki before heading out in the white boilersuit and green cap that all the caddies must wear here.

“I get a really good paycheck for this,” added the Dane before adding that she has given Rory a “special prize” for letting her enjoy the fun occasion.

McIlroy, who had cheekily threatened to “put a few bricks” in his golf bag, let Wozniacki hit his tee shot on the ninth and watched her duff it only a few yards into the water.

Paul Lawrie was disappointed when officials prevented his caddie for the day, 14-year-old son Michael, was prevented from taking a shot.

Lawrie tweeted: “The officials wouldn’t let Michael hit tee shot at last hole today in par 3 contest. Poor show IMO [in my opinion] suppose to be fun event.”

Martin Laird gave the par-3 event a miss after a recent hectic schedule that was capped by him winning the Texas Open last Sunday to earn a place in this week’s field.

The competition was won jointly by Nick Watney and Ernie Els, who shot scores of four-under-par 23.

Watney and two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw carded a hole-in-one on the seventh.

Padraig Harrington missed out on a fourth victory in the event but was unlikely to be too disappointed. Since the event started in 1960, nobody has ever become par-3 champion and Masters champion in the same week.