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Masters Par 3 Contest to be Televised for the First Time on ESPN

Friday, December 7, 2007 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 11:21 PM, under , , , ,

Bristol, CT (Dec 6, 2007) - ESPN will televise the Par 3 Contest, the traditional event held each Wednesday prior to the Masters that includes tournament participants, non-competing past champions and honorary invitees in a fun, family atmosphere. The event, which began in 1960, has never been televised. The announcement was made today by Billy Payne, Chairman of the Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club. ESPN will cover the 2008 Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, April 9 from 3-5 p.m. ET. Past winners of the Par 3 Contest include Masters champions Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd and Ben Crenshaw.

“It is an event everyone enjoys and we think it will demonstrate to kids just how fun golf can be,” said Payne

ESPN President George Bodenheimer added: “ESPN looks forward to bringing the Par 3 Contest to a national television audience for the first time. Fans will now be able to watch many of the greatest names in golf, past and present, as they enjoy a fun day of golf with friends and family.”

Added two-time winner Phil Mickelson: "The Par 3 Contest is a lot of fun, one of the real highlights of every year. It’s been a wonderful experience to have my daughters caddie the last two years. It's special because it’s a rare opportunity for both players and patrons to enjoy the game as families.”

The contest takes place on the Par 3 course built in 1958 by architect George Cobb and Masters co-founder Clifford Roberts. The nine-hole course is par 27, 1,060 yards and played over DeSoto Springs Pond and Ike's Pond.

Previously, the Masters granted ESPN exclusive U.S. rights to televise the first two rounds of the prestigious Masters Tournament beginning in 2008. A Spanish-language telecast of the first two rounds of the Tournament will also be presented in the U.S. on ESPN Deportes.

ESPN has televised the Masters internationally since 1993, bringing last year’s Tournament to Latin America, Canada and parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

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