“We annually examine our invitation criteria in order to maintain Bobby Jones' desire to keep The Masters an intimate gathering of the world's best competitors,” Augusta National Golf Club president Billy Payne said Wednesday.
But, for many players, the competition is put on hold here. They don't want to win. You can't do that at this place and the big course in the same year.
These greats are so strong on Sunday, but wimps on Wednesday because they fear the jinx.
“I'm superstitious and it's just grown beyond itself, and no one dares go against it,” says Pat Sargent, of Atlanta.
It is a fun time to focus on the family before the seriousness starts.
“They're more out here to have a good time on the Par 3 and if they get lucky and win both, that's just fate, I guess. I don't think there's any jinx to it,” says Bob Osborne, from California.
Brad Means, reporting: “Apparently, alot of the players buy into this whole jinx thing, going so far as to play poorly in it. But, is that good sportsmanship? Is that the right way to approach the par 3?”
“You know, these guys are, their mental thinking, they have to get into a zone mentally. And, to have that in the back of your mind, 'geez, I just won the Par 3,' and then go out and play. It's probably going to stick in the back of their mind. So, as long as that's the way it is, then you're going to have people blowing it at the end just not winning,” says Chip Richardson, from Richmond, Virginia.
Or not taking part…
“I think there is such a thing as a jinx, and that's why some of the top players probably don't come out here and play in the Par 3, which is unfortunate. So, maybe if the jinx gets broken this year, it will change the Par 3 next year,” says Dennis Hetu, from Houston, Texas.
“Maybe Tiger tees it up in 2014?” we asked. “Wouldn't that be fun? Wouldn't that be fun? Bring one of his kids out here. That would be good,” says Hetu.
Maybe this is the year. Maybe these patrons will get to witness the end of the jinx. And, maybe next time number 1 will play the 3.
So, Ted Potter, Jr. will try to break that jinx starting Thursday.