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    Harrington, Byrd Declared Par 3 Winners

    Padraig Harrington high-fives his young caddie
    Padraig Harrington was announced co-champion of the Par 3 Contest with Jonathan Byrd after inclement weather canceled the remainder of the event.
    Scott K. Brown/Augusta National

    Padraig Harrington and Jonathan Byrd shot 5-under-par 22 and were declared co-winners Wednesday as inclement weather brought an early end to the Par 3 Contest.

    Byrd rolled in a birdie putt on the final hole to tie Harrington as sirens sounded to mark the suspension of play at Augusta National.

    No player has won the Par 3 Contest and Masters in the same year, and Adam Scott avoided tempting fate coming off his runner-up finish to Masters champion Charl Schwartzel last year. Scott had reached 5 under, but he bogeyed the final hole and dropped into a tie for third with Webb Simpson and Jerry Pate, both of whom were still on the course when play was halted.

    Phil Mickelson was next at 3-under and had finished his round.

    Harrington thus became the first three-time winner and has been part of the only two ties in Par 3 Contest history. He tied with David Toms in 2003, also because of a suspension of play, and notched his other victory in 2004.

    Harrington, a three-time major tournament champion, has contended on a few occasions in his previous 12 Masters appearances. He tied for fifth in 2002 and 2008 and was seventh in 2007. This will be Byrd’s fifth Masters; he tied for eighth in 2003 and missed the cut in his last three tries. 

    Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn aced No. 9 and Mark Wilson aced No. 4 to make it 75 holes-in-one since the contest began in 1960.

    The featured group was Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who played only a couple holes before the event was called. The Big Three will convene again Thursday at 7:40 a.m. as honorary starters, with Player joining his former rivals for the first time.

    “We’ve traveled the world together, played everywhere together, and here we are in Augusta at a little Par 3 course,” said Nicklaus as the trio gathered at the first tee. “We’re still here. And it’s kind of fun.”