sport

Moore wins par-three contest

Ryan Moore has no qualms about carrying the "curse" of the par-three champion into the Masters after winning the pre-tournament contest.

Moore completed the nine-hole course in the grounds of Augusta National in six under par to finish two shots ahead of Fuzzy Zoeller and Kevin Stadler, who is creating history this week as one half of the first father-son pairing to compete in the same Masters with father and 1982 champion Craig.

Since the contest started in 1960, nobody has ever become par-three and Masters champion in the same week, a fact which sometimes sees players deliberately not shoot the best score possible.

That was not the case for Moore however, who made six birdies and missed short putts for three others. "I legitimately could have been nine under," the 31-year-old said.

Asked about the "curse" of the par-three winner, Moore - whose best finish in five Masters appearances was a tie for 13th in 2005 - said: "I'm not afraid of it. You never know, someone has got to break that curse at some point in time, so hopefully it's me.

"It was fun having my boy out there and playing a round with a couple of friends. That's what it's for, to kind of make you relax a little bit and just go and enjoy yourself the afternoon before."

Most players treat it as light relief and invite family or friends to act as their caddies, including the 'Big Three' of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, who would be back together to hit ceremonial drives as honorary starters for the tournament proper on Thursday.

Tournament favourite Rory McIlroy had fiance Caroline Wozniacki acting as his caddie for the second year running, the former world number one tennis player sporting some shocking pink hair but finishing the round in style by holing a long birdie putt on the ninth.

Former champion Mark O'Meara and non-competing invitee Stewart Alexander - the 1986 US Amateur champion - recorded holes-in-one on the second hole, while Australian Matt Jones aced the third just three days after qualifying for his Masters debut by winning the Shell Houston Open.