AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Play was suspended again at 3:42 p.m. Wednesday during the Par-3 Contest at Augusta National Golf Club. Officials say the event will not resume, and forecast does not allow for the grounds to be reopened. Patron gates will remain closed for the rest of the day.

2003 Masters champion Mike Weir and Mackenzie Hughes were declared co-winners at -4. Jason Kokrak recorded the only ace at No. 4.

The start was delayed until 1 p.m. after play on the main course was suspended at 11:22 a.m. Patrons were allowed back inside the gates at 12:45 p.m.

A sign alerts patrons to an approaching storm at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2022.

It was the first Par 3 Contest held since 2019, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many players in the field had been anticipating being able to participate in the event again.

“We (are) really looking forward to Wednesday,” said Augusta resident Luke List, making his first Masters appearance since 2005. “I hope the weather is good for the Par-3, but we’ll make it work. But just to have (my family) and to sleep in my own bed and to see them every day is a real treat.”

“It’s funny. When you don’t have children, the Par-3 seems like a bit of an afterthought, and then once kids arrive, it sort of becomes the highlight of the week in a way,” said four-time major champion Rory McIlroy, who has a 19 month-old daughter, Poppy. “So, yeah, I’m looking forward to it. It will be fun to get out there tomorrow and watch her run around.”

Masters champion Tiger Woods on the No. 11 hole during practice round 3 for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Courtesy: ANGC)

Earlier Wednesday, practice rounds continued on the main course as players completed their preparations ahead of Thursday’s first round. Five-time champion Tiger Woods played the second nine a day after announcing his intention to play in this year’s tournament, only 14 months after being involved in a serious car crash.

Another tradition of Wednesday at The Masters is the annual Chairman’s press conference, during which Chairman Fred Ridley announced a donation of one million dollars to Augusta Technical College for the development of a new automotive service training center in the Laney Walker neighborhood near downtown Augusta.

The new facility will quadruple Augusta Technical College’s current training footprint to meet the rising demand for automotive technicians and professionals in the area. Once operational, the center will offer 16 certification programs to approximately 1,270 students annually as the region’s leading automotive training center. Augusta National’s donation will allow the center to open later this year.

Augusta National Golf Club chairman, Fred Ridley, during his annual Chairman’s press conference at Augusta National Golf Club, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. (Photo courtesy: ANGC)

“The launch of this training program will prepare a quality workforce for readily available jobs
here in Augusta,” said Ridley. “This contribution reflects our commitment to promoting opportunities for residents and families in the Laney Walker community and across the City of Augusta. I commend Augusta Technical College and President Dr. Jermaine Whirl for identifying the need for this exciting program that will have a meaningful impact on economic and workforce development in the area.”

According to release from Augusta National, the donation to Augusta Technical College represents Augusta National’s latest effort to support ongoing development in the Harrisburg and Laney Walker community. In 2020, Ridley announced Augusta National would fund the creation of the Lee Elder Scholarships and first women’s golf program at Paine College, which will begin this fall. In addition, he announced a $10 million contribution gifted jointly by Augusta National, AT&T, Bank of America and IBM to the HUB for Community Innovation, which is scheduled to open late spring.

“The Augusta Technical College family is honored and humbled that Augusta National Golf
Club has made this significant investment in improving the lives of the students we serve, while helping us transform the workforce learning environment for years to come,” said Augusta Tech President Dr. Jermaine Whirl. “We thank Chairman Fred Ridley and everyone at Augusta National not only for their investment in Augusta Technical College, but their many investments throughout the region.”