AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Wednesday at Augusta National Golf Club marks the eve of the 87th Masters Tournament.

The Par 3 Contest was won by Tom Hoge (-6), who aced No. 8, one of five holes-in-one during the contest. Seamus Power became the third golfer in the event’s history to record holes-in-one on consecutive holes. He aced No. 8 and No. 9 to finish his round.

“It’s a dream come true,”said Power, of Ireland, making his second Masters appearance. “Obviously to get one was special, but to get the second one was a bit surreal. It was an absolute blast out there.”

Scottie Scheffler became the third defending Masters champion to record an ace.

Wednesday was the first chance to see the new-look Par 3 Course in person. It was extensively renovated after last year’s Masters Tournament.

Earlier competitors had an opportunity to play a final practice round before every stroke counts. It represents one more chance to play the new-look No. 13, lengthened by 35 yards prior to this year’s tournament.

“You obviously don’t really have a chance to turn the corner as much as people did in the past and have a short iron, right,” said Jon Rahm, the 2021 U.S. Open champion and No. 3 ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking. “I’ve been able to hit an 8-iron there into the green and obviously that’s a huge advantage. I think they just wanted it to play the way it’s meant to be played. It kind of gets to a point that 11 being a par 4 being longer than 13, it’s a bit odd.”

“I think you’re going to see a lot more lay-ups, obviously. If you don’t quite hug the left side you’re going to have such a long iron in that a lot of people who choose to lay up. But there’s still going to be a risk, more so risk/reward aspect to it, because if you hit the green and give yourself an eagle chance, it’s going to matter a lot more maybe than it did in the past.”

Wednesday morning also brings the annual news conference by the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Fred Ridley.

Ridley announced a multiphase partnership with Augusta Municipal Golf Course, Augusta Technical College and The First Tee of Augusta to “strengthen public golf in the community and foster even greater opportunities to play the game and work in the sport”.  

Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Fred Ridley speaks to members of the media in a pre-event press conference ahead of practice round 3 at Augusta National Golf Club, Wednesday, April 5, 2023. (Photo courtesy: Augusta National Golf Club)

“The initiative will link Augusta Tech’s golf course management and workforce programs at The Patch with The First Tee’s mission to teach the game and its values to juniors and community members of all backgrounds. Their alignment will create the first partnership between these neighboring facilities, expand available pathways to welcome those interested in the sport and provide a best-in-class, affordable public golf experience for the Augusta community. Augusta National will assist in the planning and execution of this vision to complement their efforts, identify efficiencies and support the partnership’s success,” according to a news release from the Masters Tournament. 

“This initiative offers a unique opportunity to contribute to two areas of utmost importance to Augusta National’s mission, our community and golf development,” said Ridley. “While in its early stages, this partnership can help produce the next generation of golf’s workforce and make the game more accessible and inviting to youth and residents throughout the community. I commend Augusta Technical College, The Patch, The First Tee of Augusta and all leaders involved in this project, and we look forward to supporting their partnership and this exciting new chapter for public golf here in our city.”

Chairman Ridley also announced that, beginning in 2024, the individual NCAA champion will receive an invitation to The Masters as an amateur.

This story will be updated throughout the day.