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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 22:34 GMT 23:34 UK
Crane to take on Par Three curse
Ben Crane celebrates his win
Crane celebrates with his caddie, American football star Drew Bledsoe
Ben Crane carded a four-under-par round of 23 to win the traditional Par Three Contest on Augusta's nine-hole course, the day before the 2006 Masters starts.

The 30-year-old American finished one shot ahead of Arron Oberholser, Shigeki Maruyama and Australian trio Mark Hensby, Robert Allenby and Adam Scott.

But Crane's joy at winning may be tempered by the famous Par Three curse.

Since the pre-Masters event began in 1960, no winner has gone on to win the main tournament in the same year.

Padraig Harrington, Par Three winner in 2003 and 2004, missed out on a third title but was one of three players to hit a hole-in-one at the ninth, along with Oberholser and Tim Clark.

Although Tiger Woods skipped the tournament because of a "prior engagement", fans were treated to a surprise appearance by Jack Nicklaus.

The six-time Green Jacket winner, who retired from competitive golf last year, said he had no intention of even bringing his clubs, but was persuaded to play by his grandson Charlie, who then caddied for him.




SEE ALSO
Augusta's pitch and putt curse
30 Mar 05 |  Masters 2005


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