Jimmy Walker confident he can follow up par-three win with Masters glory

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Jimmy Walker believes he can end the " curse'' of the par-three champion after a record-breaking edition of the traditional pre-Masters contest on Wednesday.

Walker set a new record of just 19 shots for the picturesque par-three course in the grounds of Augusta National, carding a hole-in-one and six birdies to finish eight under par.

The 37-year-old's ace on the second was one of nine in total, beating the previous record of five, with 80-year-old Gary Player becoming the oldest competitor to make a hole-in-one when he holed out on the seventh.

Since the contest started in 1960, nobody has ever become par-three and Masters champion in the same week, but Walker told ESPN: "I think we'll do it.

"I've been playing really well. I came here to win. The par-three is a showcase of having fun and maybe it shows I need to have my kids out on the golf course with me a little more.

"It was sweet. I almost aced the first, then did ace the second and just kept hitting it close."

Player, who was competing alongside Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, said: "I played with Jack last year and he did it and he said 'It's your turn this year'."

The three-time Masters champion had not even teed off on the next hole before another roar indicated that Open champion Zach Johnson had also holed out on the seventh, while the most spectacular action came on the 130-yard fourth, where Justin Thomas recorded a hole-in-one and then saw playing partner Rickie Fowler do exactly the same.

That left the final member of the group, none other than defending champion Jordan Spieth, to try to make it an amazing hat-trick, but the world number two came up short of the flag - and was jokingly booed by the crowd.

"I said it might have been the hardest shot I ever hit, trying to follow them," Spieth told ESPN. "To see Justin make it and Rickie follow, that's got to be the first time in the par-three contest."

Andy Sullivan, David Lingmerth, Webb Simpson, Smylie Kaufman were the other players to record holes-in-one, with Sullivan doing so on the fifth.

" I was complaining about the crowd not cheering," Sullivan said. "Emiliano (Grillo) had hit it to a foot and they did nothing. Then they just went nuts and just erupted. My first time around the par?three and to get a hole in one, it's fantastic."

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