3rd time a charm? Harrington wins Par 3 by default

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AUGUSTA, GA. (AP) - This doesn’t bode well for Padraig Harrington.

Rain and lightning washed out the end of the Par 3 tournament at the Masters on Wednesday, leaving Harrington and Jonathan Byrd as the de facto champions at 5 under. It’s an honor most golfers might rather avoid, considering no Par 3 champion has ever gone on to capture the green jacket.

It’s only the second time since the Par 3 began in 1960 that there were dual winners because of suspension. One of those winners in 2003? None other than Harrington, who would miss the cut for the first time at Augusta National two days later. Harrington also won the next year, and went on to tie for 13th.

“I don’t even know if five is going to win,” Harrington said when he finished Wednesday. “Normally five is good enough, but it could take six today.”

It probably would have. Jerry Pate was at 4 under with four holes left when the contest was halted, and Webb Simpson was at 4 under with a hole to go. Adam Scott also finished at 4 under.

At least Harrington, a three-time major winner, got to spend some quality time with his sons at the family-friendly event. Many players have their kids _ or grandkids, in some cases _ caddie for them, and Harrington had 8-year-old Patrick and 4-year-old Ciaran in tow Wednesday.

There were two holes-in-one during the Par 3. Mark Wilson made one on No. 4, and Thomas Bjorn had another on No. 9.

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SERGIO AILING: Sergio Garcia has another nagging injury, and the timing could not be worse. He has an infected nail in the middle finger of his left hand, which affects how strongly he grips the club.

“It’s going to be uncomfortable,” said Garcia, who wore a small bandage over the finger.

It’s the same injury that Garcia dealt with last May when he had to withdraw from a British Open qualifier because of an infected nail. It was a low point for Garcia, until he narrowly got into the U.S. Open, then the British Open, and slowly worked his way back into the top 25 in the world ranking.

What that does for his chances at the Masters remained a mystery.

He is getting treatment, though his practice round did not leave him very optimistic.

“It felt worse today than it did yesterday, but hopefully it will be better tomorrow,” he said. “I can play. I won’t quit. Even if it’s painful, this is a tournament that should be played.”

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