Harrington keen to prove Par 3 jinx to be "baloney"

The ninth green at Augusta National’s Par Three course.Padraig Harrington won’t be getting jittery about the Masters Par-Three jinx after becoming the first player to win it three times.

The Dubliner fired a five under par 22 to share the title with Jonathan Byrd after lightning storms forced the annual eve of tournament to be cancelled.

No-one has ever won the Par-Three and the Masters green jacket in the same year but Harrington has always insisted he’s not superstitious and claimed it’s only a question of time before someone proves the jix is pure rubbish..

“It’s all baloney,” Harrington argues. How could winning a tournament on a Wednesday affect how you play on a Thursday? That’s rubbish.”

Harrington shared the title with David Toms in another weather-affected edition in 2003 but missed the cut in the tournament.

He won the par-three again in 2004 but could only manage 13th place behind Masters winner Phil Mickelson.

With his sons Ciarán (4) and Paddy (8) acting as caddies, he fired five birdies to post the early lead before being matched by Byrd.

He said: “This is my 13th time playing it, and the least amount of wind was there today, so the scoring was on.”

He couldn’t pick out the highlight of his day, explaining: “The whole thing is memorable.  I didn’t hole out.  I didn’t hit anything stone dead or anything like that.  

“I actually hit pretty average shots but played nicely for nine holes.”

Mark Wilson and Thomas Bjorn had holes in one before an electrical storm forced officials to evacuate the course.

The “Big Three” of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player had played just two holes.