Masters Par 3 Contest canceled

    Rain falls this week during a practice round before the Masters Tournament's start in Augusta, Georgia.

    Story highlights

    • Weather affects play at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia
    • Masters Tournament starts Thursday

    (CNN)For the first time in its history, the Masters Par 3 Contest will not have a winner.

    Citing inclement weather and safety concerns, the Augusta National Golf Club announced the cancellation of Wednesday's traditional event.
      "The safety of everyone on our grounds was the determining factor in the decision to close the course and cancel the Par 3 Contest," Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National, said in a statement. "We share in the disappointment of our patrons, but the safety of everyone on our grounds is always our primary concern."
      Earlier in the day, the course was evacuated, as a morning wave of storms closed the grounds from 10 a.m until 12:30 p.m. ET.
      Play started at 12:30 p.m. ET, the same time the gates reopened to patrons. The event originally was scheduled to start at noon.
      The second and final evacuation came at 1:25 p.m. ET.
      "The course will be closed for the remainder of the day," the Masters Twitter account said.
      Only two players, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, finished the nine-hole course. No winner was declared.
      The Par 3 Contest, which has been taking place since 1960, occurs the day before the start of the Masters Tournament. According to the Masters website, tournament participants, noncompeting past champions and honorary Invitees are invited to participate.
        No Par 3 Contest winner has followed that with a Masters Tournament victory that same week.
        The 81st edition of the Masters Tournament starts Thursday.