Palmer reminisces on first Masters, '64 Masters victory


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Arnold Palmer played his first Masters in 1955 and his initial reaction was similar to what modern players experience. “It was like I had died and gone to heaven,” he said on Tuesday.

Palmer arrived at Augusta National to attend the Champions Dinner and met with the press to talk about his 1964 Masters victory, the last major triumph of his Hall of Fame career.

“It was something that I talked to my father about when I was a baby, and when I was growing up working on a tractor and driving a tractor cutting fairways and greens and tees and knowing that I had arrived at the Masters,” said Palmer, who tied for 10th in his first Masters.

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Palmer, 84, also plans to join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the first tee on Thursday as an honorary starter, a role he hopes to continue.

“The chairman makes that decision, but if he wants me to hit the tee shot and I have to crawl that’s what I’ll do,” said Palmer, a four-time Masters champion.