ORLANDO, Fla. – Arnold Palmer never thought he’d be a ceremonial golfer. Now that he is, he loves it.
Palmer, 82, will join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in two weeks on the first tee at Augusta National as honorary starters at the Masters making this the first time the Big Three will be together in the role.
“I don’t think that everybody understands what it’s like to stand on the first tee at Augusta and hit the beginning shot,” Palmer said. “That is something that, other than winning the Masters or being there when it’s counting, that’s one of the big thrills of all time.
“I didn’t think I ever would when they talked about it in the beginning, but I guess age has a lot to do with that.”
The tradition of an honorary starter at the Masters began in 1963. Palmer first accepted the role in 2007 and Nicklaus joined him in 2010. The last time the Masters had three honorary starters was in 1999 with Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead.