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Opening ceremony: Big Three kickstart Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – After Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit the ceremonial first tee shots Thursday at the Masters, they sat down for 30 minutes to provide insight into their experience.

“It was a great thrill, having this wonderful relationship, great friendship with Arnold and Jack for a long, long time,” Player said. “We’ve even cried together, and we’ve laughed together, and we’ve had good times.”

But enough about that, who hit the ball further off the first tee?

“I don’t think any of us can see that far,” Nicklaus quipped. “We can hear them all land though.”

They all landed in the fairway, and it was reported that Player hit the farthest drive.

It also was not lost on the Big Three that Phil Mickelson was in attendance wearing a green jacket. Despite a first-round tee time late in the afternoon, Lefty wanted to see history one more time.

“I thought it was wonderful he came out,” Palmer said.

Said Player: “You look at the way Phil treats the galleries, it’s very special.”