Emotions high at ceremonial tee shots

2016 04 Getty Images 5195663061
• Palmer sits out hitting opening tee shot
• Player described it as "very special moment"
• Masters Tournament now underway

THE MASTERS | Ceremonial Tee-Shots

“It was more about Arnold this morning than anything else.”


Jack Nicklaus knew there was something particularly special about this year’s ceremonial tee shot at Augusta National. Traditionally, Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer have opened the Masters Tournament by driving off the first tee - but this year one of the ‘Big Three’ didn’t feel ready for it.

Palmer, now 86 years of age, was asked midweek by Nicklaus at the Champions Dinner if he wanted to hit his tee shot. “I don’t care if you putt it off the tee,” Nicklaus said to him. “I think everybody would love to have you do anything.”

“Let me think about it,” Palmer replied.

This morning, Nicklaus said the King didn’t want to step up. “I’m good,” Palmer told him.

Nicklaus later added: “I think probably the right thing. Arnold’s balance is not good and that’s what they were worried about. But I think he was delighted to be out there. I think we were delighted to have him there. Both Gary and I felt it was more about Arnold this morning than anything else, and I think that was just fine.”




Player said he dedicated his opening tee shot to Palmer and described it as a “very special moment”. “It was quite remarkable,” added the South African.

Emotions were high in the crowd when Palmer, looking frail, was helped onto the first tee amid applause from the Augusta patrons. One Augusta National member wiped tears from his eyes, whilst a number of patrons spoke about the emotion of the moment. “Well that was somethin’” said one. “I’m glad I got to see that.”

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
PLAYING THE OLD COURSE AT ST ANDREWS | AN EPIC EXPERIENCE
Callaway Golf
play button
DRIVING TIPS FROM A TOUR PRO | with Ewen Ferguson
Ewen Ferguson
play button
WATCH: A round of golf with Justin Thomas
Watch
play button
CAN A CLUB GOLFER COMPETE WITH A TOUR PRO?
David Law
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

WATCH: Unlucky golfer smashes moving car with tee shot
Paige Spiranac: “Players would send me nasty messages”
Tim Tucker “regrets timing” of DeChambeau split
bunkered Fantasy Golf Field Guide - Olympics and ISPS Handa World Invitational
Where are the Olympic Golf tournaments being played?

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
A simple takeaway drill from Peter Barber
Watch
play button
Lengthen your backswing for more power
Watch
play button
Denis Pugh’s tips for swinging on plane
Watch
play button
Don’t shorten your swing says Denis Pugh
Watch
See all videos right arrow