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Palmer, 86, Resigns From Hitting Ceremonial Tee Shot

REUTERS/Phil Noble. Picture Supplied by Action Images.

Arnold Palmer intends to be on the first tee at Augusta National on Thursday of Masters week but without a driver in his hands.

Palmer informed club chairman Billy Payne that he won’t join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in hitting the ceremonial tee shots to begin the tournament this year. Palmer, 86, said he no longer can swing the club well enough to participate but he will join the group for the traditional start to the event. (READ Ron Green Jr.’s touching tribute to Arnold Palmer)

“I called the chairman, Billy Payne, and informed him that I have resigned from hitting the ceremonial first tee shot,” the four-time Masters champion said in an interview transcript. “He expressed regret that I couldn’t do that but he was pleased that I would be present.

“I am going to attend the Champions dinner and then go home on Thursday which has been my usual schedule the last few years. I plan to go out to the first tee with the chairman on Thursday morning and watch Jack and Gary sweat it out and hit shots.

“Am I disappointed by that? Well, sure but time moves on … I’ll have to be content to watch.”

The PGA Tour travels to Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club this week. Who are the top 5 Players to Watch? READ STORY



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