Player joins Palmer, Nicklaus as honorary starter | 2022 Masters Skip to main content
Breaking news
2 Rory McIlroy   -7 F
T3 Cameron Smith   -5 F
T3 Shane Lowry   -5 F
    Full Leaderboard
Posted April 4, 2012, 10:11 pm
BY |

Player joins Palmer, Nicklaus as honorary starter

Tee shots set for 7:40 a.m.
  • Article Photos
    Player joins Palmer, Nicklaus as honorary starter
    Photos description
    Jack Nicklaus, from left, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player walk down the 2 fairway during the Par-3 Contest.


Gary Player joins Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as an honorary starter to officially begin the 76th Masters Tournament today.

Fellow South African Retief Goosen expects Player, 76, to put on quite a show.

“I’m sure he’ll do a few sit-ups and pushups and probably run up the hill there, too,” Goosen said with a laugh. “No, Gary’s unbelievably fit for his age and full of energy. He’s one of those people I love being around and seeing how positive he is about everything in life.”

Player’s love of competition is followed closely by his devotion to touting the benefits of proper diet and exercise. He said Tuesday his goal is to hit the best shot of the trio.

Gates will open at 7:25 a.m. in time for patrons to see The Big Three hit the ceremonial first tee shots at 7:40 a.m. The three men have a combined 13 Masters titles and helped popularize the game in the 1960s by traveling the globe for tournaments and exhibitions.

Serving as an honorary starter officially began in 1963 and evolved into one of the most famous traditions with Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead.

“I think he deserves it, I think it’s great,” said Trevor Immelman, a South African who won the 2008 Masters. “I think it’s going to be fitting those three guys kick it off. They did so much for golf in the early days. They kicked a lot of stuff off for us.”

7:40 A.M.** Arnold Palmer Gary Player Jack Nicklaus

10:24 A.M. Charl Schwartzel Keegan Bradley Kelly Kraft*

10:35 A.M. Tiger Woods Miguel Angel Jimenez Sang-Moon Bae

1:42 P.M. Angel Cabrera Rory McIlroy Bubba Watson

** honorary starters; * amateur