Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player reunite at Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Saying he never gets tired of it, Arnold Palmer joined his old pals Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player for the ceremonial opening tee shots this morning to start the 77th Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Palmer, dressed in white golf shirt and red cardigan sweater, started the festivities with a drive down the left side of the first hole before a large gallery that ringed the first tee on a cool, overcast morning.

"Something like this is pretty special," Palmer said afterward.

It was the seventh consecutive year Palmer, 83, has served as an honorary starter at the Masters. Nicklaus joined him on the first tee in 2010, followed by Player in 2012. Among them, golf's Big Three have combined to win 13 green jackets -- six by Nicklaus, four by Palmer, three by Player.

"We've been doing it together for all our lives, so it's a great occasion," Palmer said, referring to his reunion with Nicklaus and Player.

A day earlier, Palmer, Nicklaus and Player were paired together during the par-3 contest, attracting the largest galleries of the annual nine-hole competition.

"The only nerves is to make sure you make contact with the ball," Nicklaus said about the ceremonial tee shot. "It doesn't make diddly-do where it goes."

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Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com and on Twitter: @gerrydulac.


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