Gary Player, left, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus on the first tee at Augusta… (David Cannon / Getty Images )
If you asked fans to name the greatest golfers of all time, chances are they wouldn't go too far down the list before naming Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
So it seemed only fitting that the first major of the year, the Masters, would be started Thursday by those three golfers, with Nicklaus, Player and Palmer all hitting their ceremonial first tee shots down the middle of the fairway.
Nicklaus, 72, Palmer, 82, and Player, 76, combined to win 13 Masters titles.
Palmer stopped playing the Masters in 2004, Nicklaus a year later and Player in 2009. Palmer would still like to play.
"Hey, if I could do it, I would be doing it right now," Palmer told the Associated Press.
"I think we would all love to play," Nicklaus said. "I don't think there's any issue about that, but that's not the deal. The deal is we hit a shot. We all would love to still be able to play, but if you go out and look at where our tee shots were — we all hit 3-woods — you would understand why we aren't."
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