AUGUSTA, Georgia, Apr 9 (Reuters) – Tradition struck again during a Masters with 3 giants of golf — Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player — attack a initial shots on Thursday to launch a 79th Masters Tournament.
Player won bragging honours by pushing a few feet past six-times leader Nicklaus, who stole a spotlight on Wednesday with an ace during a Par-3 Contest.
The 85-year-old Palmer, who skipped a Par-3 eventuality since of a fractious shoulder injury, yanked his tee shot left toward a ninth green.
Crowds packaged a initial tee in front of a noble Augusta National hall with fortifying champion Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler, who was teeing off in a final organisation of a day, among a stream players holding in a spectacle.
“It shows that they have honour for a game,” pronounced South African Player, 79.
Two Scottish-American vital winners Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod instituted a tradition of titular starters in 1963, and they were followed by luminaries Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Ken Venturi over a years.
Another change in a starters’ lineup could be on a horizon.
Palmer, nicknamed “the King” for his purpose in popularising a diversion with his energetic character in a early days of TV coverage, is negligence with age.
Seven-times vital leader Palmer bent out of a Par-3 Contest since of his shoulder and crude speed and Ben Crenshaw stepped in for him to play alongside Nicklaus and Player.
Crenshaw, twice a Masters winner, has announced this will be his final Masters as a aspirant and a 63-year-old Texan could be in line for destiny rite honours.
Peering into a future, other possibilities who could consequence care competence embody three-times leader Nick Faldo or twice leader Tom Watson.
One shining claimant competence have been Seve Ballesteros, a two-times champion who would have been 58 on Thursday had he not been taken by cancer. The charismatic Spaniard desirous a spate of Europeans that followed to win a immature jacket.
Perhaps tradition-driving Augusta National will cruise another mystic start to a year’s initial major.
Intent on compelling a expansion of golf, a Masters has assimilated in fostering pledge championships around a creation and a foe during Augusta National on a eve of Masters week for girl players aged 7 by 15.
To enthuse golf’s immature charges, what improved approach to start a Masters than to see a likes of Effie Perakis of Illinois, or Jay Leng, Jr. — a girls’ and boys’ winners of Augusta’s Drive, Chip Putt Championship — join in attack a initial balls. (Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)