Arnold Palmer Will Not Hit Ceremonial Tee Shot at 2016 Masters

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2016

Winner of The Open in 1961 and 1962, US golfer Arnold Palmer waves to fans during the Champion Golfers' Challenge on The Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland, on July 15, 2015, ahead of The 2015 Open Golf Championship which runs July 16-19. 28 Seven groups of four Champion golfers with a combined 46 victories in golfs oldest Championship, compete in a four hole challenge, the winnings going to the charity of the winning team's choice. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK        (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Golf legend Arnold Palmer won't hit the ceremonial tee shot to open this year's Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, according to Golf World's Tim Rosaforte.  

While Palmer will attend the tournament, per Rosaforte, he won't join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the course for the opening ceremony. It will be the first time since 2007 he won't be hitting the tournament's opening shot.

Palmer, 86, injured his shoulder in December 2014 and was in doubt to hit the tee shot at last year's ceremony, per Ryan Ballengee of Yahoo Sports. According to Ballengee, Palmer "still doesn't hit many golf balls."

Nicklaus joined Palmer in hitting the ceremonial tee shot in 2010, while Gary Player rounded out the trio in 2012.

Palmer, a four-time winner of the event and a winner of seven majors overall, remains one of the game's most decorated living legends. Only Nicklaus has won the Masters more (six titles), while Tiger Woods is tied with Palmer for the second-most wins at the event. Player is one of five players (Jimmy Demaret, Sam Snead, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson) to have won three Masters titles.

Jordan Spieth will be looking to defend his 2015 Masters triumph at this year's tournament, though Jason Day and Rory McIlroy will lead a talented group of contenders behind him. That trio and the rest of the field won't be ushered in by Palmer this year, however.


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