Tags: arnold palmer | masters | tee | shot

Arnold Palmer: I'm 'Content to Watch' Masters Ceremonial Tee Shot

Image: Arnold Palmer: I'm 'Content to Watch' Masters Ceremonial Tee Shot
Former Masters champion Arnold Palmer of the U.S. reacts after hitting his drive during the ceremonial start of the 2014 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 10, 2014. (Jim Young/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 01:58 PM

Arnold Palmer announced Tuesday that his Masters' ceremonial tee shot will be sliced, as the 86-year-old golf champion said he's not physically able to participate the way he'd like.

Palmer has participated in the ceremonial tee shot at the PGA's most prestigious tournament at Augusta National since 2007, USA Today reported.

"I plan to go out to the first tee with the chairman on Thursday morning and watch Jack [Nicklaus] and Gary [Player] sweat it out and hit the shots," the four-time Masters champion told reporters in a Q &A session at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida, the news site said.

"Am I disappointed by that? Well, sure, but time moves on. I stopped playing in the Masters in 2004, I stopped playing in the Par-3 [Contest] last year, and now it’s time to end this part of my Masters career. I would love to go on doing it forever, but I don't have the physical capability to hit the shot the way I would want to hit it. So I'll have to be content to watch," Palmer continued.

ABC News reported Tuesday that Masters Tournament chairman Billy Payne praised Palmer for his past participation.

"I spoke with Arnold yesterday and we certainly understand his decision," Payne said in a statement released by Augusta National. "It makes no difference whether he actually hits a drive. He is a true legend in golf and will be welcomed as usual on the first tee with the other Masters Honorary Starters. It will be a great day."

The opening round of the Masters is scheduled to begin April 7 and run through April 10.

The Masters has featured an honorary starters ceremonial tee shot most years since 1963, when Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod officially kicked off the tournament in recognition of their past victories at Augusta National in the Senior PGA Championship, according to Augusta National.

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Arnold Palmer announced Tuesday that his Masters' ceremonial tee shot will be sliced, as the 86-year-old golf champion said he's not physically able to participate the way he'd like.
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Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 01:58 PM
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