Arnold Palmer will not hit ceremonial tee shot at 2016 Masters
Arnold Palmer announced this week that he will not join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player at the ceremonial tee shot this year.
Have we seen the final shot of Arnold Palmer's unbelievable career at Augusta National? It sure sounds like that could be the case.
According to Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel, the four-time Masters winner apparently told Augusta National chairman Billy Payne this week that he was going to have to excuse himself from the ceremonial tee shot he usually hits with Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
Arnold Palmer called Chairman Payne at Augusta National with news he wouldn't be hitting Masters opening tee ball for first time since 2007.— Tim Rosaforte (@TimRosaforte) March 15, 2016
AP also shared with me that he will be attending Masters, going to Champions Dinner and continuing his storied presence at ANGC since 1955.— Tim Rosaforte (@TimRosaforte) March 15, 2016
This doesn't really come as a huge surprise. Palmer is getting older. He's also had health issues when it comes to swinging the golf club and was already expected to have a lesser role at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week in Florida. His media session was supposed to be done without any cameras.
Palmer turns 87 later this year. He said on Tuesday that this is the end of the road for him in terms of hitting these ceremonial tee shots.
“Am I disappointed? Well, sure, but time moves on,” Palmer told Golf Digest. “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.”
It was a hell of a road.
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