Palmer Player and Nicklaus open 79th Masters

Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit the ceremonial opening tee shots Thursday morning to signal the start of the 79th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

The famed trio of golfing elder statesmen and past Masters champions were collectively known as the “Big Three” since their glory days of the 1960s.

Palmer, 85, teed off despite a sore right shoulder that had been dislocated. He has been a ceremonial starter since 2007. Nicklaus, 75, joined him in 2010 and South Africa’s Player, 79, completed the lineup in 2012, three years after his 52nd and final tournament appearance.

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