Player to become Masters honorary starter
Golf's Big Three will be reunited next spring.
Gary Player will join Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus as honorary starters at the 2012 Masters Tournament. Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Chairman Billy Payne made the announcement this afternoon.
Player, 75, became the first international player to win the Masters with his victory in 1961. He holds the record for most starts at the Masters with 52. His first came in 1957, and his last in 2009. He also won at Augusta National in 1974 and 1978.
Player, Palmer and Nicklaus became known as the Big Three in the 1960s because of their dominance around the world. With 13 green jackets to their credit, the trio dominated the Masters for two decades.
Honorary starters have been a tradition at the Masters since Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod hit the opening tee shots in 1963. Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Ken Venturi revived the tradition in the 1980s, and Palmer and Nicklaus have continued the opening ceremony.
Palmer became an honorary starter in 2007, and Nicklaus joined him in 2010.