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PGA Golf

Report: Arnold Palmer won’t hit ceremonial tee shot at Masters

The Masters is often referred to as “a tradition unlike any other.” But it appears that a tradition that helps kick off the beloved tournament at the revered Augusta National Golf Club may have be one legend short.

The Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte reported Tuesday that Arnold Palmer won’t take part in the ceremonial tee shot that kicks off the Masters alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. The icon still plans to be at the tournament and attend the Champions Dinner the Tuesday prior.

Palmer reportedly informed Augusta National chairman Billy Payne of his decision via telephone on Monday.

The 86-year-old Palmer injured his shoulder in December 2014 and apparently hasn’t been able to hit many golf balls since.

This latest report comes amid the news that Palmer also will reportedly take on a lesser role at the tournament that bears his name, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, that takes place this week at Bay Hill. He will, however, be present at the tournament, although he will not conduct his annual Wednesday pre-tournament news conference. Instead, a private question-and-answer session without cameras will be done in its place.

Palmer of course was the first legend to take part in the ceremonial tee shot to open the Masters starting in 2007, although the three legends have been taking part in it as a “Big Three” for only three years, as Nicklaus first joined Palmer in 2010 with Player joining the two in 2012.

It simply won’t be the same without Arnie.

(image via PGA Tour)