Gary Player has still got it. In fact, the golfing great and design legend was so impressive during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Masters, he started a trend. Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus – all three outstanding golf athletes, golf course designers and show stopping performers came out to inaugurate the 76th annual Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia – but Player was the star, out-driving fellow award winning golfers Palmer and Nicklaus.
The 82 year old South African approached the Augusta tee with confidence, opening up the Masters 2012 first drive at 250 yards; Palmer followed up just shy of Player’s shot by 50 yards, while Nicklaus teased Player’s shot even more. Though such a slim difference, it was enough to draw everyone’s attention to Player (who designed the breathtaking course at Costa Baja’s property in La Paz, Mexico Exec Digital was lucky enough to visit).
If you want to talk about the Masters, you can’t talk about these three players – who are long retired and have could have been on the senior circuit for almost as long as they played during their prime. It’s no surprise that the Masters 2012 decided to welcome Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer with the honor of the first tee – between the three of them, there is a record-breaking 13 Masters won.
The first game day play started off much more beautiful than planned – with rains stalling second day practice rounds on Tuesday, PGA Tour players were able to ease into the early game. Padraig Harrington took the leader board following the end of Round 1 play, while Scot Paul Lawrie finished the day at par.
Masters 2012 will continue to run through Sunday, April 8 with live coverage online at masters.com, and television event coverage from ESPN.