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Legendary Golfers Kick Off Masters 2024 with Iconic Tee Shots



Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player hit honorary tee shots to start Masters

The Masters finally got going on Thursday after a hefty 2 1/2-hour weather delay. Despite the wait, the wind was still blowing fiercely, and the sky remained overcast. Witness golfing legends Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Tom Watson kick off the Masters at Augusta National, surrounded by thousands in a tradition steeped ceremony. It’s been a while since we’ve seen all the top golfers gather on the same course for the same tournament, not since July at The Open Championship.

Who stole the show? Well, it was none other than the six-time champ himself, Jack Nicklaus, accompanied by his partner in crime, Barbara, who was carrying the bag. Joining them were the three-time winner Gary Player and the two-time champ Tom Watson. The first tee was swarmed with fans, eager to witness these legends make the traditional first swings.

Gary Player, always one for a bit of banter, lightened the mood by remarking, “Hey, sticking the ball on the tee ain’t as easy as it used to be, huh?” before sending a majestic shot straight down the fairway.

Keep an eye out left and right,” Nicklaus joked, just before he smacked it straight down the middle. Classic Nicklaus.


Erik van Rooyen and Jake Knapp led the charge as the first ones to tee off. Meanwhile, the big guns from the PGA TOUR were sprinkled into featured groups throughout the day. But for folks like Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and Collin Morikawa with later tee times, finishing before dark seemed like a long shot. Looks like they’ll be making a return on Friday to wrap up their first rounds.

Believe it or not, this marks the sixth year in a row that weather has played a part in delaying the Masters. Mother Nature just can’t resist throwing a curveball!

Scottie Scheffler, reigning champ from 2022 and currently the world’s top-ranked player, is sitting pretty as the heavy favorite at +400. That’s a level of dominance we haven’t seen since the days when Tiger Woods was ruling the roost. And then there’s Rory McIlroy, aiming for that elusive career Grand Slam after missing the cut last year. The guy’s determined, you’ve gotta give him that.

Speaking of Woods, he’s only made his second appearance this year due to illness and injury. Talk about making a comeback!


Both Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns have wives who are expecting their first child. They’ve sworn they’d drop out if they got the call that their wives were in labor. But imagine if they were leading come Sunday’s back nine.

Last year, the weather threw a spanner in the works, pushing the third round’s conclusion into Sunday. Rahm started the day trailing Koepka by four shots but clawed his way back. In the end, he clinched the green jacket, becoming the fourth Spaniard to do so. Quite the finish, especially with Phil Mickelson turning heads with a stellar 65 at the ripe old age of 52.

Jack Nicklaus ‘s Close Call at Masters Founders:

In the 1964 Masters, Jack Nicklaus remembers a moment that still sticks with him. Despite losing to Arnold Palmer by six shots, one memory stands out. It was on the 12th hole, a famous par-3 at Augusta National.

Nicklaus didn’t hit his tee shot well; he shanked it short of Rae’s Creek and ended up with a bogey. But what really sticks in his mind is how close he came to hitting the Masters co-founders, Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts, with his 8-iron shot.


I nearly hit Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts,” Nicklaus recalled. “I shanked it right over their heads. Their cart was about 20 or 25 yards to the right of the tee box, and my shot flew right over them. I almost got a hole-in-one.

During one of his annual press conferences with Gary Player and Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus spilled the beans about an embarrassing moment. It was his birthday, and he was playing at the Crosby Clambake in Pebble Beach.

Nicklaus was chilling with some pals in his room when the phone rang. A buddy said, “Hey, Jack, happy birthday. Someone wants to wish you too.” Then this guy starts belting out “Happy Birthday” on the phone, and Jack’s straining to hear.

After the song, Jack, being all serious, asks, “Who’s calling, please?” And the voice on the other end says, It’s Bing Crosby, Jack. Happy birthday.


Turns out, Jack didn’t even realize he was listening to Bing Crosby croon “Happy Birthday” to him. Talk about a missed cue.

That shanked 8-iron shot? Total embarrassment. Jack Nicklaus steps up to the tee at Augusta National, all eyes on him. He takes a swing, and bam! The ball goes nowhere near where it’s supposed to. Instead of a graceful arc, it’s a dud, barely making it past the tee box.

To make matters worse, it’s not just any hole it’s the legendary 12th at the Masters. Rae’s Creek is looming, and Nicklaus’s ball barely skirts past disaster. But the real kicker? It flies dangerously close to the Masters co-founders, Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts, who are chilling just off the tee box.

Can you imagine? Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers ever, nearly beaning the big shots of Augusta National with his wayward shot. It’s the kind of moment that haunts you, even if you go on to win the green jacket six times.