Several news organizations are reporting that Arnold Palmer has agreed to serve as Honorary Starter at The Masters.
“I have the distinct and personal pleasure of saying that Arnold Palmer has accepted our invitation to become our honorary starter,” Augusta National chairman Billy Payne told reporters on Tuesday. “Arnold Palmer will once again be on the first tee at Augusta National, a place where he belongs.”
Palmer won the Masters in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964.
The first honorary starters at The Masters were Jock Hutchinson and Fred McLeod, who served from 1963 to 1973 (Hutchinson) and 1976 (McLeod). Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson took over the role in 1981. Sam Snead made it a trio in 1984. Sarazen retired in 1999; Nelson in 2001; and Snead in 2002.
Palmer, now 77, played his last competitive round at The Masters in 2004.