Big Three on the tee a Masters tradition steeped in history

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Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player (Jamie Squire/ Getty Images)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – They shared the lead going into the weekend 50 years ago at Augusta National.

Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were together again Thursday morning in another familiar role. Each hit a drive off the first tee to start the Masters. And then golf’s “Big Three” shared memories and jokes about their games and friendship.

They combined to win the Masters 13 times – they were the only winners from 1960 through 1966. It was in 1965 that they were tied at 6-under 138 after two rounds. Nicklaus jokingly said he only remembered the third round. That’s when he matched the Masters record with a 64 and wound up winning by nine shots.

Palmer hit the tee shot even on Thursday though he is recovering from a dislocated shoulder.