Arnold Palmer is a God among men. He was the first household name in golf, the first to pioneer the sport for the everyday man, and the first to suck down iced tea mixed with lemonade, which he then pissed out in the form of excellence. His farts are louder than dinner gongs. His erections firmer than a teenager’s. They don’t call him “The King” for nothing.
But as Lenny’s better half, Karl Karlson, taught us the other week in response to Kobe, Jeter, and Peyton throwing in the towel, growing up is watching your idols step away. Now, we bid a final farewell to another great (for the second time).
Though Palmer has been retired for a while, he still graced the links with his presence when he fired off a ceremonial first drive at the beginning of each Masters tournament. It was a fitting start to the tourney. Palmer has won four green jackets, so the younger generations of golfers would symbolically follow in his footsteps.
Unfortunately, due to a lingering shoulder injury from 2014, Palmer announced that he would not be participating in the ceremony this year. He has not been able to hit balls as of late.
From Golf Digest:
Arnold Palmer will not hit the ceremonial opening tee shot at next month’s Masters, Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte reported on Tuesday. Palmer still plans to be at Augusta National for the tournament and the Champions Dinner. Rosaforte broke the news on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.”
Rosaforte spent time with the golf legend in Palmer’s office on Monday. That’s when the seven-time major champ said he’d called Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne to let him know he won’t be a part of the opening tee shot ceremony.
Of course, Palmer will still be playing host to the tournament.
“I spoke with Arnold yesterday and we certainly understand his decision,” Payne told Rosaforte. “It makes no difference whether he hits a drive. He is a true legend in golf and will be welcomed as usual on the first tee with the other Masters honorary starters. It will be a great day.”
There’s also no telling what exactly the future will hold. Palmer says he plans to start hitting the treadmill again to up his fitness. Who knows? “The King” may be treating us to a long ball as soon as next year..
[via Golf Digest]
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