Nicklaus handed Masters role

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Jack Nicklaus will join Arnold Palmer as an honorary starter for the 2010 Masters. And that’s official.

Jack Nicklaus will join Arnold Palmer as an honorary starter for the 2010 Masters. And that’s official.

It has been announced by the Augusta National Golf Club who have run the storied event since it inception.

The six-times Masters champion last played the tournament in 2005.

Nicklaus has revealed that he accepted the invitation after learning that Palmer had embraced the idea.

“I have always had great respect for Arnold and his legacy at the Masters, and I did not, in any way, want to infringe on the opportunity for Arnold to have and enjoy this Masters tradition for himself,” Nicklaus stated.

“He is so deserving of this honour, and thus I felt it was his time, not mine.”

He added that because Palmer “enthusiastically supported the invitation, it became an easy decision for me.”

Nicklaus will become the eighth honorary starter – the tradition actually began in 1963 event when Nicklaus won the first of his six his green jackets.

Jock Hutchinson and Fred McLeod were the first honorary starters in 1963, continuing until 1973 and 1976 respectively.
There was then a four-year break before Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson took over in 1981, with Sam Snead joining them in 1984.
Sarazen served until 1999, Nelson until 2001 and Snead until 2002.

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