The Masters has begun, with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer driving the fairway with their ceremonial tee shots.
Nicklaus, 71, sent a drive more than 250 yards. Palmer, 81, hit it about 210.
After his one-and-done shot, Nicklaus (above) told his caddy (his football-playing grandson, Nick O’Leary), “Your duties are over.”
The People who run the Mastuhs don’t make it easy for golf fans who either must work for a living or cannot get to Augusta, Ga., to watch the first two days. (Live leaderboard.)
There’ll be coverage on ESPN at 3 p.m. Until then, how to indulge a Phil Mickelson man-crush? There’s live streaming online of two groups of the tournament’s choosing (from start to finsh) and action at selected holes (Amen Corner; 15 and 16) on the Masters’ website.
The first group — Ross Fisher, Jonathan Byrd, and Sean O'Hair — in an enormous field teed off on schedule at 7:45 a.m. Mickelson, the defending champ, tees off at 1:48 p.m.; Tiger Woods, pursuing his fourth green jacket, goes at 10:41 a.m.
One change to the course this year came was not scheduled and came very late. A band of thunderstorms that swept through Augusta on Tuesday felled one of the stately magnolias planted before the Civil War, leaving a gap in the line of trees.
“One-hundred-and-fifty-year-old magnolias are in short supply for transplanting,” Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said. “We were all very much saddened by that, and we will make the best out of a difficult situation. We will deal with it somehow but we just haven’t decided how to do it yet.”