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Masters 2024: Honorary Starters Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson commence 88th edition

Masters 2024: Honorary Starters Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson commence 88th edition

Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson — a combined 11 green jackets between them — commenced the 88th edition of the Masters Tournament.

Following a 2 1/2-hour weather delay, Player, the first international winner of the event in 1961, teed off first. He was followed by six-time Masters champion Nicklaus and then two-time winner Watson.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the 2024 Masters Tournament is officially underway," said Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley.

The tradition of honorary starters began at the 1963 Masters. Here's a look at players who have served this role, per Augusta National Golf Club:

  • Jock Hutchison, 1963–1973

  • Fred McLeod, 1963–1976

  • Byron Nelson, 1981-2001 (nonconsecutive)

  • Gene Sarazen, 1981–1999

  • Ken Venturi, 1983

  • Sam Snead, 1984–2002

  • Arnold Palmer, 2007–2016

  • Jack Nicklaus, 2010–present

  • Gary Player, 2012–present

  • Lee Elder, 2021

  • Tom Watson, 2022–present