Palmer to serve as honorary starter

April 3, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Arnold Palmer caused quite a stir today with the news he's returning to the Masters.

Augusta National chairman Billy Payne announced Palmer would hit a ceremonial first tee shot before round one Thursday.

This is a decision that has been in the works since Palmer's final Masters in 2004, but the four-time champion has been hesitant.

He hinted last month this might be the year he would take on the traditional role of honorary starter and says now the timing is finally right.

There have been seven honorary starters at the Masters. The last was Sam Snead back in 2002.

Gates will open early Thursday, at 7:30 am, and Palmer is scheduled to tee off at 7:45. He says he'll hit just one shot.

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