AUGUSTA, GA (Sports Network) – Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer own 10 green jackets between them and they opened the 75th Masters with their ceremonial tee shots Thursday morning.
Both players split the fairway with their shots.
Palmer and Nicklaus opened the season’s first major in men’s golf before the first group of Jonathan Byrd, Ross Fisher and Sean O’Hair walked to the first tee.
Play started under cool, but ideal conditions on Thursday. Temperatures were in the upper 40s as the tournament opened, but were expected to reach the upper 70s by day’s end.
Isolated thunderstorms are in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, but if they do not materialize, weather should not be an issue through the weekend.
There have been weather delays three of the past six years.
Defending champion and three-time winner Phil Mickelson is slated to tee off in the next-to-last group at 1:48 p.m. (et). Mickelson will play with former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and reigning U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein for the first two rounds.
Four-time winner Tiger Woods starts at 10:41 a.m. on Thursday. Woods will play with reigning U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell and Robert Allenby the first two days.
Mickelson and Woods basically flip-flop starting times on Friday.
Par 3 winner Luke Donald is paired with Fred Couples and Steve Stricker at 12:53 p.m. Thursday. Donald, the world No. 4, has three streaks working against him.
First, no Par 3 winner has won the Masters the same year. Secondly, the last European to win the Masters was Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999, while Nick Faldo was the last Englishman to win the green jacket and that was in 1996.