Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer get 2012 Masters underway

Gary Player joined Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus for the ceremonial tee shot.
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - The Masters is underway. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player all hit their ceremonial first tee shots Thursday morning to mark the beginning of the year's first major.

Palmer, the four-time champion, started the proceedings by striping his shot squarely down the center of the fairway. Then Player, making his debut as a ceremonial starter, flew his along the same line, about 40 yards past The King. Nicklaus also hit the fairway.

Three-time champion Phil Mickelson, wearing his green jacket, was there for the start even though he has the day's last tee time, at 1:53 p.m.

Craig Stadler, the 1982 champion, was among those in the first competitive threesome.

Tiger Woods had a 10:35 a.m. tee time and Rory McIlroy was set to go off at 1:42 p.m.

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