Palmer retiring from ceremonial tee shot at Masters

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:10pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Arnold Palmer will not join in the ceremonial opening tee shots at this year's Masters due to a lingering shoulder injury, and the four-time winner at Augusta said it was time for him to give up the honor.

The 86-year-old Palmer had been an honorary starter at the Masters since 2007.

"Am I disappointed by that? Well, sure, but time moves on," Palmer said from Bay Hill on Tuesday, where he hosts this week's PGA Tour stop.

"I stopped playing in the Masters in 2004, I stopped playing in the Par-3 (Contest) last year, and now it's time to end this part of my Masters career."

"I would love to go on doing it forever, but I don't have the physical capability to hit the shot the way I would want to hit it. So I’ll have to be content to watch."

Palmer, a seven-times major winner who triumphed at Augusta National in 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, was joined in the opening tee shot festivities by friends and rivals Jack Nicklaus in 2010 and Gary Player in 2012.

The 2016 Masters begins on April 7 at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine)

Arnold Palmer of the U.S. waves to the crowd as he stands on the 18th green during the Champion Golfers' Challenge tournament ahead of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 15, 2015.       REUTERS/Russell Cheyne