Arnie and Jack – it just sounds right

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus at Augusta National in 1973.

The announcement that Jack Nicklaus will join Arnold Palmer as Masters honorary starter was at once inevitable and appropriate. Perhaps no two golf names go together like Arnie and Jack. That’s certainly the case at Augusta National. They not only have won a combined 10 green jackets, their dominance elevated the tournament’s stature during the early years of the television era.

Palmer and Nicklaus have been rivals, friends and ambassadors. For sure we’ll see the latter two elements on the first tee at Augusta. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the rivalry part as they swing drivers that Thursday, even though they’ll be 80 and 70, respectively.

Does the competitive gene ever completely die? Hasn’t each proud man always tried to drive longer and straighter than the other?

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