Arnie's ceremonial tee shot to mark 50 years

Arnold Palmer's ceremonial tee shot this year at Augusta National to open the 2014 Masters will mark the 50th anniversary of his last win in a major (Palmer shown here in 2012).

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ORLANDO, Fla. – If it seems like every year is an Arnold Palmer anniversary of some sort or another at the Masters, you’re not far off. This year, Palmer is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his last of four green jackets, which also turned out to be his final of seven major titles.

“Well, of course you never think you’re going to be at your last stop, but it was great,” Palmer recalled on a conference call Thursday. “I suppose that psychologically I had accomplished maybe more than I even realized by winning the Masters and walking up the 18th hole comfortably. That was something that was truly great for me.”

Palmer is preparing to reprise his role hitting a ceremonial tee shot as one of the three starters at the Masters with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on April 9. During his annual press conference at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Palmer mentioned that after the Masters he was planning to undergo a minor back procedure to help alleviate pain and get him back on the golf course more frequently. Asked if his back was going to hold up for his duties at the Masters, Palmer said, “For one swing it will be all right.” And he laughed.

“I’ve been practicing and I’m a little sore,” he added. “I hit a lot of balls yesterday.”

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