The Masters ceremonial first tee shot appears to have become a heavyweight bout between two legends as opposed to a friendly gathering. As you may recall, a couple weeks ago, Gary Player fired a shot at Jack Nicklaus over social media about outdriving him on the first tee of Augusta Thursday morning. However, the Golden Bear awoke from hibernation and enlisted the services of one of the longest drivers in the game today, Rory McIlroy.
While McIlroy is usually the one asking Jack for advice on completing the career grand slam, it was the 18-time major winner who got a technology lesson from the savvy millennial this time around. Let’s face it, these aren’t persimmon woods anymore!
“I adjusted his driver for him because he’s trying to hit it longer than Gary Thursday morning,” McIlroy said on Tuesday during his Masters press conference. “I told him, if he hits it longer than Gary, I want a mention because I adjusted the weight in his driver.”
McIlroy said he kept hitting it left, so he made a little tweak, and like magic, Nicklaus started hitting a little fade.
“I was like, ‘perfect, there you go,’” McIlroy said. “It’s amazing how competitive he still is. It’s unbelievable.”
Naturally, Player received word of the “collusion” fairly quickly and put Rory on blast!
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) April 4, 2017
On Thursday, the Masters officially got under way with an emotional tribute to Arnold Palmer (starts at 1:06):
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) April 6, 2017
Then in the main event, Nicklaus edged Player by a few yards off the tee (thanks in part to Rory). What a way to open up the year’s first major!
Rory’s adjustments to Jack Nicklaus’s driver pays off as he hits it about 5 yards beyond Gary Player in honorary starter duel #Masters
— Phil Casey (@pcaseysafc) April 6, 2017
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