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Golf: Camaraderie unites legendary Masters starters

Joking like the old friends they are and competitive as they ever were, golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer opened the 78th Masters with ceremonial tee shots Thursday. Nicklaus, whose career record 18 major titles include six at the Masters, slightly outdrove Player as the icons enjoyed the acclaim of golf fans crowded around the first tee at Augusta National in the morning cold. "I think Jack outdrove me by a yard or two, but it's not bad when you think he used to outdrive me by 50," Player said.

'Big Three' still competitive in starting Masters

By Larry Fine AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The 'Big Three' of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player showed their competitive juices still flowed after striking tee shots to launch the Masters Tournament at Augusta National on Thursday. Elder statesman Palmer, 84, a four-times Masters champion, hit a solid blow up the middle with the first ceremonial shot, before three-times winner Player, 78, outdrove him by about 50 yards up the hill some 210 yards from the tee.

Golf: Jack still says Tiger will reach 19 major wins

Jack Nicklaus still says his all-time record of 18 major titles will be eclipsed by Tiger Woods, even though the current world number one is missing this week's Masters tournament. Nicklaus told ESPN Radio on Tuesday that he thinks Woods, a 14-time major champion whose last major victory came at the 2008 US Open, will eventually capture at least 19 majors. Woods has battled an assortment of injuries in recent years, most recently back pain that required surgery last week to fix a pinched nerve.

Golf: Tiger's chances of catching Nicklaus shrinking, says Palmer

Seven-time major winner Arnold Palmer says the chances of Tiger Woods overtaking Jack Nicklaus as the all-time major title leader are shrinking as his major win drought nears six years. Speaking on the eve of the opening round of the US PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, the 84-year-old US legend noted the back spasms that caused Woods, 38, to pull out of the event on Tuesday as well as the issue of age.

Golf: Tiger's major misery extended at Oak Hill

Tiger Woods says he is unconcerned about another year passing without another major win, but his bid to break the all-time record of Jack Nicklaus is clearly in jeopardy. World number one Woods spent much of Sunday's final round of the PGA Championship touring the trees and testing the thick rough at Oak Hill's 7,163-yard layout on his way to a par-70 to finish 72 holes on four-over par 284.

Golf: Tiger's major misery extended at Oak Hill

Tiger Woods says he is unconcerned about another year passing without another major win, but his bid to break the all-time record of Jack Nicklaus is clearly in jeopardy. World number one Woods spent much of Sunday's final round of the PGA Championship touring the trees and testing the thick rough at Oak Hill's 7,163-yard layout on his way to a par-70 to finish 72 holes on four-over par 284. The 14-time major champion, chasing the record 18 major wins by Nicklaus, has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open.

Golf: More majors for Tiger, favor Phil at PGA - Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus expects Tiger Woods will move closer to his record of 18 major triumphs, but he sees British Open winner Phil Mickelson as a favorite for August's PGA Championship. Speaking in a teleconference Thursday ahead of next month's final major showdown of the year at Oak Hill, the 73-year-old golf legend said second-ranked Mickelson has sealed his place among the sport's all-time greats after winning a fifth major title last week at Muirfield.

Nicklaus expects more major wins for Tiger, lauds Mickelson

By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - Jack Nicklaus remains convinced that Tiger Woods will end his five-year title drought at the majors but says that not enough credit has been given to the players who have triumphed in golf's big four events during that time. Nicklaus was hugely impressed by Phil Mickelson's stunning three-shot victory in last week's British Open at Muirfield and has marked the American left-hander out as the favorite for next month's PGA Championship, the last of the season's majors.

Many favourites for Nicklaus at the Masters

By Larry Fine AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - After having the thrill of winning the Masters a record six times, Jack Nicklaus does not get terribly excited about joining Arnold Palmer and Gary Player to hit the ceremonial first shots at the tournament. "We kid around with each other," Nicklaus, 73, said about his annual reunion with the other members of golf's 'Big Three'.

Golf: Time running out for Tiger, says Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus says 14-time major winner Tiger Woods needs to win this week's 77th Masters or it will be "a lot tougher for him" to overtake Nicklaus' all-time record of 18 major titles. Speaking just before both of them attended the Champions Dinner at Augusta National, the 73-year-old golf legend who won six Masters titles said he still thinks 37-year-old Woods will break his career record. "I've said it, and continue to say, that I still expect him to break my record," Nicklaus said. "I think he's just too talented, too driven and too focused on that."
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