Today marked the first Masters without the presence of Arnold Palmer in more than sixty years. That absence was as much a part of Augusta this morning as were the strong winds and overcast skies. Augusta Chairman Billy Payne escorted Kit Palmer to the first tee and then shared some beautiful remarks to note the occasion as Mr. Palmer’s former longtime friends and rivals watched and listened, their eyes glistening with emotion. Current players like Rickie Fowler were there was well, fighting to hold back their own tears. Fowler’s presence was a link to Mr. Palmer, a link to golfing past and golfing present. (I was blessed to have given my son an opportunity to meet young Mr. Fowler, a player who represents the game as Arnold Palmer did – with equal parts dignity and passion.)
For those who love golf, or simply respect the long and storied American success story that was Arnold Palmer, this is a video you will want to see.