Golf’s Big Three


Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player got the Masters Tournament off to a good start Thursday as honorary starters. Earlier, the trio was asked if there’s a current-day Big Three in their minds.

Arnold Palmer said: “I think Gary and Jack and myself, we did a lot of television golf and that’s how the big three kind of got that name. And of course the record here at Augusta is part of it, too. But the fact that we were together competing against each other in the early days of television had a lot to do with the whole thing.”

Jack Nicklaus said: “There’s a lot more players today. I think all of us probably agree that Tiger is still the dominant force in the game even though he’s struggled up until a couple weeks ago. But there are a lot of other players that are awfully good. You pick Rory and Keegan and you go right on down the list, and Phil and you’ve got a lot of very, very good players today.

Gary Player answered: “You definitely have two of the big three today, and that’s Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The third one, I don’t know who that would be. And I think time will sort that out.

But Jack and Arnold and myself, we won over 350 golf tournaments in our lives, and we won 56 major championships counting regular and senior tour. So it was done over a certain amount of time. So I think to be fair to these golfers, you’ve got to give them more time to sort out who will be the eventual big three.”