ARNOLD Palmer was well enough to be at Augusta yesterday, two weeks after being hospitalised. The 82-year-old missed presenting Tiger Woods with the trophy from his own tournament at Bay Hill on 25 March because of high blood pressure.
Palmer was expected to be at the annual Masters champions dinner last night and to act as honorary starter with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player tomorrow.
That involves hitting a ceremonial opening drive each at 7.40am local time before retiring to the clubhouse.
Palmer also had the opportunity to take part in today’s nine-hole par 3 competition, but that remained to be seen.
Meanwhile, Dustin Johnson withdrew from the Masters last night because of a lingering back injury that he aggravated while lifting a jet ski last week, his agent said.
Johnson, a five-time PGA Tour winner who is No 12 in the world, described the injury as a “tweaked back” on Twitter. “You have no idea how much I wanted to walk the fairways at Augusta and fulfil what I’ve been practising for!!” he tweeted. Johnson, 27, has come close to winning every major except the Masters. He tied for second alongside Phil Mickelson and behind Darren Clarke at last year’s Open at Royal St George’s.