WATCH: Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson hit ceremonial opening tee shots at the Masters

The 2022 Masters officially started Thursday morning, but not before the ceremonial opening tee shots were struck.

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Masters Thursday is officially here.

The pageantry of the early week is behind us, and competition for the green jacket has officially begun. But before the action started, there was one last tradition to observe — the ceremonial opening tee shots.

The ceremonial opening tee shots began in 1963 and have been an annual tradition in the nearly 60 years since. Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod hit the first ceremonial opening tee shots, and other legends of the game such as Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Ken Venturi, Arnold Palmer and Lee Elder have taken part since.

This year, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player assumed their annual roles in striking ceremonial opening tee shots, while two-time Masters winner Tom Watson joined them for the first time.

“I would like to say how honored I am to be with Gary and Jack,” Watson said. “I’ve watched his ceremony many times in the past … To be part of this, I’m truly humbled.”

Check out below for videos of all three men sending their tee balls down Augusta National’s 1st fairway.

Jack Nicklaus

Gary Player

Tom Watson

The Masters is officially underway.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.