This year's occasion was an emotionally charged one that saw that same white chair placed next to the tee box, along with Palmer's Green Jacket from one of his four Masters victories laid on top of it.
Less than six months later, he was gone.
Masters 2017 - how do I find out the tee times?
Johnson was an 11-2 favorite to win the Masters entering Wednesday, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. They were best of friends off the course and hated losing to one another on the course.
"It still hurts so bad that he is not here with us", Payne said early Thursday morning, nervousness now cast aside.
Jordan Spieth is expected to be among Johnson's main rivals as he looks to banish memories of last year's spectacular final-day collapse by winning his second Masters. "I'd say more discouraged".
As the 2015 champion, Spieth got to pick the menu for the annual dinner attended by past winners. "I told him if he hits it longer than Gary I want a mention because I adjusted the weight in his driver". "It was a tremendous honor to have Mr. Palmer there, and it was certainly emotional".
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The 22-year-old from Hampshire is over the back of the first and takes five shots to get up and down, carding a triple bogey on his first ever Masters hole.
Former champion Jordan Spieth fared even worse in Amen Corner a year ago after blowing a five-shot advantage with just nine holes to play.
For Nicklaus, it will be a bittersweet moment when he steps to the first tee just after sunrise without Palmer by his side.
Winkle said he would not have any further comment until he knew more about Johnson's condition.
"I think it was Arnold who took it to that. I appreciated it very much". He owns 14 major titles overall, second all-time behind Jack Nicklaus (18). Their wives did, too.
The Masters event is the biggest one on the PGA Tour.
"I'm really not hitting it as well as I would like, so whether or not my confidence level is where it should be, I'm not sure", said Matsuyama, who finished fifth in the 2015 Masters and shared seventh place previous year. The same goes for Augusta's digital platforms and printed publications.
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She mentioned that Brad married a lunatic. 'I wonder why he needed to self-medicate. As if she's sitting around caring about [Angelina Jolie].
"Right now he's playing with so much confidence", Andy North, a two-time U.S. Open victor who is now an analyst for ESPN, said before learning of the injury.
The winds are picking up at Augusta National, and it's reflected on the scoreboard.
"The weather is going to come in and that's going to magnify the misses for a lot of players", Mickelson said.
Last year, the pair had done so with Augusta legend Arnold Palmer watching from his wheelchair. "He had a profound influence on my life".
It was the first Masters since 1954 without four-time champion Arnold Palmer, who died in September.
He'll always be the King around this place.
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