Out of all the beautiful tributes to Arnold Palmer this week from Augusta National, this might be best of all.
CBS aired a special to Arnold Palmer before the final-round telecast started Sunday. And the highlight was the below interview in which Jim Nantz asked The King for his reflections from his time at the Masters.
The interview took place in Butler Cabin last year following the first-tee ceremony -- the last time Arnie would set foot at Augusta National.
It's an extremely emotional, well-done piece by Nantz and the entire CBS crew, and The King provides some great storytelling. Take a look.
Nantz offered some insight into the interview with Arnie and how it came about in a conference call last week.
"I had said to him a couple times leading up to the tournament week that, if you felt up to it, and you wanted to come down to Butler Cabin, it’d be fun one more time just to kind of update what we’ve done in the past and sit down and talk about your history at Augusta," Nantz described on the call. "So he said, ‘Oh, that’d be great. Let’s wait until that day comes around and see how I’m feeling. So I’m in the clubhouse after the opening-tee shot ceremony, just sitting around a table that included Kit [Palmer], Alastair Johnston (chairman of Arnold Palmer Enterprises), Johnny Harris from Charlotte, and Tim Finchem. And Arnie looked at me and said, ‘What do you think?’ So I said, ‘It’s totally up to you—no pressure. If it’s something you want to do, let’s do it.’ And he looked at me and gave me that Arnie thumbs-up and said, ‘Let’s do it.'
"But I have to tell you, as soon as the lights came on, and the first question was presented to him about showing up to Augusta in 1955, it was as if he had suddenly turned back the clock. And you could just see it on his face; you’ve seen footage of him sitting on the first tee earlier that morning last year. But when the lights came on in Butler Cabin, Arnold was on. We had 24 minutes in all of content recorded there, of which, most of it will make the air. And it’s just, like I said, Arnold understood what we were doing. He knew how to handle it delicately, and that one day, it would air at the right time."
And thanks to CBS and Nantz, and most importantly, great recollections from Mr. Palmer, we have this incredible interview.
Thanks for the memories, Arnie. They'll last forever.