AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) _ Opening round play at the Masters is underway under sunny skies. The weather is expected to be perfect with temperatures in the mid to high 70's and light winds.

The Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player got the festivities underway with ceremonial tee shots.

2012 U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson is off to a great start with birdies on the first three holes.

Among those getting ready to tee off are defending champ Adam Scott, PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and Rory McIlroy.

A record 24 first-time Masters entrants are in the field led by three-time winner on tour Jimmy Walker and two-time winner Patrick Reed.

Conspicuous in his absence is Tiger Woods, who's is missing the tournament for the first time in 19 years after having recent back surgery.

(Photo: Rob Carr / 2014 Getty Images)