Tom Watson honoured by Augusta Masters

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson

Augusta National has announced that Tom Watson, the two-time Masters champion, will join six-time champion Jack Nicklaus and three-time champion Gary Player as honorary starters at the 2022 Masters in April.

“I am honoured that Tom has accepted our invitation,” Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley said. “I look forward to commemorating his love for the game and impact on the Masters with his millions of fans across the globe as he hits a tee shot alongside two of the Tournament’s other all-time greats, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.”

Over the course of his career Watson made 42 consecutive appearances at Augusta National, winning the tournament in 1977 and 1981, with Nicklaus finishing second both times. Only Nicklaus has more total rounds under-par, though Watson holds the record for most consecutive years – 21 – with at least one under-par score. Watson’s 72.74 scoring average is also the fifth best in tournament history.

 “​​Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be,” Watson said in response to being named an honorary starter. “With the many fond memories of both watching the Masters as a youngster and then competing in the tournament for so many years, I am greatly honored to join my friends and fellow competitors, Jack and Gary, as an Honorary Starter in this upcoming Masters. In both of my victories, Jack was on my heels. And when Gary won his third tournament in 1978, I was there to help him put on the green jacket. Moments like those stand out in my career, and the opportunity to share the Honorary Starter tradition with Jack, Gary and the Masters patrons will be very special.”

Photo – UPI

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