sunny.png
Wednesday May 18th, 2022 12:44PM

Watson to be honorary Masters starter with Nicklaus, Player

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Six years after Tom Watson played the Masters for the 43rd time, the two-time champion returns in April to hit the ceremonial tee shot alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

Watson, who held off Nicklaus in his Masters victories in 1977 and 1981, becomes the 11th player to be an honorary starter dating to 1963.

All but four of them were Masters champions, including Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to complete in the Masters in 1975. Elder was invited to be a one-time honorary starter last year, though his health kept him from swinging a club.

While the club was not specific, Watson is likely to be a regular on the first tee each Thursday morning, a simple act that draws thousands of fans around the tee and spilling down both sides of the fairway.

A generation behind the “Big Three” of Palmer, Nicklaus and Player, Watson was the next great one in golf. He won eight majors in his Hall of Fame career, all but the PGA Championship. His best moments were with Nicklaus, beating the Golden Bear twice for a green jacket, chipping in to beat him at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Open and and winning the fabled “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry in the 1977 British Open.

He played his first Masters in 1970 as an amateur, and then returned in 1974 after winning the Western Open for the first of his 39 PGA Tour victories. Watson never missed another Masters until playing the last time in 2016.

“Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be,” Watson said in a statement. “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."

Watson said competing with Nicklaus and helping Player into the green jacket when the South African won for the third time in 1978 are moments that stand out in his career.

Nicklaus, the six-time Masters champion, has been an honorary starter since 2010, while Player started in 2012.

Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod started in 1963. Others were Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen, and then Arnold Palmer. Also, Ken Venturi filled in one year when Nelson couldn't make it.

___

For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Watson to be honorary Masters starter with Nicklaus, Player
Tom Watson is returning to the first tee at the Masters as an honorary starter
11:33AM ( 2 minutes ago )
Suit highlights suburban unease with addiction centers
A Chicago-based addiction treatment center has filed a federal lawsuit to force one suburb to stop blocking its plans to set up a new treatment branch
11:28AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Grand Ole Opry under fire for Morgan Wallen performance
The Grand Ole Opry, country music's most historic and storied stage, is getting heavy criticism for an appearance by troubled country star Morgan Wallen
11:28AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Column: Georgia wipes away 41 years of frustration
After 41 agonizing years, the Georgia Bulldogs were not about to let another championship slip through their fingertips
10:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
Djokovic back into swing in Australia, visa questions linger
Novak Djokovic has held a practice session, a day after he left immigration detention, focusing on defending his Australian Open title even while he still faces the prospect of deportation because he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19
8:42AM ( 2 hours ago )
Djokovic back into swing in Australia despite visa concerns
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has held a practice session at Melbourne Park on his second day out of detention, focusing on his Australian Open title defense while still facing the prospect of deportation because he’s not vaccinated for COVID-19
3:57AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Sports
Smith sets PGA Tour record and outlasts Rahm at Kapalua
Cameron Smith got the new year off to a record start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions
9:45PM ( 1 day ago )
Rahm, Smith pull away at Kapalua on day of record scoring
Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith are putting on a record scoring show at Kapalua
10:35PM ( 2 days ago )
Smith recovers from early wobble for 3-shot lead at Kapalua
Cameron Smith was going the wrong direction at Kapalua
10:29PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Online Golf
Author Kwame Alexander to launch new trilogy this fall
A trilogy by award-winning children’s author Kwame Alexander that tells the saga of an African family begins this fall with “The Door of No Return.”
10:43AM ( 52 minutes ago )
Michael Lang, Woodstock festival co-creator, dies at 77
A co-creator and promoter of the 1969 Woodstock music festival that served as a touchstone for generations of music fans, Michael Lang has died
9:17PM ( 14 hours ago )
Report: Bob Saget found dead lying in hotel bed, no trauma
Comedian and actor Bob Saget was found dead lying face up on his bed in a luxury hotel room in Florida with no signs of trauma
8:41PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Bob Saget, beloved TV dad of 'Full House,' dead at 65
Bob Saget, a comedian and actor best known for his role on the sitcom “Full House,” has died
8:01AM ( 1 day ago )
Comedians, friends, co-stars react to death of Bob Saget
Bob Saget, the comedian and actor known for his role as a widower raising a trio of daughters in the sitcom “Full House,” was found dead Sunday in Florida
12:50AM ( 1 day ago )
Golden Globe Awards carry on, without stars or a telecast
Even though NBC dropped the 2022 Golden Globe Awards, the embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Association proceeded with its 79th edition Sunday night without a telecast, nominees, a red carpet, a host, press or even a livestream
11:03PM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
The Latest: Georgia beats Alabama 33-18 for national title
Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes to lead Georgia to a 33-18 win over Alabama for its first national championship in 41 years
12:00AM ( 11 hours ago )
The Latest: Long TD pass puts Georgia ahead again
Stetson Bennett’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell has given Georgia a 19-18 lead over Alabama in the national championship game
11:32PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Alabama takes lead after fumble upheld by replay
Alabama regained the lead in the national championship game with its first touchdown, thanks to a nonchalant-looking fumble recovery and Bryce Young’s short touchdown pass to Cameron Latu
11:20PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Sports - PGA
Suit highlights suburban unease with addiction centers
A Chicago-based addiction treatment center has filed a federal lawsuit to force one suburb to stop blocking its plans to set up a new treatment branch
11:28AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Grand Ole Opry under fire for Morgan Wallen performance
The Grand Ole Opry, country music's most historic and storied stage, is getting heavy criticism for an appearance by troubled country star Morgan Wallen
11:28AM ( 7 minutes ago )
UK's Johnson accused of breaking lockdown with garden party
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a wave of public and political outrage over allegations that he and his staff flouted coronavirus lockdown rules by holding a garden party in 2020 while Britons were barred by law from meeting up with more than one person outside their households
11:17AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Georgia, Tide, Michigan, Cincinnati, Baylor top final Top 25
Georgia is No. 1 in the final Associated Press college football poll of the season after winning its second national title by beating Alabama
11:06AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Brrr! Some schools close as extreme cold grips US Northeast
A mass of arctic air swept into the Northeast, bringing bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures and closing schools across the region for the second time in less than a week
11:03AM ( 32 minutes ago )