2022 Masters: Tom Watson joins Jack Nicklaus, Gary Participant as honorary starter at Augusta Nationwide

The group of honorary starters on the Masters is increasing. Beginning on the 2022 event, Tom Watson will be a part of Jack Nicklaus and Gary Participant on the primary tee at Augusta Nationwide to get the 86th version of the occasion underway by hitting the opening ceremonial tee pictures.

Watson, a two-time Masters champion (1977, 1981) and eight-time main winner, performed in 42 straight Masters (1975-2016) and completed within the prime 10 on the leaderboard 15 occasions. Extremely, his most up-to-date prime 20 end was in 2010 when he completed T18 behind Phil Mickelson, who went on to win his third inexperienced jacket.

Watson is simply the fifth honorary starter since 2002 and eleventh total in Masters historical past. From 2010-16, Nicklaus, Participant and Arnold Palmer served within the position till Palmer died simply earlier than the 2016 Ryder Cup. Final yr, Nicklaus and Participant have been joined by Lee Elder, who was the primary Black man to play within the Masters (coincidentally in 1975, Watson’s first Masters as a professional). Elder died this previous yr, once more opening an honorary starter spot.

“I’m honored that Tom has accepted our invitation,” Augusta Nationwide chairman Fred Ridley stated in an announcement. “I sit up for commemorating his love for the sport and influence on the Masters along with his hundreds of thousands of followers throughout the globe as he hits a tee shot alongside two of the Match’s different all-time greats, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Participant.”

Watson is a lion within the sport. He is accomplished all of it.

Along with his two inexperienced jackets, Watson received a U.S. Open at Pebble Seashore and Open Championships at Carnoustie, Muirfield, Royal Birkdale, Royal Troon and Turnberry. He almost received the 2009 Open at Turnberry once more on the age of 59. Watson performed on 4 Ryder Cup groups and captained two others. He received 39 occasions, spanning from 1974-98.

Changing into an honorary starter at Augusta Nationwide is probably not the foremost achievement on his resume (it’s a comparatively new custom), however when you possibly can throw your title up there with Nicklaus, Palmer, Participant, Elder, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen, that is an enormous deal.

“Augusta Nationwide in April is one in all my favourite locations to be,” Watson stated in an announcement. “With the numerous fond recollections of each watching the Masters as a teenager after which competing within the Match for therefore a few years, I’m drastically honored to affix my pals and fellow opponents, Jack and Gary, as an honorary starter on this upcoming Masters.

“In each of my victories, Jack was on my heels. And when Gary received his third event in 1978, I used to be there to assist him placed on the inexperienced jacket. Moments like these stand out in my profession, and the chance to share the honorary starter custom with Jack, Gary and the Masters patrons can be very particular.”

The 2022 Masters will happen from April 7-10 with weekend protection airing reside throughout CBS Sports activities.

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