Tom Watson: Two-time Masters winner joins Jack Nicklaus & Gary Player as honorary starter


Tom Watson competes in the 1982 Masters at Augusta National, alongside his caddie
As well as his two Masters titles, Watson won five Open Championships and one US Open

Tom Watson has been named as an honorary starter at the Masters, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

The 72-year-old American won the Masters in 1977 and 1981, two of eight majors in a glittering career.

Watson will take part in the ceremonial opening tee shot at the tournament scheduled for 7-10 April at Augusta, a tradition which began in 1963.

“I am greatly honoured to join my friends and fellow competitors, Jack and Gary,” Watson said.

The Watson-Nicklaus rivalry produced some epic spectacles at majors, with Watson beating the six-time winner Nicklaus by two shots in 1977 to take the first of his Green Jackets.

“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,” said Watson.

“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.

“Augusta National in April is one of my favourite places to be, with many fond memories of both watching the Masters as a youngster and then competing in the tournament for so many years.”

As well as his two victories at Augusta, Watson also finished runner-up on three occasions, and made his last competitive start at the Masters in 2016, some 45 years after he first joined the PGA Tour.

Nicklaus and Player had traditionally been joined as honorary starters by fellow legend Arnold Palmer, until Palmer’s death in 2016.

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