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Broadcaster Verne Lundquist says emotional goodbye to Masters

3 Min Read


Verne Lundquist ends his broadcasting career in his traditional spot on the 16th hole at Augusta National. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Verne Lundquist ends his broadcasting career in his traditional spot on the 16th hole at Augusta National. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

    Written by Staff, PGATOUR.COM

    Sunday at the Masters is about who will don the green jacket. This one was also about Verne Lundquist.

    The esteemed CBS broadcaster made his final Masters call Sunday afternoon, his 40th and final Masters on the mic. Lundquist, 83, has voiced several iconic moments at Augusta National, including Tiger Woods' chip-in birdie from behind the par-3 16th green in the 2005 final round, en route to a playoff victory over Chris DiMarco.

    The moment wasn't lost on Lundquist, whose dulcet tones have grown synonymous with the Masters’ storied history.

    "When I leave here on Sunday, I'll have nine billion memories, and a choked-up voice,” Lundquist told ESPN earlier this week.

    Lundquist made his final call at No. 16 for Sunday's final pairing of winner Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa, after which play-by-play commentator Jim Nantz offered a tribute amidst soft music and slow-motion shots of Scheffler walking to glory.

    "Verne wrote a book back in 2018 called "Play by Play," and the last line in the book that you wrote, Verne, I’m going to apply it to you. You said thanks, to borrow a phrase, thanks for the memories. Your voice has been a beautiful instrument. Thank you for a wonderful soundtrack for all of our lives," Nantz said.

    A clearly emotional Lundquist responded with brevity: "Thank you so much, Jim. My honor. My privilege."

    Woods and Lundquist shared a moment Sunday afternoon as Woods played No. 16, a testament to the five-time green jacket winner’s high esteem for the broadcaster.

    “I’ve heard that call a couple times,” Woods quipped earlier this week, before turning serious. “That's what I grew up watching. I grew up listening to Verne. He has just an amazing ability to bring in the audience and describe a situation and just be able to narrate it in a way that is poetic but it's also – he describes it with emotionality. He just draws the audience in. It's amazing.

    “And he made a nice call there at (hole) 16, and it's one that I've been lucky enough to … I will have that memory with Verne for the rest of my life.”

    Lundquist worked nationally for ABC Sports from 1974 to 1981, CBS from 1982 to 1995, and TNT from 1995 to 1997, before returning to CBS from 1998 to 2016. He spent a decade-plus as the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys, and he has covered everything from the NFL, NBA and Olympics to college football, basketball and even the game show “Bowling for Dollars.” He was lead play-by-play announcer for SEC football on CBS from 2000 to 2016, before retiring from college football broadcasting.

    The Masters has been a constant. Lundquist took the mic at Augusta National in 1983, and he maintained the role aside from a two-year hiatus in 1997-98. His first Masters assignment was on the par-5 13th hole, the final leg of Amen Corner, and he was assigned to the 17th-hole tower for 1986 – after longtime 17th-hole announcer Frank Glieber, a close friend, died of a heart attack in 1985. Lundquist eventually moved to the tower at No. 16, the picturesque par 3 known as Redbud with water guarding the green’s left side and a mid-green ridge that tends to funnel balls toward a traditional Sunday hole location tucked near the water’s edge.

    Augusta National’s par-3 16th tower was a fitting place for Lundquist’s Masters career to conclude, where he punctuated Scheffler's 10-foot birdie Sunday that extended his lead to four strokes, en route to his second green jacket.

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