AUGUSTA, Ga. — Two-time Masters champion and Kansas City native Tom Watson will tee off the 2022 Masters alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as Honorary Starters.
Watson won two green jackets in 1977 and 1981 before retiring in 2019. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
“I am honored that Tom has accepted our invitation,” said Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. “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.”
Watson made his Masters debut as an amateur in 1970 and holds 58 subpar rounds, second only to Nicklaus.
“Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be,” Watson said.
Watson holds the record for most consecutive tournaments with a least one subpar round with 21.
During his two tournament wins, he battled to the end with Nicklaus and placed the famous green jacket on Player in his third win.
“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.
“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.”
Watson, Nicklaus and Player will continue the Honorary Starters tradition that began in 1963 on April 7 to tee off the 86th Masters Tournament.