CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist says farewell at final Masters: ‘It’s my honor’

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CBS broadcaster Verne Lundquist says farewell at final Masters: ‘It’s my honor’

This Masters Sunday was not just about crowning a new champion but also saying farewell to an iconic broadcaster.

Verne Lundquist, broadcasting from his usual spot at the par-3 16th, said goodbye after his final call at Augusta National. Before the tournament, Lundquist said that this year’s Masters, his 40th call at Augusta National, would be his last.

“What a scene…at this gorgeous par-3 16th hole,” Lundquist said as the final group made their way to the 16th. “What a reception for Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa.”

As Scheffler and Morikawa walked to the 16th green, the roars from the patrons grew louder. Jim Nantz, the lead broadcaster for CBS, said that the applause could be for  Lundquist in his final hole broadcasting at Augusta.

“Thrilled to be here Jim,” Lundquist said. “Absolutely thrilled.”

Scheffler birdied the 16th hole to extend his lead to four shots. Lundquist said, “Why not? Why not get in the hole?”

Lundquist, 83, broadcasted several sports throughout his storied career, including football, basketball, tennis, golf, track and field, swimming, diving and horse racing. He began his career at KTBC-TV in Austin before serving as the sports director at WFAA-TV in Dallas. He worked as the radio voice for the Dallas Cowboys for 16 seasons.

Nationally, Lundquist spent eight years at ABC Sports and three years at TNT Sports as a play-by-play broadcaster. Some of Lundquist’s assignments at TNT included NFL, NBA, golf and figure skating from 1995 to 1997.

During Lundquist’s first stint at CBS (1983 to 1985), Lundquist broadcasted NFL and NBA, while serving as the lead figure skating commentator during the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics. He also called several NCAA Tournaments, his most notable call being Christian Laettner’s “The Shot” during the 1992 Duke-Kentucky Elite Eight matchup.

From 2000 to 2016, Lundquist was the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the SEC on CBS. He had several notable calls, including the famous “Kick Six” Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama in 2013.

It was golf where Lundquist’s voice had the perfect tone and energy for the sport’s biggest moments. He’s called several Masters and PGA Championships for CBS.

At the 1986 Masters, Lundquist famously said “Yes sir!” when Jack Nicklaus birdied the par-4 17th en route to winning his sixth green jacket. He also called Tiger Woods’ chip at the par-3 16th in the 2005 Masters, one of the most famous shots in the tournament’s history.

“Oh my goodness,” Lundquist shouted. “Oh wow. In your LIFE have you ever seen anything like that?”

Fourteen years later, at the 2019 Masters, when Woods birdied the 16th hole on his way to his 15th major, Lundquist said, “I am compelled to say…Oh my goodness.”

After Woods finished the 16th hole Sunday, he went to Lundquist, who watched the five-time Masters champion from under a tree play the hole. The two shook hands.

It was a touching moment of respect from Woods to one of golf’s most recognizable voices.

As Scheffler walked toward the 17th tee, Lundquist said, “Let’s go to 17.”

Ian Baker-Finch said, “Thank you Verne for everything.”

As the broadcast went to commercial, Nantz said, “Thank you for a wonderful soundtrack for all of our lives.”

Lundquist responded with these final words: “It’s my honor.”

Required reading

(Photo: Ben Solomon / NCAA Photos via Getty Images)