First-time honorary starter Tom Watson plays his shot from the first tee during the opening ceremony prior to the start of the Masters as fellow honorary starters Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus look on. Photo: Andrew Redington, Getty Images
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | As a dense Thursday morning mist blanketed the towering pines and a sea of green and white umbrellas huddled around the tee, five patrons deep in all directions, Tom Watson stepped up to hit what could be the first of many ceremonial tee shots at the Masters.
Before he teed up his ball, he turned around to face Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, two men who have now kicked off the Masters 24 times between them.
“I would like to say how honored I am to be here with Gary and Jack,” Watson began. “I’ve watched this ceremony many times in the past with Arnie, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson … to be a part of this thing, I am truly humbled.”
Modesty and gratitude were the tones Watson exuded Thursday as he joined a Masters tradition that dates to 1963 when Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod w...
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