Tom Watson Gary Player Jack Nicklaus

Tom Watson will tee off alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as one of the three honorary starters at this year’s Masters. Photo: Twitter @TheMasters

Tom Watson to join Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus as honorary Masters starters

Tom Watson will tee off alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as one of the three honorary starters at this year’s Masters.

Tom Watson Gary Player Jack Nicklaus

Tom Watson will tee off alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as one of the three honorary starters at this year’s Masters. Photo: Twitter @TheMasters

Two-time Augusta champion Tom Watson will tee off alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as one of the three honorary starters at this year’s Masters, tournament organisers said on Tuesday.

READ | CHRISTIAAN BEZUIDENHOUT RECEIVES INVITE TO THE MASTERS

The 72-year-old, winner of the Masters in 1977 and 1981, will get the 86th edition of the major under way on 7 April, Augusta National chairperson Fred Ridley said.

Tom Watson has a long history with the Masters, making his debut in the event as an amateur in 1970 before making 42 consecutive starts at Augusta between 1975 and 2016.

READ | SUNSHINE TOUR CONFIRMS BUMPER SCHEDULE FOR 2022

As well as his two victories, Watson finished runner-up on three occasions and posted 15 top-10 finishes in total.

‘I’m greatly honoured’ – Tom Watson

His 58 sub-par rounds at Augusta are second only to Nicklaus, who holds the record with 71.

“Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be,” Tom Watson said in a statement.

“I am greatly honoured to join my friends and fellow competitors, Jack and Gary, as an Honorary Starter in this upcoming Masters.”