April 20, 2024

Nobody is bigger than the Masters.


Not Scottie Scheffler, not Tiger Woods … and certainly not the guy paid to speak about both of them from a tiny tent off the right side of the 16th green.


But on Sunday afternoon at the 2024 Masters, Verne Lundquist was the show, or at least enough of the show to generate a healthy amount of attention from the folks watching the action at Augusta National from home. And the reason for that? Well, it was his final show, after some 40 Masters in the booth for CBS.


Lundquist, as perhaps you know by now, is one of the voices of this generation in professional sports thanks to a career calling the SEC and Masters for CBS Sports. He has been the voice behind a wave of iconic sports memories, including the most famous moment of Tiger Woods’ Masters career: the 16th-hole chip-in in 2005 that resulted in Woods’ Nike-logoed ball dripping over the side of the hole and Verne uttering the most famous words of his golf broadcasting career.


“In your LIFE have you seen anything like that?!”


Woods would win all five of his green jackets with Lundquist in the tower above, and no moment would eclipse that famed sendoff in 2005 — not even Verne’s other famed Masters’ call, Jack Nicklaus’ “Yes Sir!” in 1986. But that wouldn’t stop the CBS Sports broadcaster from becoming a beloved fixture of Masters’ telecasts over the years, or from celebrating a fitting swan song with his final broadcast in the booth last weekend.


Golf fans who were watching the telecast on the Masters app early on Sunday morning know this well. They were treated to perhaps the most revealing piece of that swan song: when Verne waited near the side of the 16th green for Woods, the counterpart to so many of his Masters memories, to arrive.


Lundquist was spotted just behind a massive oak tree to the right side of the 16th green waiting for Woods, and then again a few seconds later, when cameras captured the two of them sharing a handshake and a few kind words before Woods departed off for the rest of his round.


It seemed the conversation would be lost to the sands of time, with no microphones or reporters near, but in a post-Masters appearance on the Steam Room podcast with Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley on Monday morning, Lundquist revealed exactly what was shared between the two legends.


“I ventured down to 16 and he was playing 14 at the time and he was having a horrible day,” Lundquist said. “But even though he was five over, he walked off the green at 16 and as he approached, I just said, ‘Tiger, thank you.’ He reached over and shook my hand and we chatted.”


Lundquist thanked Woods for what he’d said during a press conference on tournament Tuesday, when the 15-time major champ called Verne “poetic.”


Woods responded with eight words of his own.


“He said, ‘We’re gonna be tied at the hip forever,’” Verne said. “Because of that shot and because of what I said.”


It was a small moment — a touching gesture — and one that the departing voice of the Masters won’t ever forget.


“The thing I most treasure about it…” Lundquist said. “He went over and teed off at 17, I was still standing under the tree. And as he walked down the 17th fairway, he just looked over and gave me a thumbs up. I will treasure that forever.”


That moment would not make it into the CBS broadcast, but it wouldn’t need to, either. Everyone in the golf world knew exactly how Tiger felt. And more importantly, they knew why.


It could be summed up in the way they felt when they heard Lundquist’s most famous three words:


Oh … my … goodness.

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