"Oh wow" Verne!

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Long-time Masters announcer calls 40th and final Masters today. M. James Ward reviews his most memorable calls at Augusta.
Posted on
April 14, 2024
by
M. James Ward in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

AUGUSTA, GA. Television announcers play a role in any sports event. But the central key to that involvement is being an enhancement to what is actually happening.

Far too many announcers actually raise their profile at a sporting event and take on too much of a role.

The actual storyline is the players and the event.

Long-time Executive Producer Frank Chirkinian was the major domo for CBS-Sports (1959-1996) in covering the Masters. The sharp-tongued stickler for details passed in 2011 but was famous for lecturing announcers to keep silent and allow the camera to sell what the action has created.

Verne Lundquist fit into that role perfectly.

The Hall-of-Fame announcer is calling his 40th and final Masters today.

The 83-year-old has been the lead observer at different holes during his tenure but will wrap-up with his call today at the par-3 16th.

Two of the most notable calls from Lundquist came during two of the most memorable Masters.

For Lundquist the call he provided during the 6th and final Masters win by Jack Nicklaus in 1986 stands apart.

The 46-year-old golfer was making a late Sunday charge and when he reached the penultimate hole it was Lundquist adding just the right touch as a 20-foot birdie putt fell into the hole – "Yes sir!"

Another happened 19 years later in 2005 when Tiger Woods was attempting to secure his 4th green jacket in a close competition with Chris DiMarco.

Woods hit his approach to the par-3 16th just off the back of the putting surface. The camera provided a wider picture of what Tiger faced.

The chip shot was played to the far left of the hole and as the ball kept rolling closer and closer the camera zoomed in on the ball with Lundquist adding "here it comes." As the ball appeared on the correct line to the hole the camera panned in even more so with - Lundquist stating "oh my goodness."

Just as it appeared the ball would stop on the edge of the cup – it tumbled into the hole for an amazing birdie and Lundquist amplified his voice – "Oh wow!"

The excitement of the moment was deafening. As Tiger neared the cup to retrieve the ball Lundquist added one perfect postscript moment --

"In your life have you ever seen anything like that?"

And then a final - "This guy is pretty good."

Scottie saves his round - and tournament

Verne Lundquist came of an age when announcers knew the role they played - serving merely as a support function. The cameras provide the viewers with the raw emotion on the faces of the players - the challenges presented and the outcomes they produce.

There are only two words I can add to what is certainly a memorable career for Verne.

"Oh wow."

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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