Verne Lundquist’s Final Masters: Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley Pays Tribute To CBS Sports Legend

For the CBS Sports veteran and Masters legend, the 2024 Masters will be his last after four decades behind the mic

Verne Lundquist talks to the media prior to the 2019 PGA Championship
Verne Lundquist is broadcasting in his last Masters after 40 years
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before any edition of The Masters, the prospect of the stories about to be written is hugely anticipated.

The build-up to the 2024 tournament was no different – would Rory McIlroy finally complete a career Grand Slam? Is this the year a LIV golfer will win? Will Tiger Woods roll back the years and create one more moment of Augusta National magic with a sixth title?

However, where one long-running Masters story is concerned, the ending was known in advance. Back in November 2022, legend of the CBS Sports golf broadcast team Verne Lundquist announced his coverage of the 2024 Masters will “likely be my last.”

Lundquist, who has become ubiquitous with the tournament over the last four decades and is known for some of the most famous calls ever made, has stayed true to his word. Now 83 years old, one of the most familiar voices in sport is bowing out after this year’s event.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley gave a moving tribute to Lundquist ahead of the tournament and referenced perhaps his two most famous calls of all time - appropriately involving arguably the game’s two greatest players.

“I still get chills when hearing the famous calls by an incredible Verne Lundquist of two of the most iconic Sunday moments in Masters history,” began Ridley.

“Jack Nicklaus in 1986, with putter raised following a crucial putt into the hole on No. 17 on his way to his sixth Masters title; and in 2005 Tiger Woods' unbelievable pitch shot on No. 16, which catapulted him to his fourth Green Jacket.

“Who could forget the drama as Tiger's ball stopped momentarily and then fell into the hole? You're right, Verne, we have not seen anything like that.”

Lundquist joined the network in 1983 and became known for far more than his coverage of The Masters. Over the years, he lent his unmistakable “golden voice” to over 20 sports, including college football and NCAA basketball.

He was also the lead play-by-play announcer for figure skating at the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Winter Olympics and occasionally worked with lead analyst John Madden on the broadcaster’s NFL coverage.

That’s an impressive resume, but will it be those events that his name is forever associated with? Not likely. But The Masters? In Lundquist’s own words, as Nicklaus’ ball rolled towards the penultimate hole that would give him the outright lead in 1986: “Yes, sir.”  

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.