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Steamboat Magazine

In Your Life: Verne Lundquist bids farewell to the Masters

05/21/2024 11:23AM ● By Jennie Lay
(Photo: Verne Lundquist receives the 2016 Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports. Courtesy of Verne Lundquist / Marc Bryan Brown.)

Steamboat Springs, CO - When Verne Lundquist called the Masters Tournament this spring from Augusta, Georgia, Steamboat Springs residents were watching.

Steamboat’s favorite sportscaster, Verne put down the microphone for the final time after 40 years of broadcasting the legendary golf tournament for CBS. Tiger Woods stopped by after playing the 16th hole, where Verne was working, to shake Verne’s hand. “We’re gonna be tied at the hip forever,” Tiger quipped, because of Verne’s legendary call in 2006. “In your life, have you ever seen anything like it?” he said after Tiger’s chip at the 16h hole – oft considered the most memorable shot of his career. In case you want to revisit that milestone in golf’s history, you can find it at

Verne has been at the center of the action of several historic moments in sports, including the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan debacle at the 1994 Winter Olympics, Super Bowl XIII, when Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith dropped the ball that would have tied the game – “Bless his heart,” Verne said after the play – and the 50th Masters, when Jack Nicklaus came from behind to win – “Yes, Sir!” was Verne’s call.

Throughout his career, Verne has been an unofficial ambassador for Steamboat, often mentioning the town in his broadcasts. He fell in love with Steamboat when he learned to ski here in 1971, and he and his wife, Nancy, have lived in the Yampa Valley for four decades. Longtime community leader Rod Hanna first met Verne in 1975 and the two have been friends ever since. “I always appreciate that Verne used his platform to make his love of Steamboat known,” Rod says.

Verne stepped back from broadcasting college football games in 2016 and from college basketball in 2018. But he continued to cover golf, especially the Masters tournament, which holds a special place for Verne, who celebrated his first anniversary with Nancy in Augusta 41 years ago. “So many memorable occasions here,” Verne said.

“What a man, what a career,” said Masters chairman Fred Ridley, summing up Verne’s reputation in one simple phrase.

With that final tournament behind him, Verne is headed home to Steamboat.

“I can’t wait to sit on our deck and watch the aspens shimmering in a gentle breeze,” Verne says. “I can’t wait for many terrific evenings in the Strings Pavilion. I can’t wait to spend some time at the Steamboat Art Museum and I can’t wait to sleep late in the morning.”

Welcome home, Verne.

Editor’s note: Steamboat Magazine media editor Jennie Lay talked with Verne following the release of his book, “Play by Play,” in 2018. To read that interview, visit: