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The group of honorary starters at the Masters is expanding. Starting at the 2022 tournament, Tom Watson will join Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on the first tee at Augusta National to get the 86th edition of the event underway by hitting the opening ceremonial tee shots.

Watson, a two-time Masters champion (1977, 1981) and eight-time major winner, played in 42 straight Masters (1975-2016) and finished in the top 10 on the leaderboard 15 times. Incredibly, his most recent top 20 finish was in 2010 when he finished T18 behind Phil Mickelson, who went on to win his third green jacket.

Watson is just the fifth honorary starter since 2002 and 11th overall in Masters history. From 2010-16, Nicklaus, Player and Arnold Palmer served in the role until Palmer died just before the 2016 Ryder Cup. Last year, Nicklaus and Player were joined by Lee Elder, who was the first Black man to play in the Masters (coincidentally in 1975, Watson's first Masters as a pro). Elder died this past year, again opening an honorary starter spot.

"I am honored that Tom has accepted our invitation," Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement. "I look forward to commemorating his love for the game and impact on the Masters with his millions of fans across the globe as he hits a tee shot alongside two of the Tournament's other all-time greats, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player."

Watson is a lion in the game. He's done it all.

In addition to his two green jackets, Watson won a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and Open Championships at Carnoustie, Muirfield, Royal Birkdale, Royal Troon and Turnberry. He nearly won the 2009 Open at Turnberry again at the age of 59. Watson played on four Ryder Cup teams and captained two others. He won 39 events, spanning from 1974-98.

Becoming an honorary starter at Augusta National is perhaps not the foremost achievement on his resume (it is a relatively new tradition), but when you can throw your name up there with Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Elder, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen, that's a big deal.

"Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be," Watson said in a statement. "With the many fond memories of both watching the Masters as a youngster and then competing in the Tournament for so many years, I am greatly honored to join my friends and fellow competitors, Jack and Gary, as an honorary starter in this upcoming Masters.

"In both of my victories, Jack was on my heels. And when Gary won his third tournament in 1978, I was there to help him put on the green jacket. Moments like those stand out in my career, and the opportunity to share the honorary starter tradition with Jack, Gary and the Masters patrons will be very special."

The 2022 Masters will take place from April 7-10 with weekend coverage airing live across CBS Sports.