Pat Summerall, who called 26 Masters Tournaments during his Hall of Fame broadcasting career, died Tuesday. He was 82.
“Pat Summerall was a hero to me,” CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz said in a statement. “I treasured the gift of friendship that I had with him. I was his understudy for 10 years. He could not have been more generous or kind to a young broadcaster. He was a giant and one of the iconic figures in the history of the CBS Television Network.”
Said Verne Lundquist: “Pat was a friend of nearly 40 years. He was a master of restraint in his commentary, an example for all of us. He was also one of the greatest storytellers who ever spoke into a microphone.”
Summerall’s 44-year career with CBS ended with his broadcast of the 1994 Masters. (He retired in 2002, after an eight-year run with Fox.) He was given a gold badge by the club, allowing him to play Augusta National any time and even be housed there during tournament week.
“One of the things about the Masters that I think makes it so great is it doesn’t change,” he told the Augusta Chronicle in 2009. “The members still have the pride they’ve always had, the event itself is run and, I think, televised, probably better than any event I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a bunch.”