Verne Lundquist has one of the most recognizable voices in sports.
He called arguably the most iconic college basketball moment when Christian Laettner hit a last-second shot to send Duke past Kentucky and into the Final Four in 1992. He had the call in the 2005 Masters when Tiger Woods chipped in on the 16th hole, the tournament-defining shot. And, just last year, he was the play-by-play man when Auburn stunned Alabama and shook the college football world.
Those were among the personal highlights that Lundquist discussed Tuesday night in downtown Fort Worth, as he accepted the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation lifetime achievement award at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel.
“To be here tonight is a homecoming in part,” said Lundquist, who spent 12 years as the Cowboys’ voice and 16 years as the sports director for WFAA-TV.
“What a surprise. I’m humbled and grateful to be back home and share this wonderful evening with all of you.”
Lundquist, joined by his former broadcasting partner and current Cowboys voice Brad Sham, entertained the crowd with numerous stories from his 50 years in broadcasting.
He touched on a variety of topics, ranging from his days hosting a game show called Bowling for Dollars to spending a good portion of his career in the Metroplex to becoming CBS’ lead college football voice and assisting on college basketball and golf.
Lundquist recollected his first “signature call” as being at the 1986 Masters when Jack Nicklaus won an unprecedented sixth green jacket at age 46. At the time, Lundquist was calling the action on the 17th hole and Nicklaus put his approach shot to 18 feet.
As Nicklaus putted the ball and it rolled toward the hole, Lundquist uttered the word “maybe” about 18 inches from the cup. Then, when the ball fell, Lundquist exclaimed: “Yes, sir!” as Nicklaus became the tournament’s sole leader.
Lundquist went on to his other memorable Masters call, retelling the ’05 story of Woods draining the chip on No. 16 with the ball hanging on the edge of the cup for 1.8 seconds before falling in.
Two of Lundquist’s prized possessions are pictures of those specific shots signed by Nicklaus and Woods.
The stories didn’t end there, and some weren’t even safe to print. But there’s no question that Lundquist was a deserving recipient of the award and appreciated the recognition.
And, for those interested, Lundquist said CBS will air a special the Saturday after Thanksgiving that recaps his 50 years in sports broadcasting.