Television golf analyst Verne Lundquist works the No. 16 tower...

Television golf analyst Verne Lundquist works the No. 16 tower during Saturday's third round at the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Augusta National/Getty Images) Credit: Augusta National via Getty Image/Augusta National

Verne Lundquist plans to begin his 40th and final Masters week at CBS with a pair of special thank-yous at Tuesday night’s Champions Dinner.

One will be for Jack Nicklaus, the other for Tiger Woods.

“Those two guys have had a terrific impact on my professional career,” Lundquist said during a video news conference to promote CBS’ coverage of the event. “And I am in deep gratitude to them both.”

The same could be said in the other direction.

Nicklaus’ birdie putt at No. 17 en route to winning the 1986 tournament and Woods’ birdie chip-in at No. 16 en route to winning in 2005 spoke for themselves.

But they were made even more memorable by Lundquist’s famous calls of the two shots.

He punctuated the former with “Yes, sir!”

For the latter, he said, “Oh, wow! In your life, have you seen anything like that?”

Lundquist, 83, ranked the two calls as 1A and 1B on his all-time Masters list, but he does have a preference between the two.

“I lean toward Jack Nicklaus in ’86, probably more so because of the fact that Jack is six months older than me, and I tend to remind him every chance I get,” he said.

“Jack hadn’t won in two years at that time and there are so many stories about his championship run on Sunday.”

Lundquist recalled coaching himself when Nicklaus got within 12 feet of the hole.

“I can remember thinking to myself as he walked up, ‘Keep it simple and get your butt out of the way,’  ” Lundquist said. “I managed to do that. I boldly predicted ‘maybe’ when it was about [not too] far from the hole. Aggressive commentary.

“And then I reacted with what I said. ‘Yes, sir!’ . . . I think because I know Jack so much better than I know Tiger, I lean toward the Jack call.”

The Masters always is a big deal for CBS, but this year’s tournament has added meaning not only because of Lundquist’s final appearance.

It also is the final telecast to be overseen by CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, who is retiring after 27 years on the job.

“It was clear to me that Augusta National should be my last event,” McManus said.

McManus’ first Masters in charge was in 1997. Lundquist’s first call was in 1983; he missed the ’97 and ’98 tournaments while working at Turner.

Lundquist said he and McManus discussed a couple of years ago that this year’s tournament would be “the proper time to exit stage left.”

“He’s just the voice,” Jim Nantz, CBS’ Masters host, said of Lundquist. “He’s the exact same Uncle Verne that I knew back in 1985, the first time I met him . . . His calls are truly legendary.

“Verne’s always going to have a home in Augusta. He’s going to be a part of Augusta forever. Those calls that he’s made, they’re going to be played back 50, 100, 200 years from now. He’s going to have a home there. He’s got permanent residence. I’m just really appreciative.”

Nantz added: “It’s a heavy week for us . . . I’m excited for the event but really front of mind for me is to do this one last time with Verne and Sean.”

McManus said he would walk to Amen Corner on Sunday morning for his annual visit and “have a conversation with my father,” the late announcer Jim McKay.

“One of the great privileges of my life and career is the opportunity to be so closely associated with Augusta National and the Masters,” he said.

Asked about the week to come, Lundquist said: “I’ll be emotional. There’s a spot on my left thigh that I’ll be pinching to make sure I don’t shed a tear on the air.

“But it’s been a great run. Hey, I’m 83 years old and I’ve been blessed to have a sensational professional life and a wonderful personal life. So I wasn’t the first to say this, but thanks for the memories.”

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