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Tom Watson’s participation in the Honorary Starter ceremony at next year’s Masters is in doubt after the eight-time major champion was forced to undergo emergency surgery following a go-kart accident. 

As first reported by Golfweek, the 73-year-old required an operation to replace his left shoulder after crashing a go-kart on his Kansas farm early last week.

The exact circumstances of the accident are unknown but it is understood the vehicle rolled over.

The surgery was carried out on Friday at the Tulane Medical Centre in New Orleans. Watson tweeted a picture from his hospital bed on Friday evening, which shows his left arm in a sling. In the post, he thanked his doctor Felix Savoie and his team, adding that he is in “#nopain”.

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It’s not clear how long Watson will be sidelined for but he is definitely out of next month’s PNC Championship, which he was due to contest with his son Michael.

There are also fears that he might be unable to take part in the Honorary Starter ceremony at The Masters in April.

Watson only joined the first tee start this year. It was announced in January that the two-time Green Jacket winner had accepted an invitation from Augusta National Golf Club to take part in the Thursday morning ceremony alongside Jack Nicklaus and Tom Wataon.

In a statement at the time, he said: “Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be. 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.

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“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.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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