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Who Will Be The Next Big 3

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Let me first say that I hope Arnie, Jack and Gary Player are with us for a long time and can continue their tradition at The Masters and at other tournaments. Given some of the concern for Arnie's health this year it made me wonder who would be the next Big 3 to carry on the legacy.  I thought about doing it as a poll but there are too many options to choose from and some of the obvious choices might not be willing or deemed worthy to be considered.  

My guess is; Watson, Phil, Tiger - in the order that they would be asked should one of the current Big 3 not be able to attend the event.  

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In due time, Phil and Tiger will be there.  For the more immediate future, if you asked me who would be on the first tee in 2020, I'd likely guess Watson, Crenshaw and Nicklaus.  In 2020, Player will be 84 and although bionic, he'll either be going strong as the elder of a big 4, or stepping aside on his own.

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Can I ask, has the tradition always been three?  Who were the honorary starters back in the '80s, for example?  Same question for other eras for those who remember.

Little me remembers Byron Nelson as one I think.

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If Arnold can't go I see Watson stepping in if he wants the honor of doing it every year. 

If Tom doesn't want to then you have Lee Trevino at 6 majors. You have Nick Faldo at 6 majors. 

I could see it just being Jack and Player over the next 5 years. 

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

If Tom doesn't want to then you have Lee Trevino at 6 majors. You have Nick Faldo at 6 majors. 

Brain fart there Matt… Lee never won a Masters, and has never been a fan of Augusta National.

 

Quote

 

Boycotts of the Masters tournament[edit]

In the 1989 Masters, at the age of 49, Trevino shot an opening five-under-par round of 67 to become the oldest man ever to lead the field after a round in the tournament. It came despite Trevino's words 20 years earlier, when he said after the 1969 Masters: "Don't talk to me about the Masters. I'm never going to play there again. They can invite me all they want, but I'm not going back. It's just not my type of course."[12] Trevino said that he felt uncomfortable with the atmosphere at the Augusta National club and that he disliked the course because his style of play, where he liked to fade shots left to right, was not suited to the course.[13]

Trevino boycotted the Masters in 1970, 1971 and again in 1974. In 1972, after boycotting the previous two Masters tournaments, he stored his shoes and other items in the trunk of his car, rather than use the locker room facilities in the clubhouse. Trevino complained that had he not qualified as a player, the club would not have let him onto the grounds except through the kitchen. But he later described his boycotts of the Masters as "the greatest mistake I've made in my career" and called Augusta National "the eighth wonder of the world."[14]

After his opening round of 67 in the 1989 Masters, Trevino finished the tournament tied for 18th place. His best finish at the Masters was a tie for 10th place twice: in 1975 and in 1985.

 

 

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Just now, iacas said:

Brain fart there Matt… Lee never won a Masters, and has never been a fan of Augusta National.

I was just looking at possibilities by total majors won. I wasn't sure if winning the Master's was a requirement or someone who would be widely known. Lee always seemed to be a popular guy with the fans. 

 

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26 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I was just looking at possibilities by total majors won. I wasn't sure if winning the Master's was a requirement or someone who would be widely known. Lee always seemed to be a popular guy with the fans. 

That's fine, but it doesn't make suggesting Lee any less dumb. :-)

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3 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Can I ask, has the tradition always been three?  Who were the honorary starters back in the '80s, for example?  Same question for other eras for those who remember.

Little me remembers Byron Nelson as one I think.

Venturi surprising since he never won one.

Screenshot_2016-04-11-13-04-28.png

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A lot depends how long Jack, Gary and Arnie live. If Arnie dies soon, they'll just use 2 and then eventually 1 like they did with Sam, Byron and Gene. If they pass within the next 10 years, I could see the next 3 being Watson, Crenshaw and Faldo. In 30 years time, it will definitely be Tiger and Phil. Anyone's guess who the third might be. Maybe Bubba.

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51 minutes ago, Gunther said:

Venturi surprising since he never won one.

Screenshot_2016-04-11-13-04-28.png

Interesting.  So not only has it not always been three, some years they haven't had an honorary starter at all, 1977-1980, and 2002-2006.

And the only stretches that they've had 3 were 1983 through 1999 and 2012 through to the present.

I guess I'll vote that they'll have Watson step in for Palmer when he can't come anymore and try and keep that group until Nicklaus becomes too old.  After that, maybe Faldo will be ready to replace Nicklaus.  Player seems pretty danged healthy for his age so he may just go on forever. :P

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35 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I guess I'll vote that they'll have Watson step in for Palmer when he can't come anymore and try and keep that group until Nicklaus becomes too old.  After that, maybe Faldo will be ready to replace Nicklaus.  Player seems pretty danged healthy for his age so he may just go on forever. :P

this, then Tiger, then Phil, .... we'll see from that point.  Hell, if Tiger knocks his back out of place just one more time, he might just sub in next year....

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2 hours ago, newtogolf said:

I think Watson would be next in line but I really don't think he's at the level of the Big 3.  

Not the same off-course level compared to what Arnie, Jack, and Player did for the game, but career wise, he's right there with Arnie and Player.

Who knows what guy's health will bring in the future but I would guess Watson will step in with Jack and Player for the next 3-5 years. Beyond that, like others have said, I would guess Player and Jack would rotate out and Faldo and Crenshaw will step in until the Tiger/Phil era arrives. Although I'm guessing it'll be ~20 years give or take before Tiger or Phil are OK with the idea of being ceremonial starters.

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Well I don't really know, but to me to be the next big 3, you've have got to be more than just be a dominant player in golf.  I guess my criteria would be:

1. Be in the top 25 world ranking for some time (how long? not sure of this).

2. Participate, even when not winning with sportsman like conduct.

3. Advance the game by supporting teaching institutes, supporting construction of new world class golf courses, etc. (supporting = financial support and name use)

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Watson and Faldo should be able to take them to the time when Phil is ready to be one. Tiger has a long way to go but will eventually be the one. I don't think I will be around. lol

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Note: This thread is 1648 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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