Golf News

Larry Mize makes decision on Augusta National appearance

1987 Masters

Larry Mize is saying goodbye.

The 1987 Masters Champion has confirmed that the 2023 Masters — his 40th consecutive — will be his last.

Mize, an Augusta native who lives in Columbus, Georgia, hinted last April that 2023 could be his final competitive appearance, but after missing the cut with a Friday 78, he remained noncommittal about his future.

“Will next year be my last?” Mize said in 2022. “I don’t know. I really don’t. That decision will come, but I can’t say for certain right now.”

A year later, he’s certain.

For a final time, the local kid who spent teenage years operating No. 3 scoreboard will enter the field at Augusta National.

“It’s going to be an emotional week, but it’s time,” Mize, 64, said. “I know it’s time.”

In addition to winning in 1987 – which earned Mize a lifetime exemption to the Masters – he finished third in 1994 and tied for sixth in 1992. His last made cut came in 2017.

When asked about his silver-medal memory at Augusta National, Mize thought back to 1994, where he slept on the lead Thursday and Friday, but after Sunday bogies on Nos. 12 and 14, his chances had evaporated as he walked to No. 18 tee box.

“I hit my drive and a stranger shouted, ‘Thank you, Larry,’” Mize said. “I wasn’t going to win the tournament. José (María Olazábal) had pulled away. But that appreciation I felt, I’ll never forget it.”

Larry Mize celebrates after chipping in on the second playoff hole at No. 11 to win the 1987 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. (Photo: David Cannon/Allsport)

The 140-foot chip.

A purple shirt leaping into Georgia lore.

No, Mize’s body of work won’t be stamped among the all-time greats: One win. Three top-10s. Nineteen missed cuts. As Larry admits, “I don’t belong in the same sentence as most of these guys.”

But what Mize owns is a moment. A MacGregor sand wedge that bounced twice up the bank, hopped once on the green, rolled 60 feet and vanished. Sure, Mize’s resume isn’t the most decorated in Masters history, but he may be responsible for the tournament’s most iconic shot.

“It’s the greatest shot ever, and I’ll tell you why,” said Carl Jackson, who caddied at the Masters for 54 years. “It was a walk-off. It won the tournament. People talk about Tiger’s chip (in 2005) or Sarazen’s double-eagle (in 1935) but neither of those won the tournament. Mize walked ’em off.”

Added 1971 Masters winner Charles Coody: “The two…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…