Former Masters champion Ian Woosnam has announced that he will no longer compete in the first men’s major of the year at Augusta National.
The Welshman won the Green Jacket in 1991, beating Jose Maria Olozabal by a single stroke and earning himself a lifetime exemption. However, he has struggled for form in recent years and hasn’t made a cut at the Masters since 2008 where he finished 44th.
The 63-year-old has long battled a debilitating spinal condition and was forced to undergo surgery at the start of 2020. He has threatened to call it quits before but took to Twitter to announce that the time is now right to walk away.
“Thought long and hard about playing the Masters again this year and in the future, but it’s time for me to watch the young guys play,” Woosnam wrote on Twitter.
“So I’m going to sit back and enjoy the memories that Augusta has given me over the years, thank you for everything Augusta.”
Thought long and hard about playing the Masters again this year and in the future, but it’s time for me to watch the young guys play. So I’m going to sit back and enjoy the memories that Augusta has given me over the years, thank you for everything Augusta🏌️♂️ pic.twitter.com/A8Mawy2TsOJanuary 19, 2022
In a career spanning the best part of five decades, ‘Woosie’ captured 29 European Tour titles but will be remembered best for his single major triumph at The Masters. Leading by two going into the final round, a level-par 72 was enough for Woosnam to etch his name into the history books as the first – and still, only – Welshman to wear the Green Jacket.
However, Augusta National hasn’t been a happy hunting ground of late for the former World No. 1. With the ever-increasing demands of the famous layout, Woosnam has only made the cut twice this century – 2000 and 2008.
A spinal condition called ankylosing spondylitishas has plagued Woosnam for most of his career and left him threatening to call it quits after the 2016 tournament when he claimed he could no longer cope with the rigorous demands of the course. His wife convinced him otherwise and he returned the following year, only for him to make a similar claim after missing his 11th straight cut in 2019.
But having opted to skip the 2020 tournament, Woosie returned one final time last year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his momentous 1991 win, posting rounds of 76 and 77. Having made his debut in 1988, Woosnam finishes with 32 Masters appearances.
This year’s Masters takes place from April 7-10 where Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champion.
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