Sandy Lyle has revealed that he plans to play in The Masters one final time next year before bidding farewell to the tournament once and for all.
Making his 100th major appearance this week, Lyle posted rounds of 82 and 76 to finish 14-over-par, comfortably missing the cut.
It is the eighth year in a row that the 64-year-old Scot has failed to make it to the weekend at Augusta National.
As a former champion, Lyle has a lifetime exemption to play in the opening men’s major of the season but, speaking after his second round, he admitted that the curtain is falling fast on his Masters career.
“I think next year might be the end of Lyle attack on the golf course,” he said. “My older son is coming out with a few of his buddies and I think my younger son is probably coming out, too. It’ll be the full family here so I think it’ll be the end of the day.”
Asked if he has taken counsel from any other players about knowing when to call it a day, Lyle added: “I think you just know yourself. A few years ago, Fuzzy [Zoeller] put his hand up on the Tuesday night [at the Champions Dinner] and said, ‘I’d just like to let you know I’m going to retire.’
“Tommy Aaron and Charles Coody went on a bit longer and maybe they shouldn’t have gone as far as they did but that was their choice.
“I’m still reasonably strong and nearly six feet tall so I can still get the ball out there reasonable distances when I put my mind to it. I can still putt half-decent. I’ve still got my nerve. So there’s always a little hope of making the cut, and making a challenge, and finishing in the top-20 or something.”
Lyle added that he is finding it hard to enjoy the tournament now that he is no longer able to be competitive in it.
“It’s not easy. I was a really kind of gutless by the time I got through nine or ten holes and it was just bogey after bogey.
“Your emotional level goes up and down like a yo-yo.”
Lyle made the first of his 41 Masters appearances in 1980 and, in
1988, became the first golfer from the UK to win the Green Jacket.
That was the only time he has finished inside the top-10 at Augusta, his next best finish being a tie for 11th in 1986.
A winner of The Open in 1985, Lyle played in the game’s oldest major for the final time at Carnoustie in 2018. Unlike The Masters, The Open has an upper age limit of 60 on appearances by players playing on past champion status.