This former Masters champion says 2023 will be his last

Larry Mize of the USA chips in on the second play-off hole to win the US Masters at Augusta National in Georgia, USA.

Larry Mize chips in on the second playoff hole to win the Masters in 1987.

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One of the special parts of the Masters is that the past champions get to play on in the event long after their primes have passed. But there comes a time when each has to make that final stroll down the 18th fairway.

This year, it’s 1987 champion Larry Mize‘s turn to say goodbye to his hometown major.

Mize confirmed to The Augusta Chronicle the 2023 Masters, his 40th consecutive appearance, will be his final tournament.

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

The 64-year-old won his only green jacket by defeating Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros in a playoff. Mize memorably left his approach right on the second playoff hole, the difficult par-4 11th, then chipped in for an improbable birdie to stun Norman.

Many consider the 140-foot chip to be one of the greatest shots in Masters history.

“It’s the greatest shot ever, and I’ll tell you why: It was a walk-off. It won the tournament,” 54-year Masters caddie Carl Jackson told The Chronicle. “People talk about Tiger’s chip [2005] or Sarazen’s double-eagle [1935] but neither of those won the tournament. Mize walked ’em off.”

He is still the only Masters winner to be from Augusta. As a teenager, he worked the No. 3 scoreboard during the week.

The win earned Mize a lifetime exemption and he finished tied for sixth in 1992 and third in 1994. He last made the cut in 2017.

He told The Chronicle his second favorite memory from the event actually came in 1994, when he held the early lead going into the weekend, but bogeys on 12 and 14 doomed his chances by the time he got to 18 tee.

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“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.”

Mize made just six starts on the PGA Tour Champions in 2022, a tour he’s played regularly since 2008. He has one PGA Tour Champions title, back at the 2010 Montreal Championship, to add to his four PGA Tour wins.

He was uncertain of his future at Augusta after the 2022 Masters, offering a noncommittal response when asked about it last year.

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

Now a year later, he seems certain 40 in a row is a good time to hang it up.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at