AUGUSTA, Ga. – Nearly three decades removed from his green-jacket triumph, Ian Woosnam revealed that this was his 31st and final Masters appearance.
The 61-year-old Welshman holed a memorable birdie putt on the 72nd hole back in 1991 to win his lone major. He has struggled at Augusta National in recent years, last making the cut in 2008, and he won’t be around for the weekend this time after rounds of 80-76.
Woosnam averaged 267 yards off the tee this week, and he revealed after the second round that he planned to return only as a non-competing past champion moving forward.
“No, this is the last one,” Woosnam said. “So sad to go.”
Woosnam is one of only three players to win the Masters while ranked No. 1 in the world, along with Fred Couples and Tiger Woods. He actually made similar comments back in 2016, as he battled a bad back, but he got talked into making a competitive return.
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“I got a telling off from my wife. She said, ‘Get out there and do it again,’” Woosnam said. “I just decided to come and play a couple more times, but it doesn’t seem to get any better any time I come back.”
Part of the Masters’ lore is that there is no set rule on when past champions must stop competing; instead, each player is afforded the opportunity to leave on their own terms. Previous winners to make their final start in recent years include Ben Crenshaw (2015), Tom Watson (2016) and Mark O’Meara (2018).
Woosnam is fully aware of his about-face from a couple years ago, but with his back still an issue and the golf course still a difficult walk, he is confident there won’t be a change of heart this time around.
“Maybe if they will give me a cart or something like that I’ll come back. That would be all right. But I don’t think I’ll get that,” he said. “But it’s been a pleasure being here, being a champion. I look forward to coming for many more years.”