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Hunter Mahan has revealed that he walked away from the PGA Tour after becoming “burnt out”.

The three-time Ryder Cupper, six times a winner on the US-based circuit, made the last of his 453 professional starts in July 2021 at the 3M Open.

He has since relocated with his family to a Texas suburb where he has taken up a position teaching the boy’s golf team at Liberty Christian, a tiny private school in the area.

Speaking in the latest edition of bunkered, he outlined why he decided to rip up his tour card.

“Golf is truly a grind and it’s a seven day a week grind, whether you’re home or on the road,” said Mahan. “I hit my limit on that and it was time to move on.

“I was never a lifer or obsessed with the game as much as some other players. They play in their sleep and think about it all the time and they play for joy. It was a job for me.

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“I obviously enjoyed it but once I stepped aside and left it – waking up in the same bed every day, taking care of the kids – it’s a complete change of pace and I’m very happy with that. You can’t just show up on Wednesday and play professional golf. There’s too much competition and too many great players.

“If you’re not totally committed, it’s going to beat you up and wear you out. That’s where I left it. I had a few tournaments left in that season a few years ago and I was so done with the grind of playing golf. It took over my life in a negative way and I had to step away.

“I loved the game but the professional game is a different thing. It’s such a high level and requires so much out of you.”

Mahan, who reached as high as fourth on the Official World Golf Ranking, explained that the pressure of trying to compete also took its toll on his mental health.

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“I got so anxious. When you really feel anxiety, it’s like ‘I cannot be in another hotel room, the walls are closing in on me right now and I’ve got no space’. I got tired of being at a certain point every day to do the same thing over and over again. I was like, ‘I need to get out of here.’

“That’s what I literally did. I was in Truckee and I couldn’t even make it to the golf course. I said, ‘We’re going home.’ I couldn’t hit another ball on another range. You never really know when you can turn it around.

“Golf is so compassionate in that way. You can struggle and go in the dark and you can come out of that tunnel. But I was done going through it. I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

“I’m 41 now and I’m a young person. I’ve got four kids who are ten and under. I’ve got so many things I want to do with them. I don’t want them to live my life, I want to be part of theirs.”

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Read the full interview with Hunter Mahan in the April issue of bunkered, on-sale now from all good newsagents. Alternatively, take out a subscription here and never miss another edition.

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