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Sandy Lyle anticipates having a lump in his throat as he bids farewell to the Masters.  

The Scot has confirmed he’ll make his 42nd and final start at Augusta National this week, bringing the curtain down a glittering career in the process.  

That, he freely concedes, is an emotional prospect. 

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“I’m hoping that I don’t burst into tears coming up the 18th, but I am sure there will be a lump there in the second round and hopefully it might be a good enough score to play at the weekend,” said Lyle.  

“The last few years haven’t worked out that well, but you always live in hope that you will get it all together for two rounds then we will go from there. But, yeah, I am sure it will be emotional as most of the family are here this week.” 

The 1988 Masters champion, now 65, revealed that age had been a factor in his decision to call it a day. 

“I am not competitive enough even on the Champions Tour. I have put a few hours in and you are always thinking of improving and it is just not happening. There are younger ones coming off the PGA Tour who are shooting way better numbers than me so I think it is like a boxer.  

“You might do one or two bouts too many like Muhammed Ali did and he ended up punch drunk. I want to leave on a reasonably good high. 

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“I think it is also family orientated. It has always been about me mostly the last 15 years. The family are growing up and have got grandchildren. My younger son has got a new farm which is only half an hour, 40 minutes away so that is going to be a project. I don’t think it will be livestock – there will be boarding horses, things like that. There are some plants that need to be planted.  

“So, I have got more than enough on my plate to keep me going.” 

Changes to the golf course have also made it harder for Lyle to keep up with some of the younger players in the field.  

“The course has just got increasingly long,” he admitted. “When I won it was like 6,925 yards. It is 7,500 now. It is too long. I have had to put more rescue clubs in the bag. I normally carry a 3-iron and a 2-iron. They are all gone. My longest iron in the bag is a 4-iron. 

“I am using the rescue clubs to keep the ball in the air and have it come down soft and get the ball to stop. It is just a long course – but a beautiful course.” 

Ever the competitor, Lyle is determined to take his bow on Sunday, not Friday. 

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“I would love to go out with two 70s but going on my scores for the last little while, it will be tough. It is a tough call to do it on this big course. But I know my way around. Adrenaline can do an awful lot for a golfer.  

“I might have a few runs at a few birdies. You just don’t know. The big picture is that it is going to be a big call to make the cut. But I will give it my best shot. 

“Arnie, for his last round, he was about 83 or 84 around here but people still watched him. It is just a tough golf course.” 

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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