Masters Winner Says 2023 Augusta National Appearance Will Be His Last

A back injury and competing on the lengthened course have persuaded 1987 winner Larry Mize to call it a day

Larry Mize takes a shot at the 2022 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thirty-six years after stunning the golf world by beating Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman in a playoff to win The Masters, Larry Mize has revealed that his 40th appearance in the tournament this year will be his last.

The 64-year-old, whose win ensured entry to the Augusta National event for life, revealed the news in an interview with Golf Digest. “This will be my last Masters. It’s time,” he said. "I’m 64 and the golf course is getting longer, and I have found that I have not gotten longer as I get older. It is a young man’s golf course, there’s no doubt.”

The iconic 13th hole has been lengthened in time for the 2023 event – the latest in a series of changes in recent years, including adding 35 yards to the length before last year's tournament. Given those changes, Mize revealed that playing off the member’s tees on a trip last November offered him more satisfaction. He said: “It’s such a great golf course, and from the member tees... boy, it’s a lot of fun. I love playing Augusta from the member tees. Anyone can play and enjoy it. It’s still a challenge, but it’s one I can handle.”

Despite the increasing length of the course making it harder for him to compete in The Masters, particularly nursing a back injury, Mize admitted the work was necessary. He said: “It’s what needed to be done. Augusta National has done a great job of making changes to keep up with technology. On some holes they’re hitting clubs that we used to hit in the '80s, so you know they are on the right track.”

Mize enjoyed 10 professional wins in his career and finished in the top 10 in two other Majors, but it is the manner of his Masters win that will define his career – a chip in from off the green at the 11th to claim victory. However, considering it’s remembered as one of the great Masters shots, he explained it’s not something he thinks about too often.

He said: “I probably don’t think about it as much as you think - or maybe as often as I should - but when someone brings it up, it’s always fun to think about and talk about. It’s been a tremendous blessing getting to go back to Augusta every April, plus all of the opportunities it has given me. It’s just been amazing.”

Nevertheless, Mize's triumph was particularly special as he used to work on the leaderboard as a teenager and is an Augusta native. In 2017, when marking the 30 year anniversary of the chip that won the Masters, he explained just how much it meant. He said: “It was an amazing thing just for me to get into the tournament and play here in the first place as a professional golfer. That is something in itself, but to win it, that was the golfing thrill of a lifetime for me."

Mike Hall
Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 


He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 


Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 


Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.