Sandy Lyle Celebrates 100th Major Performance - Vows To Make Next Year's Masters His Last

In his 100th Major appearance, Sandy Lyle revealed that the 2023 Masters will likely be his last

Lyle hits a shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sandy Lyle is one the UK's greatest golfers. A World Golf Hall of Famer he also has victories at The Open Championship and Masters, as well as being a six time PGA Tour and 18 time European Tour winner. 

At the 2022 Masters (opens in new tab), Lyle was making his 100th Major appearance. However, following a hugely respectable four-over-par round of 76, the Scotsman revealed that next year's edition of the event will be his last, with Lyle stating: "I think probably next year might be the end of the Lyle attack on the golf course."

Lyle receives the Green Jacket

Larry Mize presents the Green Jacket to Lyle 1988 Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speaking after his second round, the 1988 Masters champion (opens in new tab) explained that his 100th Major appearance is "something to tell the grandchildren," with the 64-year-old explaining that, despite the scrappy mistakes towards the end of the round, "it gives a bit of hope for the next few months playing in the Champions Tour."

Following the heavy rain at Augusta National, the course was playing slightly longer than Lyle was expecting: "It's unfortunate we had all the heavy rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. That doesn't help. I feel like they've been doing sand-based fairways to encourage the speed," explained the Scotsman. 

"That was told to us on Tuesday night by Fred Ridley (opens in new tab). They want the ball to run and be faster and, of course, with this rain it didn't do that at all. So it would have made a difference on some of the par fours and par fives. An extra 30, 40 yards nearer because you are getting a little bit of run with your tee shot, and you are getting a little bit of run with your second shot. It all adds up at the end of a day on a par-five hole. My balls are basically running about 15 feet, if you are lucky.

"It does make it hard, and a lot of long irons -- long iron coming into the 17th with a 6-iron. It landed only three feet over the bunker, and it still managed to just go over the back of the green, and I didn't get up and down from there. On the 18th, I had a good drive with the wind helping a little bit, and I was trying to hit a 7-iron. I'm sure you'll see some guys with probably a sand-iron in there today. It's a big difference. That's what you expect.

"I'm not 21 anymore, and the club head speed is going down rapidly in the last sort of ten years, so I've got to work on the short game a bit more and make some putts. I think probably next year might be the end of the Lyle attack on the golf course."

Lyle walks

Lyle in action during the 2022 Masters. He would fire rounds of  82 and 76

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why next year you may ask? Well, Lyle (opens in new tab) revealed that: "I think my older son is coming out and a few of his buddies, and I think my younger son is probably coming out, so we're going to be a full family. So, I think it will be the end of the day."

Despite the sad news that the two-time Major winner will be making his final appearance at The Masters next year, he will always have 100 Major starts to his name. During that time, he has made 49 cuts. 

But what was the standout start for Lyle? Well: "At the age of 16, I would say, playing in the Open Championship at Lytham, that would be the first memory really," stated the 64-year-old.

"There were two cuts that week as well, which is unusual. Normally it's only one cut. I made the first cut by about three or four shots and then I ended up missing the second cut by two or three shots because I had a big number on fifth or sixth hole. I think it was a par five, I couldn't get out of a bunker.

"My heart was coming out of my chest for the first opening tee shot. Whether you were an amateur or pro, I was just thump, thump, thump, thump and thinking, 'my God, I hope it's going to get better or get easier.' The feelings of these nerves and trying to control your emotions and your hands and your putting aren't easy when you are 16.

"Gradually you get used to those situations, and you deal with it. Nobody ever goes through it without some sort of panic at some stage. So that was the first one at age of 16. That was my most memorable start to a career of golf."

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.