'Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves' - Pro Says Augusta 'Ruined' Sandy Lyle Farewell

Jason Kokrak was infuriated after Sandy Lyle was unable to complete his final ever round at The Masters

Kokrak looks bemused whilst talking to a Masters official
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Friday, Sandy Lyle took his final walk up Augusta National's 18th hole, with the Scotsman announcing that The Masters would be his final tournament before retiring from the professional game. It was an emotional watch, as the 1988 Masters winner was applauded by the surrounding patrons, but all was to change just a few minutes later...

Earlier in the day, play had been suspended for 20 minutes due to inclement weather but, after the relevant golfers returned to the course, they were hauled off it just an hour later. The timing couldn't have been any worse for Lyle and his playing partners, Jason Kokrak and Talor Gooch, with Lyle facing a 12-foot putt to end his swansong.

Despite pleading with officials, Kokrak's group was denied the chance to end the round which, for the American, left an extremely sour taste in his mouth, especially as he had been rooting for Lyle to have big his moment in front of the patrons. Such was his anger at his group being unable to finish, Kokrak claimed: "It’s chicken s**t." 

“It could have been a really cool moment for Sandy Lyle, his family, the patrons, Augusta National, being the ’88 champion. Him and Larry being their last Masters,” Kokrak told GOLF.com after his round. “I asked them for a special exemption. They said they weren’t even going to blow the horn for a few more minutes, but the trees came down on 17. 

“I said this is a moment that he’s not going to get again. So I think Augusta National and the rules committee should be ashamed of themselves. And I’m really disappointed for him and his family not to be able to have that moment.”

Kokrak wasn't done there though, as the LIV golfer stated: “The lady said it was above my paygrade and I said, this isn’t something about paygrade or anything like that. This is a moment in history that he won’t get back, and you guys have ruined it.

“I really wish he would have gotten to finish in front of the patrons and his family, and now — I mean, hopefully they’ll — I mean, tomorrow doesn’t look any better, but I really hoped that it was a different circumstance. I feel bad for him and his family. He’s still standing right there. 

“And I think it’s absolutely chicken s**t that they wouldn’t grant a special exemption because they weren’t going to blow the horn except — I mean, I understand that there was a freak accident — trees going down. Thankfully, nobody got hurt. I think that should have been something understood by anybody under the umbrella of Augusta National and the rules committee.”

Lyle with his family and friends after the 18th hole

Lyle poses with friends and family after play is suspended during the second round of The Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Throughout the round, Kokrak had been reportedly very supportive of Lyle, with the American giving the Scotsman the honour on the final tee. After Lyle had found the fairway, and all three men tee'd off, Kokrak put his arm round his playing partner in a show of respect.

Striking his third shot to 12-feet, Lyle was forced to mark his golf ball with patrons around the green chanting “let them putt”. Walking off the final hole, the patrons gave the two-time Major winner a standing ovation, joined by Kokrak and Gooch, after which Kokrak had a separate word with officials in scoring.

However, after the hooter had blown for play stop, the day's play was eventually suspended with players set to return to the golf course on Saturday morning at 8:00am.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x