Floyd Hangs Up Spikes at Masters


Raymond Floyd announced Tuesday that he won't be playing in the Masters anymore. Floyd said last year's Masters Tournament, his 44th, was his last.

"Last year was my last Masters," he said of his two 79-79 rounds. "I'm not competing this year. It's something I toyed with pretty much all year as to whether I would play or not. I just feel I have so many fond, special memories here, and I didn't feel like I embarrassed myself . . . but it's getting to that stage; I'm 67 years old."

Like for many aging golfers - regardless of their sterling pedigrees, Augusta National is just too long for Floyd, who's missed every cut since 1999. Gary Player also called it quits last year after making his record 52nd appearance.

Floyd, a four-time major winner - including the 1976 Masters, PGA Championship in 1969 and 1982 and U.S. Open in 1986, was competitive in the Masters until 1992. Were it not for Fred Couples' famous shot that stayed on the bank in front of the 12th green rather than rolling backward into Rae's Creek, Floyd, then 49, might have earned another green jacket. Instead, he finished two shots back of Couples in solo second.

Two years earlier, he lost in a sudden-death playoff to Nick Faldo after both tied in regulation at 10-under 278. In winning his second straight Masters title, Faldo carded a par to beat Floyd.

In his 1976 win, Floyd tied Jack Nicklaus' 72-hole tournament record of 17-under-par 271, a mark not broken until Tiger Woods erased it by a stroke in his 12-stroke victory in 1997.

Though he won't be teeing it up against the flat-bellies anymore, Floyd still plans on making his annual spring pilgrimage to Augusta. "I'm looking forward to the Par-3 (Contest)," he joked. "I can reach most of those holes off the tee.

"I'm not saying this is the end," he added. "I plan to come back and be a part of the golf tournament. I come up and play during the season. It's very special."

Floyd quickly sensed last year that he was overmatched by the beefed-up Augusta National course. "I decided before I played my last year. Then after the first round, I thought, 'This is a mistake, I shouldn't have played.' The second round was respectable, (but) I probably should've stopped four years earlier."

Floyd, who had back surgery in 2009 and his prostate removed in 2002, said his health is "terrific" and "that had no part in my decision not to play."

He's also decided to stay retired from tournament golf. "This is 47 years since I started," he said. "So I played a lot of golf, and I'm very comfortable with the decision that I'm no longer a touring golf professional."


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