Augusta’s Larry Mize reflects after playing his final Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Augusta native Larry Mize finished his final Masters Saturday, not making the cut to go on to the third round,
He’d earlier announced that this would be his final Masters.
After he finished Saturday, here’s what he said:
Q. Talk about the round.
LARRY MIZE: It’s just unbelievable, surreal. Words don’t do it justice to have won here and played here for 40 years. Pretty incredible.
I mean, the fans were great. To get a reception like that and weather like this, I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect that at all.
Q. Probably wish you could play nine more today, right?
LARRY MIZE: No, I’m good. I’m good. My nerves weren’t holding up. The back nine wasn’t very good. The putter was really shaky, and I missed a lot of putts on the back nine. Obviously as a competitor, you hate to play that poorly on the back.
It’s OK. I just did the best I could, and it was a great two days.
Q. Was it nice to see Sandy?
LARRY MIZE: Yeah, that was very special for Sandy to come out and greet me there. Sandy’s a good friend, a great champion, and to finish off with him is pretty cool. Yeah, I liked that.
Q. When you went by (indiscernible), did you have any thoughts at all or look back?
LARRY MIZE: Yeah, not really. It has changed a lot. I was just trying to make 4 somehow. Yeah, I didn’t -- nothing special there. I’m not playing too bad. I’m 1-over at the time. I’m just trying to finish it off as best I could.
Q. Anything special looking at the leaderboard where they put up the scores?
LARRY MIZE: Yeah, I did glance over at 3 today definitely. I looked over there and looked at the leaderboard and had some nice memories of 50 years ago when I was there as a kid and working on it. It was very special.
Q. How many years did you work on it?
LARRY MIZE: Two years. I worked for two years, and then we moved to Columbus, Georgia, where I met my lovely wife. That was the only two years, yeah.
Q. What was the emotion when the trees fell?
LARRY MIZE: Shocked, scared. I’ve never seen anything like that on the golf course. I’ve seen branches fall, big branches. I remember being at Spyglass one time out in California when a big branch fell, which was scary, but nothing like this. This is just -- thank God that nobody got hurt. It’s just a miracle that nobody got hurt.
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Q. What was the sound like?
LARRY MIZE: Tremendous. You hear a branch, but all of a sudden I heard that, and I was like, oh, my gosh, what was that?
The sound was -- Patrick Reed, I was talking to him in the locker room last night while we were waiting to see if we’d play, and he was on 15. He said, I can’t imagine what it was like for you because you could hear it all the way on 15 it was so loud.
Q. Where were you?
LARRY MIZE: I was standing on the right side, which is near 17, right by the back right bunker on 16 lining up my putt. Then all of a sudden, I heard it, and I looked around, and I saw the trees. They were probably at an angle like that coming down, and I saw people scattering.
I’m thinking, oh, my gosh, people, get out of there. Thank goodness no one was hurt.
Q. It sounded like one of your tee shots, right?
LARRY MIZE: Only when I’m asleep, yeah.
Q. What are your plans for the rest of the week?
LARRY MIZE: Just enjoy being here with my family. Enjoy my grandkids. They may head back to Columbus today, but just enjoy the week. I’ve got to do something tonight, and we’ll head home tomorrow. But just have a nice relaxing day and watch a little golf on TV.
Q. How did you play 18 today?
LARRY MIZE: Well, I hit a poor drive down the right, and then I hit a 5-iron, kind of a chunky 5-iron up the middle, and then I hit a thin 6-iron on the green. How was that?
And the ball’s going nowhere, and I’m hitting it short right now anyway. It was -- I knew the last two holes, I wish we could have finished yesterday. But at the same time, it was pretty cool finishing this morning, yeah.
Q. How many shots did you have to hit today?
LARRY MIZE: I had to hit five shots today.
Q. You need to get some (indiscernible) here?
LARRY MIZE: We will. We’ll get them back. There will be some good players coming out, but definitely need to get some back.
Q. Could you reflect on how winning the Masters shaped the rest of your life?
LARRY MIZE: I don’t think it changed me as a person, but other than that, it changed a lot. It gave me opportunities. It gave me and my family opportunities to do things we wouldn’t have otherwise done. The recognition I’ve gotten.
I mean, it’s amazing to win the Masters and then to do it in that fashion kind of just enhanced it. So it was -- it’s hard to put into words. It’s been a tremendous blessing to have won here. It has changed my life for the better, no doubt.
Q. Did you ever have a moment in the years after with either Seve or Greg, like if you could go there.
LARRY MIZE: The next week at Hilton Head, I saw Greg in the locker room, and I just told him you handled it like a champion. I thought he handled everything really well because that’s tough. He feels like he’s in good shape, and I pitch it in. That’s a tough loss. I know he hated it.
There’s nothing against Greg. I’m sorry it hurt him so bad. It sure wasn’t my intent obviously. It wasn’t my intent at all.
Q. Did you say something to Seve?
LARRY MIZE: I never did say anything to Seve, but Seve was great. Seve came over and wished me luck on the 10th green, which meant a lot to me. He said, hey, good luck, wished me well going forward, and that meant a lot. And he walked back up the hill.
And Greg too. I got along with both of them. I played with Seve in the Ryder Cup, and we had some good times together. It was very special for him to say that. It meant a lot.
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