AUGUSTA, Ga. — Larry Mize was even on Thursday after four holes. Then, Augusta National dug its teeth.
Competing in his final Masters Tournament, the 1987 winner played his final 14 holes in plus-seven for an opening 79.
“There’s a reason why this is my last Masters,” Mize said. “I haven’t played in a tournament in a while and my game is not where I’d like it to be.”
The Augusta native birdied No. 3 and played his first nine in 38. The second nine, however, went south with bogies on Nos. 10, 11, 12, 15 and 18.
“It’s a challenge to get around this golf course at my age, and I enjoy that,” Mize said. “I enjoy the challenge of trying to work it around and put it in spots I know.”
Mize noted Tuesday’s Champions Dinner, where he was asked to stand and address the table. According to Mize, he was pre-warned about his speech, but as the moment arrived, nerves became all-encompassing.
“I knew it was going to be tough, and I felt pretty good until the time came,” he said. “Standing in front of all those guys and being in that room, I just couldn’t get it out.”
Looking ahead to Friday, Mize said of his final competitive round, “Tomorrow will be a tough day. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know where the emotions will be, but it’ll be special.”
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