Tom Watson will play in the Masters for the final time next year.
Watson, a 65-year-old Kansas City native, made the announcement Wednesday during a news conference at St. Andrews in Scotland, where he will play in what is likely his last British Open starting Thursday.
“Next year’s Masters is going to be my last Masters,” Watson told reporters. “I am not going to play any more after that. Even though I will be eligible to play, I won’t play. The golf course is too big for me, and with my declining skills and length, I won’t be playing that. As I said a few weeks ago, the toolbox is kind of half empty with the tools I used to be able to play good golf. Those tools are missing right now or pretty rusty, rusty like me.”
Watson, who turns 66 on Sept. 4, won the Masters in 1977 and ’81 for two of his eight career major championships and 39 career PGA Tour titles. On the Champions Tour, Watson has six majors titles among 14 victories.
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Watson made the cut in 21 consecutive Masters appearances during 1975-1995, but he hasn’t qualified for the final two rounds since 2010. He opened with a 1-under 71 this year but had an 81 in the second round.
“When you shoot 81, it’s time to say goodbye,” Watson said. “I knew my time was coming six, eight years ago at Augusta. I couldn’t carry the ball far enough to play that golf course.”
Watson has played one other PGA Tour event this year. He made the cut at the RBC Heritage tournament in April and got into contention at 4-under-par at one point in the third round before finishing in a tie for 72nd place at 3-over 287.
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