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Mize recalls his winning chip in '87

Photo: John Iacono

Larry Mize


At the 1987 Masters, Augusta native Larry Mize missed the green with his approach on the second hole (the par-4 11th) of a sudden-death playoff with Greg Norman. (Seve Ballesteros had been eliminated on the first extra hole.) Mize faced a 140-foot chip.

"After i hit my five-iron right of the green, Greg hit seven- or eight-iron to the right edge, 50 or 60 feet away. That made me feel a little better because now he had a long putt. My idea was to hit a chip shot close to the hole and put some heat back on him. The nice thing was that there was only one shot to play. I had to use a sand wedge and land it short of the green. If I landed it on the green or used a less-lofted club, the ball could've run too hot and maybe gone into the water on the other side. I hit a good, aggressive shot that started heading toward the hole. It looked really good. I didn't know it was going in, but it's funny-if you watch me hit the shot, I hold my finish. A lot of times you hit a chip and kind of relax. Well, I held my finish and didn't move. Then when it went in, I threw my club in the air and ran around like crazy. I remember screaming, 'Yeah!' and 'All right!' Then I thought, Larry, don't be yelling here. I did do a little hands-to-heaven thing to give God the praise and glory and thank Him for the strength He gave me. Then I picked up the ball, tried to quiet the crowd and told myself to calm down and get ready to go to the 12th tee because you always have to expect the worst. I'm glad we didn't have to go."

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