Woosnam announces retirement from Masters and means it

Ian Woosnam will no longer play at the Masters. (AFP/Getty picture)

AUGUSTA: Britain’s Ian Woosnam played his final competitive round at Augusta National on Friday, the 1991 champion announced after the second round.

A painful back condition called ankylosing spondylitis that inflames the spine and makes walking uphill difficult prompted the decision, according to the 61-year-old Welshman.

“This is the last one. Sad to go,” the diminutive player affectionately known as ‘Wee Woosie’ said outside the scoring room after carding 76 for a 12-over-par 156 total.

“It’s a real struggle for me around here. Every time I come to the Masters, walking up these hills, slide slopes and everything it really affects me.

“It’s a shame because I still feel like I’m playing pretty good. Walking around here with a bad back it takes the energy out of you but I enjoyed every single minute of today.”

Woosnam announced three years ago that he had played at the Masters for the last time, but subsequently changed his mind.

This time he says there will be no turning back.

“I determined it a couple of years ago and I got a telling off from my wife,” he said.

“She said, ‘Get out there and do it again’, so I decided to play a couple more times but it doesn’t seem to get any better with the walking.

“Maybe they’ll give me a cart and I will come back but I don’t think I’ll get that.”