Sandy Lyle the centurion still aims high

Sandy Lyle is still entertaining the crowd. Picture:. AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Sandy Lyle is still entertaining the crowd. Picture:. AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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SANDY Lyle is looking for something special in today’s final round. It would be fitting on the day he joined an exclusive centurion’s club in The Masters.

“My 100th round is it?” he replied when it was pointed out to him. “I didn’t even realise that it was my 100th.”

He made his debut at Augusta National in 1980 and survived the cut this week for the 17th time. In between, of course, he became the first British player to slip into a Green Jacket after winning in 1988.

“I think to anybody’s criteria at the end of a golfing career to have played over a hundred rounds of golf at The Masters, there’s got to be something you can tell your grandchildren in time to come. [And] there’s probably still a few more rounds to go yet.”

To celebrate today’s milestone, the 56-year-old is aiming to do much better than yesterday’s 76 – ten shots more than playing partner and soon-to-be rival in the Senior ranks, Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“Shoot 66 – I think that would be a nice way to do it,” he added. “I don’t like shooting 76 around here, but that seems to be kind of the par for me. But I feel like the game has been a little tidier than it has been in the previous years. So I’m hopeful that, if the putter just behaves itself a little bit better tomorrow, we can get around in under par. That would be great.”

Level-par for the day in round No.99, the two-times major winner frittered shots away thereafter. He’s found both the 11th and 16th particularly troublesome.

“I’m four-over for the 11th hole and for the 16th, which normally I play OK, I’ve played that in three-over so far. So there’s seven shots just in those two damn holes, all the rest have not been too bad.”

He was impressed with Jimenez, who turned 50 this year and will be competing against the likes of Lyle and Colin Montgomerie in a Champions Tour event next week. “He played very well. He deserved everything,” noted Lyle. “He didn’t make many mistakes out there. He’s in good shape after today.”