By Andrew Both
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Mark O’Meara will “more than likely” announce on Friday that he has played his final U.S. Masters.
O’Meara, speaking after an opening 78 at Augusta National on Thursday, said he would probably make a statement after his second round.
“It’s been a fun ride,” the 1998 Masters champion told reporters. “I don’t think anybody expected me to win, including me.”
His victory came one year after Tiger Woods, to whom he played the role of mentor at the time, had won the Green Jacket by 12 strokes.
O’Meara followed up his Masters victory by capturing the British Open three months later at Royal Birkdale, becoming a dual major winner at the age of 41.
“I feel like I won the two best major championships,” he said, offering an apology to the other two, the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.
“I’m no Tom Watson. I’m just a guy who got lucky.”
Now 61, O’Meara said he could no longer hit the ball far enough to compete around Augusta National.
“It’s a big course,” the American said. “I don’t want to shoot 76, 77, 78, 79 or 80. I’m OK with it. I’ll always enjoy this tournament.”
O’Meara has made the cut only once since 2005, finishing tied 22nd in 2015.
(Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Ed Osmond)