Lyle finds way to weekend play in major again
AUGUSTA, Ga. Fred Couples was not the only player from the over-50 set to make the cut as 1988 Masters champion Sandy Lyle put two solid rounds together to make his 16th cut in 32 Masters.
Shooting 72-73 for a 1-over 145, the Scotsman made his first cut at Augusta since finishing T-20 in 2009. Though he trails leader Jason Day by seven shots, Lyle is in good company with Ernie Els, Bo Van Pelt and Zach Johnson, all T-30 through two rounds.
“Any time you make the cut at Augusta, you're really happy,” Lyle said of his accomplishment. “Two over after four yesterday wasn't looking very good, and I wasn't really striking the ball, so I just hung in and hung in, and then there was some life at the end and I got back to level par.
Lyle has broken 70 just one time in his last 60 rounds at the Masters, the first round in 2010, but missed the cut after a second-round 86.
To make up any ground on the leaders, Lyle will need to find a sub-70 round in his 55-year-old body or be content with making the cut and potentially a high finish.
The two-time major champion thinks he can do that, with the help of an old friend.
“I brought the putter from the PGA last year back out, and it's been doing its bit,” Lyle said of his 29.5 average putts per round. “It's settled my nerves a little bit, and I'm making those 4‑footers and the odd 10‑footer for birdie now and then. If you can do that, you'll be OK.”
One senior thinks that Lyle, as well as Couples, who stands in second place, can handle the pressure of winning another major championship.
“We've been there before,” eight-time major winner Tom Watson said of seniors playing in major championships. “We've played four rounds. We know what a cut is. That's nothing new to us.”