Mize's game more than chip-in that won for him Victor a decade ago has learned to live with pressures, expectations

The Masters

April 10, 1997|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The 10-year anniversary of one of the most famous shots ever struck in the history of the Masters will likely pass quietly. That is, unless Larry Mize gets in contention again this weekend at Augusta National.

A decade ago, Mize was a fairly obscure 29-year-old whose reputation was for blowing tournaments rather than winning them. He had won once, in 1983, and his penchant for losing leads had given him the unfortunate nickname "Larry De-Mize."

Then Mize hit a 140-foot chip shot to beat Greg Norman on the second hole of sudden death.

"People still talk about my Masters win and the chip-in," said Mize, who grew up in Augusta and now lives in Columbus, Ga. "Financially, it's been great. It's given me great opportunities on the golf course and off. There are a lot of perks that go with winning the Masters."

And a lot of pressure, much of it self-imposed. It would be another six years before Mize would win again on the PGA Tour. He won twice that year to finish 13th on the money list, but has since seen his earnings tumble. He finished 67th the past two years.

"I think after winning Augusta I put a lot of pressure on myself to live up to being a Masters champion and perform at an extremely high level, possibly beyond my capabilities," said Mize, who comes into this year's Masters after being in contention for two rounds at The Players Championship. "I still probably struggle with it from time to time."

Mize has never tried to replay the chip, to the right of the green. He has never even been tempted.

"That's a good memory," he said. "And it shall stay that way."

Admiral caddie

Aside from Tiger Woods, the person who got the most attention on the practice green yesterday wasn't a player but a caddie. Though he couldn't hide his 7-foot body in a white jumpsuit with the name PAVIN on the back, many didn't know that Corey Pavin's caddie for the par-3 tournament was San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson.

"Who is that, Dennis Rodman?" one boy asked as he looked at Robinson from a distance.

When the boy was told that it was Robinson, a British couple wanted to know who he was.

They were informed he was an American pro basketball star, albeit one who has spent most of this season on the injured list.

"I knew he wasn't a limbo star," said the husband.

Robinson, who knows Pavin from their work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, seemed to be enjoying the day.

"I needed a job," he said jokingly. Pavin's regular caddie will be back to work today when the Masters begins.

Funk not scared

Former University of Maryland golf coach Fred Funk will be making his fourth appearance at the Masters. He will tee off with Guy Boros at 2: 38 p.m.

"I'm still very excited, but I'm not scared like I was in the past," said Funk. "It's such a goofy golf course because of certain parts of the greens. If you're not playing well, this course will embarrass you."

Facts

When: Today-Sunday

Site: Augusta National Golf Club, 6,925 yards, par 36-3672

Format: 72 holes

Masters pairings

At Augusta, Ga.

8 a.m.: Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson (ceremonial)

8: 20: Gay Brewer, Charles Coody

8: 29: Billy Casper, Doug Ford

8: 38: Tommy Aaron, Ken Green

8: 47: John Cook, Stewart Clink

8: 56: Scott Hoch, Sam Torrance

9: 05: Larry Mize, John Miller

9: 14: Dan Forsman, Lee Westwood

9: 23: Jeff Sluman, Michael Bradley

9: 32: Scott McCarron, Justin Leonard

9: 41: Dudley Hart, Duffy Waldorf

9: 50: D.A. Weibring, Ed Fiori

9: 59: Fuzzy Zoeller, Steve Scott

10: 08: Lee Janzen, Frank Nobilo

10: 17: David Ogrin, Clarence Rose

10: 26: Mark Brooks, Stuart Appleby

10: 35: John Morse, David Berganio

10: 44: Bob Tway, Jeff Maggert

10: 53: David Duval, Jesper Parnevik

11: 02: Craig Stadler, David Frost

11: 11: Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry

11: 20: Fred Couples, Vijay Singh

11: 29: Corey Pavin, Loren Roberts

11: 38: Sandy Lyle, Mark Calcavecchia

11: 47: Tom Kite, Paul Azinger

11: 56: Colin Montgomerie, Davis Love III

12: 05 p.m.: Brad Faxon, Tommy Tolles

12: 14: Steve Jones, Per-Ulrik Johansson

12: 23: Ben Crenshaw, Costantino Rocca

12: 32: Tom Watson, Steve Elkington

12: 41: Jack Nicklaus, Yoshinori Kaneko

12: 50: Raymond Floyd, Robert Allenby

12: 59: Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson

1: 08: Arnold Palmer, Warren Bladon

1: 17: Bernhard Langer, Mark McNulty

1: 26: Gary Player, Tim Hogarth

1: 35: Steve Stricker, Paul Stankowski

1: 44: Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods

1: 53: Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O'Meara

2: 02: Tom Lehman, Nick Price

2: 11: Ian Woosnam, Ernie Els

2: 20: Seve Ballesteros, Jumbo Ozaki

2: 29: John Huston, Willie Wood

2: 38: Fred Funk, Guy Boros

Pub Date: 4/10/97

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