A week ago, Mark O’Meara was walking the green mile at Augusta, the walk that every Masters champion must one day make. The one most never see coming when they’re young.
A last time through the tunnel of trees at No. 18, around the corner and up the hill to the final tilting green.
The truth was known mostly just to him, that at 61 he no longer could hit it long enough to scare Augusta National in the least. This was a different kind of champion’s goodbye, which in typical O’Meara fashion, was as modest as a whisper in church.
O’Meara was speaking Thursday 160 miles west from his hushed farewell tour, at TPC Sugarloaf, where he’s playing this weekend at the Mitsubishi Classic. Having processed the emotions of the preceding week, he still wasn’t making much of a big deal of it all.
“I just didn’t want to make it a big deal,” O’Meara said. “I just wanted to play and when I got done say this is it.”