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Veteran Floyd opts out of playing Masters

Ray Floyd has decided not to play in this year's Masters, ending a run of appearances that goes back to 1965.
Ray Floyd has decided not to play in this year's Masters, ending a run of appearances that goes back to 1965.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former Masters champion Raymond Floyd has opted out of playing this year
  • The 67-year-old has played in every Masters since making his debut in 1965
  • Floyd won the green jacket in 1976 and lost in a play-off to Nick Faldo in 1990
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(CNN) -- Former Masters winner Raymond Floyd has decided not to compete in this year's event, the first time the 67-year-old will not be playing at Augusta National since he made his debut in 1965.

Floyd, who won the tournament in 1976 and lost a play-off to Nick Faldo in 1990, has also decided not to do a lap of honor, unlike both Gary Player and Fuzzy Zoeller who both made their final appearances last year.

The American has not made the halfway cut since 1999 and recent surgery on a back problem also helped make his decision.

"Last year was my last Masters. I'm not competing this year," Floyd told reporters.

"It was something I toyed with pretty much all year as to whether I would play or not. I just feel that I've had so many fond, special memories here and I didn't feel like I embarrassed myself out there.

"I'm not competitive now and I didn't want to go out and embarrass myself. I have a good feeling that I've made the right decision."

Floyd's 1976 victory tied the then record score of 271 set by Jack Nicklaus in 1965. His 65 was the best start of any champion, his 131 set a record for the first 36 holes and 201 for the first 54 holes.