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Sandy Lyle, John Cook calling it career on PGA Tour Champions


Two of golf’s more well-known players are taking their final PGA Tour Champions curtain calls at Mission Hills.

Sandy Lyle and John Cook, both 65, both decided that this week’s Galleri Classic would be their final on the 50-and-over circuit. For Cook, the event is both a homecoming and a swan song. He’s a Mission Hills, California, native, so he chose the inaugural event as the place to tee it up one last time.

Full-field scores from The Galleri Classic

“When I saw this event on the schedule at Mission Hills, I just kind of made a decision that this was going to be my last competitive round,” Cook told the PGA Tour Champions. “I grew up here. This is where I first met Ken Venturi (the Hall of Famer and who was director of golf at the course). So basically, this is where I cut my teeth on how to play this game and play it at a higher and higher and higher level.

“So figured, why not finish it out right here and walk off into the sunset.”

Cook won the U.S. Amateur in 1978 and had 11 PGA Tour wins. He never won a major but came close at the 1992 Open at Muirfield, where he missed a 2-foot birdie putt on the 71st hole and then bogeyed the last to lose by a stroke to Nick Faldo.

The 10-time senior tour winner hasn’t played much on the PGA Tour Champions the past five years as his schedule as a Golf Channel analyst increased. Last year, Cook didn’t play at all as he was battling melanoma below his eye, which was invasive and spread to his cheek; however, he is now healthy.

Lyle, meanwhile, is a six-time PGA Tour winner, with his most famous victories being the 1985 Open Championship and ’88 Masters. He also won a Players Championship title and 16 regular European tour events.

Though the Galleri Classic is the Scot’s final senior tour start, he’ll play the Masters in April for the 43rd and final time.