Gary Player kissed the turf as he left the 18th green after completing his second round in his record breaking appearance at the 208 US Masters.
The three time winner said he would be back next year after carding a 78, improving on his 83 in the first round.
“I went out today and said to myself, ‘If I can break 80, I’ll come back next year,” Player said.
The night before the final round, Player rang his South African protege and eventual winner Trevor Immelman to tell him he was sure he was going to take out the title.
US television network commentator Nick Faldo made much of the fact that Player had previously expressed the view that Immelman had a swing the closest he had seen to the great Ben Hogan.
The network also displayed a photo of Player holding a five year old Immelman in his arms.
Player left an overnight voice message for Immelman saying: “Take your time and keep your eyes on the ball for an extra second on the putts. There will be bad breaks but I know you will win.”