PGA Tour Winner Withdraws From The Masters To Focus On Mental Health

 Wise watches his wedge shot at The Players Championship
Wise watches his wedge shot at The Players Championship

The chance to play Augusta National is often a once in a lifetime opportunity but, some things are more important than golf and, in the case of Aaron Wise, that proves to be the case, with the 26-year-old deciding to withdraw from The Masters, just a week out, as the American is set to 'focus' on his mental health.

Wise, who was voted PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2017-18, had qualified for the first Major of the year after ranking inside the World's Top 50. However, in an Instagram story, the PGA Tour winner wrote: "Regretfully I am withdrawing from The Masters today."

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In the post, he added: "Golf is just as much a mental game as it is one of physical skill, and the mental piece of it has been a struggle for me recently. I don't take the significance of Augusta National lightly, but I know that I need to take some time away to focus on my mental health so I can get back to competing at a level I am proud of."

Along with the note, Wise also included the caption: "This hurts, but it's needed. See you all soon," with the American having not featured in a Masters event since his only appearance in 2019. That week, he finished in 17th place.

It's an extremely brave and commendable decision by Wise, especially in an environment that is as cut-throat as professional golf. Many also respected his decision, with one user commenting: "Wow, props to him for having the courage to say exactly what it was. That's a kind, brave gesture to make for folks who also might be struggling with mental health but feel embarrassed or weak by it. Just became a huge Aaron Wise fan."

Wise with AT&T Byron Nelson trophy in 2018
Wise with AT&T Byron Nelson trophy in 2018

Wise, who picked up his first PGA Tour title at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson, enjoyed one of his best seasons to date in 2021-22, as a runner-up finish at the Memorial Tournament meant he finished 13th in the FedEx Cup that year.