Lee Trevino explains why he skipped the Masters for 3 years in his prime

Lee Trevino skipped the Masters three times in the prime of his career, a move that baffled so many in the sport. He passed on Augusta National in 1970, '71 and '74, going on to win the U.S. Open and British Open in 1971 and the PGA Championship in 1974. 

At the time and for years after, Trevino maintained that he didn't play in the Masters because he was convinced he couldn't play the course well. It was in his head. However, having held the 36-hole lead there twice over the years, perhaps that should have been seen as a flimsy excuse. 

In an interview with Global Golf Post, Trevino explained the real reason why he didn't play the Masters: It was a boycott of tournament chairman Clifford Roberts.

"My problem wasn't with Augusta," Trevino said. "My problem wasn't with the golf course. I made it that simply because I didn't want to tell the truth. My problem was I couldn't get along with Cliff Roberts.

"Cliff Roberts and I locked horns the first time I was there. I took a disliking to the man and he took a disliking to me. I stayed away from there because I didn't want to have anything to do with him."

Eventually, Jack Nicklaus, who Trevino beat more than any of Nicklaus' supposed rivals in majors, convinced the Merry Mex to come back.

"I never told Jack about it," Trevino added. "I went back and I didn't say anything. It wasn't Augusta at all. I loved Augusta."

The response back then to Trevino's decision to avoid Augusta was that he must have known his low fade wouldn't work at Augusta National. Trevino's response, then and now, is rooted in history.

He said, "Jimmy Demaret won it three times with a fade."

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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