Hedge fund manager Trip Kuehne is retiring—from his second job as an amateur golfer.
After qualifying for this years’ Masters golf tournament, Kuehne, of the appropriately named Irving, Texas-based Double Eagle Capital Management, said he hoped to make the cut for “the working man” at the Augusta National Golf Club.
He may not be the quintessential “working man,” and he’s certainly no stranger to the upper echelons of the golf world. Kuehne runs his own hedge fund firm, has a pair of golf professionals as siblings (one of whom is dating tennis champion Venus Williams) and roomed with Phil Mickelson in college. Fourteen years ago, he went toe-to-tie with Tiger Woods and enjoyed the support of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo during his surprisingly strong showing at this tournament.
Still, when the hedge fund industry’s representative to the first of golf’s major championship shanked his shot on the 16th hole on Friday (and followed it up by bouncing his second shot off the head of a spectator), his hopes of making the cut—and playing with the big boys to determine the champion this weekend—fell by the wayside.
And after he missed the cut by three shots—he announced the Masters would be the last of his amateur career.
“It was a hell of a ride,” a tearful Kuehne said, “but I guess this is where the cowboy is supposed to ride away.”
Kuehne went into hedge funds after coming in second to Woods—who has won four Masters—at the 1994 U.S. Amateur Championship (Kuehne was actually beating Woods late into the tournament). Since then, he’s spent as much as $50,000 per year to play in golf tournaments, hoping to get back to Augusta (as U.S. Amateur runner-up, he played in the 1995 Masters, rooming with Woods).
“Unfortunately, I hit a shot like a working man probably should hit under those situations,” Kuehne told the Dallas Morning Call. “I let up for a brief moment, and I’m not good enough to let up for a brief moment.”