At the 1963 Masters Tournament a young Jack Nicklaus tamed Augusta National
By: Claudia Mazzucco
On this day, April 7 1963, Jack Nicklaus captured the 27th Masters Tournament, becoming the youngest player in history to win the title. He wore the green jacket at age 23. 1963 Masters
Jack had been competing as a pro during 15 months when he caught the entire field by surprise with a 66, six under par, in the second round to go one behind the leader Mike Souchak. According to the experts it was one of the finest single rounds ever played at Augusta National and gave him the edge he needed to survive the last two rounds.
Just before Nicklaus left the clubhouse for his final round on Sunday, he paused to say hello to a friend who asked him, “How do you feel today, Jack, big and strong?” Nicklaus laughed and said, “Yeah, big and strong and tough and mean.”
On the last day, Nicklaus made the turn in 37, and on the 12th he was tied for the lead with Sam Snead, who sank a 35-foot putt at the 14th green and made another birdie on the 15th to go 2 under par. Just about that time, Nicklaus hit his shot out of the wet bunker well across the green on the 12th, and his third shot was still eight feet from the hole. The bogey dropped him to even par. But he made birdies at the 13th, par 5, and on the 16th, par 3, where he sank a 12-footer from the back of the green that curled into the hole.
Snead three-putted on the 16th and all was finally defined. Jack arrived at the 18th green needing only two putts from 25 feet for victory. He finished with a second putt from three feet beating Tony Lema by one. His 286 was the highest winning score in seven years.
Snead, who would be 51 on May 27 that year, carried most the cheers of a 30,000 spectator gallery right up to the 18th hole, where he made bogey. He shot a final round of 71 and tied for third with Julius Boros at 288. 1963 Masters 1963 Masters 1963 Masters
Claudia M. Mazzucco is a researcher at Golf Channel and teacher of History of Golf at the PGA of Argentina, in Buenos Aires. She is the author of Legendary Lessons (2016), El Golf de los Tiempos, A Novel (2002) and The Guide of Golf Courses in Argentina (2003). She received the PGA Award from the PGA of Argentina in 2005