1966: Jack Nicklaus becomes the 1st back-to-back Masters Champion

Nicklaus teeing off

On this day, The Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus captured his third Green Jacket at The Masters. He set a tournament record by becoming the first man to win the event back-to-back.  In 1965, Nicklaus blew away the field to win by nine strokes, this time around it wasn’t so easy.  By the end of 72 holes, Nicklaus, was tied at even par with Tommy Jacobs & Gay Brewer.

In the Monday playoff, Nicklaus showed the fans that he was quite comfortable at Augusta by posting a two under par 70.  This bested Tommy Jacobs even par 72 and Brewers disastrous 78.

A close friend of Nicklaus was among four that died in a private plane crash in Tennessee on Wednesday, while en route to Augusta from Columbus, Ohio  Nicklaus learned of the incident late that night and responded with a 68 in the first round, but fell back with a 76 on Friday.

It was the fifth of 18 major titles for Nicklaus, and his only successful defense of a major championship. Three months later, he completed the first career grand slam at Muirfield in the Open Championship. Later back-to-back winners at Augusta were Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990, both playoffs) and Tiger Woods (2001 and 2002).This was the last Masters that two-time champion Byron Nelson played in; he shot 76 and 78 and missed the cut by one stroke.

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