Jack Nicklaus stayed consistent to outlast the field at the Sahara Invitational
On this day in 1966 Jack Nicklaus won the Sahara Invitational to beat Arnold Palmer and Miller Barber by 3 strokes. Nicklaus had already earned quite a reputation and gathered up his third green jacket by winning the Masters earlier in the year. In turn, Nicklaus also won The Open Championship while extending his major count at the time to six. The Sahara Invitational purse was $111,111.11 with the winner receiving $20,000 which was considered quite hefty for 1966. As a comparison, the amount of money Nicklaus received for his Masters’ win earlier that year was equal with this win.
With bad weather, bad scores came too
The weather came into play as a factor during the first couple of rounds of play, pushing the stroke average to 79.5. Many stars carded high numbers…Miller Barber had a 79, Raymond Floyd carded a 81, Nicklaus put up a 77 and Arnold Palmer shot an 80. Finally, some scores to finally keep the professionals modest.
It was Miller Barber who emerged as the third round leader coming in at 215. That was thanks to, in large part, to Barbers tremendous third round which he carded a 7 under par 64. Billy Casper did not grant Barber much breathing room although as he carded a 65 for himself. Nicklaus shot a 68 and would be waiting in the weeds for the final day.
The Golden Bear prevails
Nicklaus made it look easy on the final day as he turned in a calm 31 on his front nine. In the run down the stretch, Miller Barber who led int he third round tied Nicklaus on the 12th hole but collapsed after the 14th. Nicklaus ran away with the tournament as he carded a five under par 66 for his final round. The event merely turned into a battle for second place between Miller Barber and Arnold Palmer. It ended up a tie for the two of them at 285 both taking home $9,750.