AP Was There: Nicklaus wins epic battle for 5th green jacket

A survey of 15 golfing writers voted at the best perfect Masters. They’re being republished this week for the reason that Masters has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 1975 Masters used to be voted No. four. The next tale moved on April 13, 1975.

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By way of WILL GRIMSLEY

AP Particular Correspondent

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — There Jack Nicklaus stood at the 16th gap — Augusta’s par 3 Crimson Bud gap — taking a look at a 40-foot sidehill putt that should have appeared extra like a mile.

His ears had been nonetheless ringing from the cheers of hundreds lining the lengthy par 5 No. 15 simply in the back of him the place tall Tom Weiskopf had simply knocked house a 12-footer for a birdie that despatched him into the lead of the 39th Masters Golfing Match with 3 holes to play.

“Once in a while you get a sense about this stuff,” Nicklaus mentioned in a while. “I believed I may just make the putt. I determined to make use of a unique taste. I determined to hand-stroke the putt reasonably than hit it.

“I knew Tommy, looking at from the tee, would have a troublesome time enjoying the 16th after looking at me make a two. So I struck it and it rolled in. That, for me, used to be the event.”

A momentarily shaken Weiskopf proceeded to depart his five-iron tee shot 80 ft brief on No. 16 and watch his means putt roll to the left, nonetheless 18 ft away. He bogeyed and there used to be a two-shot shift in the ones loss of life moments of some of the biggest golfing tournaments ever performed.

“I were given the 2 photographs again that I had misplaced at the 14th,” Nicklaus mentioned.

1000’s pouring over Augusta’s floral acres and thousands and thousands viewing on tv watched the combat move right down to the general gap — a no-quarter, no-choke shootout involving the 3 greatest golfers of the age.

Nicklaus emerged the winner, an remarkable 5th Masters, his 15th main crown, the primary leg at the handiest honor that also evades him — the elusive Grand Slam, encompassing the Masters, U.S. and British Opens and the PGA, all in one yr.

“Positive, I would like it,” Nicklaus mentioned. “It is a risk however no longer a likelihood.”

Nicklaus completed with a four-under-par 68 for a 72-hole rating of 276 however known as it “the best Masters I’ve ever performed, higher than after I set the report (271) in 1965.”

Weiskopf, a tall princely guy with a swing of swish energy, and younger, tow-headed Johnny Miller, at 27 rated through many as Nicklaus’ inheritor obvious, had been only one shot in the back of at 277, each slightly lacking birdie putts at the ultimate inexperienced that will have tied them for the championship.

“I used to be simply rattling fortunate,” a gracious Nicklaus mentioned. “Tom Weiskopf had a proper to win. Johnny Miller had a proper to win. No one gave it away. I felt a way of historical past in the market.”

Then Jack added a remark echoed through nearly everybody who witnessed the pulse-pounding climax of a event folks shall be discussing for years.

“I do not believe I’ve ever been excited about a extra thrilling day of golfing,” Jack mentioned. “It used to be a beautiful taking place for The usa. Truthfully, it hits me proper right here.”

He pounded a fist in opposition to the pocket of his inexperienced jacket.

The elegance of Nicklaus’ ancient victory may just no longer dim the luster of performances through the lads who needed to be content material with the leavings.

The 27-year-old Miller, Professional Golfer of the 12 months in 1974 and winner of 11 excursion tournaments previously 11 half months, got here from 11 photographs again after the primary two rounds to omit sporting Nicklaus right into a playoff through a whisker.

Off to a surprising opening spherical 75, the string-bean Californian with the fierce aggressive spirit fired successive rounds of 71-65-66, surroundings a report of 202 for the final 54 holes and 131 for the final 36.

“I’m no Jack Nicklaus, however I am not dangerous,” he mentioned later. “I proved to myself and to everyone else that I will win different puts than Phoenix and Tucson.” He gained the ones two Arizona tournaments plus the Bob Hope Vintage previous this yr.

Weiskopf, at 32 3 years more youthful than Nicklaus, grew up within the shadow of the sport’s premier golfer in Columbus, Ohio, and has been endeavoring to stay an incessantly explosive temperament from spoiling one among golfing’s greatest rounded video games.

His second-place end marked the fourth time he has been runner-up on this invitation match, which like spring plants turns out to convey the entire recreation alive.

“I do know something,” he vowed. “I can win this event someday, and my inexperienced coat shall be tailor made.”

He made no effort to hide his unhappiness.

“I will’t give an explanation for the ache,” he mentioned. “I felt horrible.”

Nicklaus picked up the $40,000 first prize and moved inside putting distance of Miller because the yr’s main cash winner. Miller has earned $149,242, Weiskopf $112,488.

Hale Irwin, the reigning U.S. Open champion, additionally gave the final day enthusiasts a thrill through taking pictures an eight-under-par 64 — tying path data in the past made through Lloyd Mangrum, Nicklaus and England’s Maurice Bembridge. He completed with 282, tying Bobby Nichols, who had a 69. Former champion Billy Casper shot 76 for 283 and 6th cash.

With Weiskopf main the popular Nicklaus through a stroke, and Miller 4 photographs off the 54-hole tempo, the gallery used to be primed for fireworks however the consequence used to be extra thrilling than any person can have envisioned.

“There most certainly hasn’t ever been a significant championship during which the good avid gamers carried out so remarkably — with out giving quarter — right down to the general putt,” mentioned Herbert Warren Wind, famous historian and creator of the “Historical past of American Golfing” and a large number of different books.

Within the ultimate pairing, Nicklaus used to be paired with younger Tom Watson as the following to final twosome in the back of Weiskopf and Miller. Weiskopf got here from six photographs again to overhaul the front-running Nicklaus after 54 holes and Miller, 11 strokes in the back of and written off as a contender, persisted to sizzle.

The 2 Ohioans, Nicklaus and Weiskopf, went at each and every different stroke for stroke throughout the first 10 holes, the lead fluctuating with the made up our minds, fast-walking Miller selecting up floor.

After 10 holes, Nicklaus and Weiskopf had been tied, 11 beneath par, with Miller handiest two photographs again. No person else used to be an element for the identify. Then the contenders swung into what has been christened the “Amen Nook” — a bunch of holes on the a ways facet of the path from the clubhouse the place an abundance of water and fickle, swirling winds had been identified to kill the spirit of the giants.

It’s right here, through Masters custom, that championships are gained and misplaced. There used to be no exception this time.

On the 11th, an impressive par 4, Weiskopf dumped his moment into the water and Miller, in one among this few miscues, three-putted, lacking from two ft. Nicklaus now led Weiskopf through one and Miller through 3.

Miller were given a shot again with a birdie at the par 5 13th, nearly knocking the flagstick down after being within the bushes two times. Nicklaus and Weiskopf parred.

Rigidity heightened on the 420-yard 14th. Nicklaus put his means at the fringe, 40 ft from the cup, and putted to the opposite fringe 20 ft away, three-putting for a bogey 5. Simply in the back of him, Weiskopf birdied from six ft, a shift of 2 strokes.

Now Weiskopf used to be within the lead, 11 beneath, and Nicklaus used to be a shot again, with Miller two again — a dogfight. All 3 birdied the lengthy 15th, Nicklaus hitting what he known as “some of the greatest one-iron photographs I will keep in mind.”

A wild cheer went up when Weiskopf sank a tricky 12-foot putt for his birdie on the 15th. Jack used to be at the inexperienced on the 16th, taking a look at that 40-foot snake, which he promptly rammed house.

“It used to be a gutsy putt — it gained the event,” mentioned Miller, who proceeded to birdie the 17th and elevate the 3 of them to the general gap a shot aside, Nicklaus main through one.

Nicklaus unloaded a excellent power and put his moment at the inexperienced, 12 ft away — makeable for a birdie. Weiskopf and Miller got here up in pursuit, with super drives to the slight dogleg, uphill remaining gap.

Jack overlooked his birdie putt through a few inches, after which moved over to the sidelines to look forward to the final two males at the path. Miller put his solution to the golf green, 15 ft away. Weiskopf lashed the ball as much as inside 8 ft.

Miller’s putt slipped moderately previous the cup to the left. “I performed a 12 inch wreck and I will have to have performed an 18-inch wreck,” he mentioned. “You do not know what it’s to putt for a large championship.”

Weiskopf measured his eight-footer sparsely. He performed for a wreck that by no means got here.

“I noticed Johnny’s ball wreck and I performed for a similar wreck,” a upset Weiskopf mentioned. “I hit it excellent. I hit it the way in which I sought after to. The ball did not wreck. It is the wreck of the sport. However there shall be different days.”

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The panel of electorate: Jeff Babineau, Morning Learn; Michael Bamberger, golfing.com; Mark Cannizzaro, New York Put up; Iain Carter, BBC; Steve DiMeglio, USA As of late; Doug Ferguson, Related Press; Bob Harig, espn.com; Rex Hoggard, golfchannel.com; Derek Lawrenson, The Day by day Mail; Tod Leonard, golfdigest.com; Jim Litke, Related Press; Jim McCabe, pgatour.com; Invoice Pennington, New York Instances: Dave Shedloski, golfdigest.com; John Strege, golfdigest.com.

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