Heroic Putt Wins 1975 Masters For Nicklaus

By George WhiteFebruary 7, 2001, 5:00 pm
The Miracle Putt was a near-impossible task, what with the length, the glitzy opposition and the tension of the moment. It was at the 1975 Masters, it was 38 feet in length, a twister at the par-3 16th that won one of the most dramatic Masters for Jack Nicklaus.
 
Nicklaus won in a dogfight over Tom Weiskopf, who was the Player of the Year in 1973, and Johnny Miller, who was Player of the Year in 1974. Nicklaus had been Player of the Year in 1971 and '72. It was perhaps the greatest showing of the greatest players of the time in Masters history.
 
'There probably has never been a major championship in which the great players performed so remarkably - without giving quarter - down to the final putt,' said noted golf historian and author Herbert Warren Wind. For the final round, Nicklaus, Weiskopf and Miller were a combined 12 under par. Miller shot 66, Nicklaus shot 68 and Weiskopf shot 70.
 
Nicklaus was a shot behind leader Weiskopf as he played the 16th. Miller was two off the lead. Nicklaus crouched over the ball, eyed it warily, stared it down, then stroked it. 'Sometimes you get a feeling about those things,' he said. 'I thought I could make it.'
 
He looked up, and saw the ball as it dropped into the cup. Nicklaus was now tied for the lead with Weiskopf, who had a ringside seat for the 16th putt heroics from the tee.
 
Miller was waiting there with Weiskopf. Weiskopf left his tee shot 80 feet from the hole and, thoroughly shaken now, his putt wound up 18 feet away. He promptly missed the 18-footer, made bogey, and suddenly Nicklaus was the new leader.
 
Miller could hardly believe what he had witnessed from Nicklaus. 'If you putted it 100 times, you would probably make it once or twice, and you would three-putt 20 times,' he told the Augusta Chronicle. 'He (Nicklaus) just happened to hit the `once or twice.' It was just a miracle putt.'
 
Miller, who had won eight times the year before, reflected on the crowd scene as the putt went in the cup. 'There was an amazing roar,' he said. 'Nicklaus jumped.
 
'I wasn't paying attention to the putt. They asked me later if I saw the putt go in the hole and I said, `No, I just saw the bear tracks after he took it out of the hole.' He jumped and made his prints.'
 
With Nicklaus ahead now by one over Weiskopf and two over Miller, he parred 17 and 18. Miller made birdie on 17, meaning that he and Weiskopf would play the 18th only a shot behind the Golden Bear. A birdie by either would tie for the lead.
 
Miller putted first and missed a 15-footer. Now it was Weiskopf's turn. He was only eight feet away, but he turned away in agony as the putt turned at the last second. Nicklaus had won by a shot.
 
'I was just damn lucky,' conceded Nicklaus. 'Tom Weiskopf had a right to win. Johnny Miller had a right to win. Nobody gave it away. I felt a sense of history out there.'
 
Weiskopf vowed at the time that he would win the Masters one day. But he never did. And in 1995 he told Golf Digest, 'The 1975 Masters, that was the end of me. It was just so disheartening. I don't know what the right adjectives are to describe it, but it was a very deflating, very humbling type of thing.'
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.