Jack Creates A Masters Legend With Win In 86

By George WhiteFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
Legends live and legends die, but the Legend of 1986 is destined to live on forever. A 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus was the victor, turning back the clock to his glory days of the `60s and `70s and preserving a tale that is bound to get larger as the years progress.
Nicklaus was still only an after-thought as Sunday began. The week had begun with an Atlanta writer, the late Tom McCollister, writing that Nicklaus didn't have a chance because of his advancing age. Nicklaus saw the column and affixed it to the refrigerator of the home he was renting. It became his rallying cry when times became difficult - which they were as the fourth round started.
Nicklaus was still five behind Greg Norman as he reached the ninth hole. He figured he would have to shoot a 66 to tie, a 65 to win. If he parred at 9, he would have to shoot 36 on the back to reach the 66 figure.
As he settled in over an 11-foot putt at No. 9, back-to-back roars interrupted him. Tom Kite and Seve Ballesteros just holed for matching eagles at the par-5 8th. 'Okay, let's see if we can get a roar up here,' he said - then proceeded to stroke the putt into the back of the cup. He got his roar.
Now he had 35 on the front, needing 31 on the back to achieve his 66. 'Thirty-one is unusual at Augusta,' he said in a Sports Illustrated interview, 'but it's not outside the range of possibility.'
Nicklaus began at 10 with a drive which went into the gallery, but hit a spectator and stopped. The spectator was fine, and so was Nicklaus moments later after he sunk a 25-foot putt for another birdie.
By now he was 4-under and 22 feet from the pin at 11. Playing partner Sandy Lyle was just inside, and Nicklaus used his mark to drop another birdie to go 5-under. Things were getting very interesting for Jack, who now had made three birdies in a row as he came to par-3 12.
There he made a bogey, set up by a drive to the left back fringe, a chip which didn't come out like he had planned, and a putt which missed its target because of a spike mark. 'I think that may have been the hole that won the tournament for me,' he said in something of a surprise. 'It gave me a totally different perspective going into 13. It forced me to approach 13 aggressively.'
Nicklaus hit a solid 3-wood off the tee of the par-5 hole, then a 3-iron onto the green 30 feet short. Two putts gave him a birdie and boosted him back to 5-under. By now Norman had fallen back. Only Kite and Ballesteros led him, with several tied.
His second shot at 14 missed the green, leaving him an awkward chip of 12 feet. Calling upon a lesson that Chi Chi Rodriguez and taught his son Jackie - caddying for him, by the way - Nicklaus popped the ball to within a foot on the hole and got his par.
Fifteen is another par 5, and Nicklaus' second shot - a 4-iron - never left the flag. It slammed into the green 18 inches short of the cup and went on 12 feet by. When he made the putt for eagle, he was 7-under and he had the gallery roaring for sure.
Nicklaus nearly holed out at the par-3 16th with a 5-iron, the ball coming to rest only 3 feet. Nicklaus, crouched over the putt, was suddenly conscious of moving his head. 'I took the putter back only four or five inches, but I really popped that ball. I hadn't been doing that in recent years,' he said. Birdie, naturally. Now he was 8-under.
Nicklaus was on his way to the 17th tee when another roar interrupted him. Seve, in the lead at the time, had dunked his ball at 15, effectively knocking him out of competition. And again Nicklaus hit into the gallery with his drive, but he knocked his second to 10 feet. When he knocked his putt dead-center, reading the two-breaker perfectly, he finally had the lead at 9-under.
Nicklaus had one thought in mind when he reached 18 - don't leave it short. But that is exactly what he did when a little breeze came up just as he hit his approach. No problem, though. He cozied the putt up to within four inches of the cup and tapped in. He had his backside 30. And he had a final-day 65. When Kite missed a 12-footer and Norman put his 4-iron into the gallery, Nicklaus also had his sixth green jacket.
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    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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    Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

    By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

    PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

    Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

    Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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    Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

    PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

    With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

    After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

    “I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

    It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

    Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

    “It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

    Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

    “Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

    Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

    Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

    “It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

    Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

    “This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

    Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.