Chris Mizzoni is a good friend of mine, works with Vintage Sports Images, and really knows his stuff. Below is a blog post on Jack Nicklaus winning the 1986 Masters.
Entering the fourth round in the PGA’s 1986 Masters, 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus sat tied for ninth place at two under par. Nicklaus played his first eight holes to even par in the final round, a round which saw five different leaders. After birdies on holes 9, 10 and 11, Nicklaus bogeyed 12 to remain three back of the leaders.
He would begin his legendary comeback at the 15th hole, hitting a 204-yard drive to within 12 feet of the hole. He drained the eagle putt to pull within two strokes of leader Seve Ballesteros.
Nicklaus then birdied 16 to move to within one stroke of the lead. After pulling his approach into the water, Ballesteros failed to get up and down and bogeyed the hole, giving Nicklaus a share of the lead. Tom Kite made birdie at 15 to join a three-way tie for the lead. On 17, Jack hit his approach to within 18 feet and, after a long deliberation, he drained the putt for sole possession of the lead.
Nicklaus then two-putted for par on 18 to post a nine under, the result of an amazing 30 on the back nine in the final round. After Ballesteros three-putted on 17 to fall out of contention, Tom Kite had a 12-foot birdie attempt to tie Nicklaus. Kite barely missed his putt on the high side that would have forced a playoff. On the 17th, Greg Norman was attempting to stage his own comeback, making a shot between two pine trees to within eight feet of the hole. He would drain the birdie putt to tie for the lead, but on 18, pushed his approach into the gallery and missed his 15-foot par putt that would have forced a playoff with Nicklaus.
At 46 years old, The Golden Bear – Jack Nicklaus became the oldest winner of the Masters. He holds the record of being a six-time Masters champion. His 23 years between Masters wins is also a record that may never be broken.
For additional Vintage Sports Images shots of PGA golf legend Jack Nicklaus, please visit our gallery page on the famous athlete.