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The Week In Golf April 12-18

Featuring a Tiger, a Bear, a Shark, someone called Fuzzy and another called Boom Boom.

Posted Apr 12, 2010 by The Week In Golf


April 12, 1992: the golfing gods were particularly kind to Fred Couples. His tee shot on the infamous par-3 12th at Augusta magically came to a halt just inches away from Rae's Creek. Couples saved his par and went on to beat Raymond Floyd for his only major championship.
Other Masters headlines from this day include Ben Hogan's triumph in 1953, in which the Wee Ice Mon fired four rounds 70 or lower to set a new scoring record at Augusta at 274. Other winners on April 12 are Sam Snead (1954, third title); Arnold Palmer (1964, fourth and final title); Tom Watson (1981, second title); Nick Price (1986); Larry Mize (1987); Mark O'Meara (1998, final-hole birdie) and Phil Mickelson (2004).

April 13, 1997: On this day in 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest champion of the Masters when he blitzed Augusta and the field with a tournament-record 18-under-par 270. In Woods' first appearance in a major as a professional, he also became the first golfer of African or Asian heritage to win a major championship. Not surprisingly, '97 set records for attendance and TV audiences, and only two months later Woods was the No. 1 player in the world.
This day in 1986 marks one of the most memorable finishes in Masters history, when 46 year-old Jack Nicklaus won the Masters by a stroke over Greg Norman and Kite for his sixth Green Jacket and 18th major title. Nicklaus is still the oldest Masters winner, 11 years before Woods became the youngest. It was also on this day in 1942 that Byron Nelson beat Ben Hogan 69-70 in a playoff to win his second Masters. Other men winning at Augusta today include George Archer (1969); Billy Casper (1970); Nicklaus (1975, fifth title); Seve Ballesteros (1980, first European to win the Masters); and Mike Weir (2003). In the midst of this Masters mayhem let's not forget that Davis Milton Love III, 1997 PGA Champion and winner of 20 events on the PGA Tour, was born on this day in 1964.

April 14, 1996: Greg Norman suffered one of the most painful collapses in major championship history, shooting 78 in the final round at Augusta to succumb to Nick Faldo's 67 and memorably losing the Masters by five shots. It was the major title he wanted the most and it appeared sewn up for Norman, who had a six-shot lead on the first tee.
An even exponent of the cruel art of 'clutching defeat from the jaws of victory' is Roberto De Vicenzo, who signed an incorrect scorecard on this day in 1968, which robbed him of a playoff spot at Augusta. His famous quote: "What a stupid I am!" is sadly more recognised than his Open triumph in 1967 and any of the other 200-plus tournament victories of his career.
Others more fortunate to have notched Masters victories today are Gary Player (1974, second title); Bernhard Langer (1985); Ian Woosnam (1991); and Tiger Woods (2002, third title).

April 15, 1979: twenty seven year-old Fuzzy Zoeller became the first golfer since Gene Sarazen to win the Masters in his first attempt (and Sarazen doesn't really count because the event was only two years old in 1935). Fuzzy birdied the second playoff hole, knocking off Ed Sneed and Tom Watson, and celebrating by chucking his putter skyward. Also, on this day in 1984 Ben Crenshaw won the first of his two Green Jackets, putting like a genius and firing a final-round 68 to beat poor Tom again by two shots.

April 16, 1989: the late Payne Stewart had it rolling as he coasted to the MCI Heritage Classic title at Harbour Town (now the Verizon Heritage), beating Kenny Perry by three shots at 16-under 268. In an odd footnote to the '89 edition of Harbour Town, the otherwise little-known Kenny Knox set a PGA Tour record in the event by needing only 93 putts in a 72-hole tournament. Imagine how bad slick-putting Knox must have driven it to end up losing the tournament anyway (and yes, his record still stands).

April 17, 1953: Double Olympic gold medalist, All-American basketball player and 41-time LPGA Tour winner Babe Zaharias underwent surgery for colon cancer. The operation went ahead amidst fears that it would cut short one of the most exciting sporting lives in history. Babe (born Mildred Ella) returned to competitive golf in 1954 and won her 10th and final Major, the US Open, that year. The cancer re-emerged in 1955 and although she managed a further two tournament victories, she died in Galveston, Texas, on September 27, 1956.

April 18, 1966: Arnold Palmer defeated Gay Brewer to claim his third Tournament of Champions victory at the Stardust Country Club in Las Vegas, Nevada after a three-hole playoff. This was Arnie's 47th from a remarkable 62 PGA Tour victories he recorded during his career. The late Brewer would go onto win is one Major title, claiming the Masters the following year.

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