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The 1960s

Masters History
February 3, 2012 - 5:03 pm
Roberto De Vicenzo signed an incorrect scorecard in 1968's last round, keeping him from a playoff.  File/UPI
File/UPI
Roberto De Vicenzo signed an incorrect scorecard in 1968's last round, keeping him from a playoff.
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THE MOMENT: SCORECARD INCIDENT

Argentina's Roberto De Vicenzo was poised to battle Bob Goalby in an 18-hole playoff in 1968 when he got the sad news that he had signed an incorrect scorecard. 
 
De Vicenzo, who had won the British Open the year before, was celebrating his 45th birthday that Sunday at Augusta. The galleries had serenaded him with Happy Birthday  as he made his way around the course.
 
What could have been a joyous occasion quickly turned sour.
 
"I play golf all over the world for 30 years, and now all I can think of is what a stupid I am to be wrong in this wonderful tournament," De Vicenzo said afterward. "Never have I ever done such a thing."
 
Goalby made two birdies and an eagle on Nos. 13-15 to shoot 66 and finish at 11-under 277.
De Vicenzo made birdies at Nos. 15 and 17 before a bogey on the 18th left him with an apparent 65 and 11-under total.

While De Vicenzo was waiting for Goalby to finish, playing partner Tommy Aaron noticed De Vicenzo's scorecard total was 66. He pointed out the error to a Masters official, and a meeting was held in Bobby Jones' cottage off the 10th tee.
 
Aaron had marked De Vicenzo for 4 instead of 3 on the 17th hole.
 
Under the rules of golf, a player is responsible for the score on each hole of his card. Once a player has signed for his score, it must stand.
 
"It's a shame," Aaron said later. "He should've checked his scorecard."
 
Less than 30 minutes after Goalby had finished, the verdict came back in a statement from Hord Hardin, the president of the U.S. Golf Association and chairman of the Masters rules committee:
 
"Under the rules of golf, he (De Vicenzo) will be charged with a 66, which does not leave him in a tie with Bob Goalby, who is 11 under par. He is second, 10 under par."
 
If De Vicenzo had signed for a score that was lower than what he had made, the penalty would have been disqualification. De Vicenzo had to settle for second place and the silver medal that goes to the runner-up.
 
The Masters instituted new procedures for players to check their cards in privacy.
 
"The best thing is we now have a little building to go into," Goalby said. "At the time, all we had was a little picnic table where press could get to you early. Now they can't do that."
 
FRANK CHIRKINIAN 
 
Much as Arnold Palmer never met a shot he didn't think he could pull off, Frank Chirkinian never backed away from a challenge in producing golf telecasts.
 
The executive producer for golf on CBS from 1959-96 was known for his firm manner and for making the Masters telecast shine each spring.
 
Among the innovations he introduced were relation-to-par scoring, multiple cameras, microphones on tees and aerial blimps. He won Emmy and Peabody awards during his career.
 
Chirkinian was selected for induction to the World Gold Hall of Fame in the lifetime achievement category. He will be enshrined posthumously May 9. He died March 4 at his home in North Palm Beach, Fla., at age 84.
 
"Frank Chirkinian was a master storyteller and pioneered how golf -- and our tournament -- was broadcast on television," Augusta National and Masters Chairman Billy Payne said. "We salute his many contributions to the game and will always consider him to be an important and enduring part of the history and success of the Masters Tournament."
 
Chirkinian was a part-time Augusta resident, and he often said the Masters was his favorite event.
 
"There was always something special," he told Golfweek  shortly before his death. "It's probably the greatest theater in all of sports."
 
ARNOLD PALMER
 
Arnold Palmer had a knack for making the routine seem cool.
 
Whether it was hitching up his pants, taking a drag on a cigarette or hitting a golf ball, Palmer exuded confidence. He was the star performer in golf through the 1960s, and the Masters was his stage.
 
Palmer's arrival coincided with the advent of television, and his aggressive style of play boosted the game's popularity. Arnie's Army was formed in Augusta, but his followers marched all over the world.
 
Palmer won the first of his four Masters in 1958, and he continued to dominate into the next decade. His second Masters win, in 1960, was his most dramatic.
 
Ken Venturi was already in the clubhouse at 5-under-par 283 as Palmer played the final few holes. Palmer had led from the start, but with three holes to play he trailed Venturi by one.
 
At the 16th, Palmer's long birdie putt rattled off the pin (it was OK to leave the pin in the hole then), and he settled for par.
 
At the 17th, Palmer's approach left him a 20-foot putt for birdie. His putt looked like it would come up short, but it tumbled into the cup and an excited Palmer danced across the green.
 
Palmer needed a birdie to win, and his iron shot to the 18th green wound up about four feet from the cup. He made the putt, and CBS broadcaster Jim McKay excitedly announced, "Arnold Palmer is the Masters champion of 1960!"
 
Palmer could have become the first back-to-back Masters winner, but he botched the 18th hole in 1961 and wound up losing to Gary Player.
 
He gained revenge the next year, winning a three-way playoff against Player and Dow Finsterwald for his third Augusta triumph.
 
Two years later, Palmer became the first four-time Masters winner in dominant fashion, defeating Dave Marr and Jack Nicklaus by six shots.
 
Though neither Palmer nor his adoring public could have predicted it, the 1964 Masters would be his last victory in a major championship. He finished no worse than fourth the next three Masters, but after 1967 never seriously challenged again at Augusta National.
 
 
JOCK HUTCHISON AND FRED McLEOD
 
The Masters isn't the only tournament that has been played at Augusta National.
 
In 1937, the inaugural PGA Senior Championship was held at the club. Jock Hutchison won that event, and in 1938 Fred McLeod won as the tournament was played in Augusta for the final time.
 
The connection between Hutchison and McLeod and Augusta National wasn't over, though. They became honorary starters for the Masters beginning in 1963. Hutchison served until 1973, and McLeod continued through 1976.
 
BOB KLETCKE AND DAVE SPENCER
 
Bob Kletcke and Dave Spencer enjoyed one of the most unusual positions in golf for nearly four decades.
 
As co-professionals at Augusta National, they worked side by side at identical desks in the golf shop.
 
The arrangement came about in the 1960s when Gene Stout retired as head pro. Clifford Roberts suggested the two men share the position and, after some initial reluctance, they agreed. They served together through 2004.
 
GARY PLAYER
 
Gary Player has long been considered golf's global ambassador.
 
It's fitting that the South African was the first international winner of the Masters. Player won his first green coat in 1961 and added victories in 1974 and 1978.
 
All three victories featured excitement over the closing holes. The first win came courtesy of an Arnold Palmer collapse on the final hole. Palmer was bidding to become the first repeat champion in tournament history, but his typical final-day rally unraveled when he made double bogey on the 18th hole. 
 
Player entered the final day - a Monday finish in 1961 because of rain Sunday - with a four-stroke lead over Palmer. Two early birdies increased Player's lead to six, but Palmer made up the deficit and took the lead after 12 holes.
 

Player struggled for much of the back nine but closed with three pars to finish with 74 and 280 total.

Palmer came to the 18th hole needing only a par to edge Player.

It wasn't to be. His approach shot found the bunker on the right side of the green, and he bladed his third shot across the green. After using a putter to get the ball on the green, Palmer needed to sink his 15-foot putt for bogey to force a playoff. The putt missed, and the diminutive Player had his first triumph at Augusta National.

 
 
JACK NICKLAUS
 
Jack Nicklaus won the Masters three times in the 1960s, but his 1965 victory stands out for the way he dominated the course and tournament.
 
Nicklaus found himself in a battle with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player at the midpoint, but he broke away. 
 
Nicklaus, after making a slight adjustment in his putting stroke, rolled in a medium-length putt on the second hole of his third round. Another one fell on the fourth, and then again on the sixth. When he birdied seven and eight, the rout was on and the course record of 64, set by Lloyd Mangrum in 1940, was in jeopardy.
 
Three more birdies on the back nine gave Nicklaus 64 and left him five clear of Player and eight ahead of Palmer.
 
Next up was Ben Hogan's tournament record of 274. Nicklaus took care of that Sunday with a closing 69, and it established a new 72-hole scoring record of 271.
 
His margin of victory, by nine strokes over Palmer and Player, also shattered the previous mark.
 
Tournament co-founder Bobby Jones, who knew a thing or two about championship golf, called it the greatest tournament performance in all of golf.
 
"He plays a game with which I am not familiar," Jones said.
 
Nor, at least for one Masters, was anyone else.
 
GAY BREWER
 
Gay Brewer held off Bobby Nichols by a stroke to win in 1967. 
 
He trailed his childhood friend by two shots going into the final round, but birdies at Nos. 13, 14 and 15 helped him shoot 67.
 
 
 
 
 
 
GEORGE ARCHER
 
In 1969, Billy Casper couldn't shake George Archer. Casper led after each round and held a one-shot lead going into the final round.
 
Archer made his move and took the lead as Casper faltered. At the 15th, Archer saved par after finding the water on his approach. He held on to nip Casper, George Knudson and Tom Weiskopf by one stroke.
 
At 6-foot-5, Archer was the tallest golfer to ever win at Augusta National.
 
 
 
 
BILL INGLISH
 
Information about the Masters is now available in seconds, thanks to the Internet, but keeping track of scores and records wasn't always that simple. 
 
Bill Inglish, the golf writer for The Daily Oklahoman for 35 years, started keeping track of Masters information in 1964. His "little green book" became the tournament's source of information for journalists and fans all over the world for more than three decades.
 
Inglish told The Chronicle that compiling the Masters Tournament Scoring Records and Statistics book was a labor of love.
 
"It has to be fun or you wouldn't do it," he said. "I look forward to it every year. I never call it work; it's all fun."
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