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Posted March 23, 2012 07:03 pm |

1972: Jack Nicklaus wins fourth Green Jacket

  • Article Photos
    1972: Jack Nicklaus wins fourth Green Jacket
    Photos description
    Nicklaus
  • Article Photos
    1972: Jack Nicklaus wins fourth Green Jacket
    Photos description
    Front Page of The Augusta Chronicle after the 1972 Masters Tournament

If the early- to mid-1960s was the Golden Age for Masters winners, then the period from 1967-71 might be described as the "Who's that?'' era.

Gay Brewer Jr., Bob Goalby ,George Archer and Charles Coody - all one-time major winners for their careers - got their 15 minutes of fame during the stretch by winning at Augusta National.

Jack Nicklaus restored order in 1972.

The Golden Bear, who had endured a mild slump in the late 1960s before winning the 1970 British Open, led wire-to-wire to win his fourth Masters title.

And, in a tournament oddity, Nicklaus' scores became progressively worse with each day of the tournament.

Nicklaus made the most of his opening 68, which was aided by an eagle on the 15th. A 71 on the second day further increased his lead as the field battled tough scoring conditions.

A 73 on Saturday was not cause for alarm. Nor was the 74 he produced Sunday, because Nicklaus still won the tournament by three shots over Bruce Crampton, Bobby Mitchell and Tom Weiskopf.

Nicklaus' win put him ahead of Walter Hagen on the all-time majors win list and just one behind Bobby Jones, the Masters co-founder who had died the previous year.

Nicklaus would match Jones' record at his next major, the U.S. Open, at Pebble Beach. His run of major victories came to a halt, though, as he finished one shot behind Lee Trevino at the British Open.

Although Nicklaus was less than pleased with his overall play at the Masters, a win was a win.

"I've played better here and didn't win,'' he told reporters. "But the course changes and the field changes.''

But Nicklaus' winning green jackets, well, that was something that didn't change very often.

1972 Masters

 PlayerFR1R2R3R4 Earn.
1Jack Nicklaus-268717374 $25,000
2Bruce Crampton+172756973 $15,833
2Bobby Mitchell+173727173 $15,833
2Tom Weiskopf+174717074 $15,833
5Homero Blancas+276716974 $6,200
5Bruce Devlin+274757071 $6,200
5Jerry Heard+273717274 $6,200
5Jim Jamieson+272707177 $6,200
5Jerry McGee+273747172 $6,200
10Gary Player+373757271 $3,600
10Dave Stockton+376707471 $3,600