|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|Residence||North Palm Beach, Florida|
|College||Ohio State University|
|Tours|| PGA Tour (joined 1962) |
Champions Tour (joined 1990)
|Professional Wins (113)|
|PGA Tour||73 (2nd all time)|
|Other|| 21 (Regular) |
|Major Championship Wins (18)|
|Masters||(6) 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986|
|U.S. Open||(4) 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980|
|The Open||(3) 1966, 1970, 1978|
|PGA||(5) 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980|
|Awards listed here|
Jack William Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), also known as "The Golden Bear", is widely regarded as the greatest professional golfer of all time, in large part because of his records in major championships. Nicklaus accumulated a record 18 professional majors in a PGA Tour career lasting 25 years, from 1962 to 1986. Later, on the Champions Tour, the senior version of the PGA Tour, he won 8 of that tour's majors between 1990 and 1996. Both records still stand today.
Nicklaus has also taken part in many off-course activities, including golf course design, golf instruction book writing, and running his own tournament on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament. Together with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player (collectively known as the "Big Three"), he is credited with turning golf into the major spectator sport it has become. While Palmer brought golf into the television era, it was the developing Nicklaus-Palmer-Player rivalry that drove subsequent interest.
Nicklaus began his professional career in 1962. His first professional win came in the same year, defeating the heavily favored Arnold Palmer in a Monday playoff at Oakmont for the 1962 U.S. Open. By the end of the year Nicklaus had picked up two more wins, those being the Seattle Open and the Portland Open back-to-back. He completed 1962 with over $60,000 prize-money, placed third on the tour money list, and was named Rookie of the Year.
In 1963 Nicklaus won two of the four major championships - the Masters and the PGA Championship. Along with three other wins including the Tournament of Champions, he placed second on the tour money list with just over $100,000. Despite winning no majors in 1964, Nicklaus placed first on the tour money list for the first time in his career with a margin of $81.13 over Palmer. At the British Open at St Andrews, Nicklaus set a new record for the lowest score in the final 36 holes with 66-68. This was not enough, however to win the event; Nicklaus placed second to Tony Lema.
Nicklaus won the Masters in 1965 and 1966, becoming the first consecutive winner of this event. He set a tournament record of 271 in the 1965 Masters, which lasted until Tiger Woods shot 270 in 1997. In 1966, he also won the British Open at Muirfield in Scotland, which was the only major he had failed to win up to this time. This win made him the youngest player, age 26, and the only one after Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, and Gary Player (until Tiger Woods at age 24) to win all four major championships, now known as the Career Slam. Jack Nicklaus eventually accomplished the triple career slam in 1978, winning all four majors three times. In 1967 Nicklaus won his second U.S. Open title at Baltusrol, breaking Hogan's 72-hole record with a 275.
"I was playing good golf, but it really wasn't that big a deal to me one way or the other. And then my father passed away and I sort of realized that he had certainly lived his life through my golf game. I really hadn't probably given him the best of that. So I sort of got myself back to work. So '70 was an emotional one for me from that standpoint. ... It was a big boost.
Nicklaus won the first two majors of 1972, the Masters and the U.S. Open, creating talk of a Grand Slam. In the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Nicklaus struck a one-iron on the par-three 17th hole into a stiff, gusty ocean breeze which landed, hit the flagstick and ended up six inches from the cup. The U.S. Open was Nicklaus's 13th career major, and tied him with Bobby Jones for career majors (although a different group of tournaments had been considered majors in Jones's time). He won a total of seven tournaments during the year, and was runner-up in a further three. Nicklaus did not win the Grand Slam in 1972, however, as Lee Trevino repeated as the British Open champion (Nicklaus finished second, one shot behind), and Gary Player prevailed in the PGA Championship.
Jones's record of majors was soon broken when Nicklaus won the PGA Championship in August 1973 for his 14th professional major. In that year he won another six tournaments. The PGA Player of the Year was awarded to Nicklaus for the third time, and the second year in a row. Nicklaus's failure to win a major in 1974 was offset somewhat by his being named one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Nicklaus says this honor was a "nice memento" after a "disappointing season".
Nicklaus started off well in 1975: he won the Doral-Eastern Open, the Heritage Classic, and the Masters in consecutive starts. His Masters win was his fifth, a record he was to break eleven years later. In this tournament, Nicklaus made a 40-foot putt on the 16th hole to all but secure his victory. He also won the PGA Championship for the fourth time in August. His performance in 1975 resulted in his being named PGA Player of the Year for the fourth time, tying Ben Hogan, and he was also named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year.
He placed first on the tour money list again in 1976, despite competing in only 16 events, winning only two — neither of them majors — and playing what he called "hang-back-and-hope golf". He also won the PGA Player of the Year award for a record fifth time. Between 1972 and 1976 the only time he failed to win this award was 1974.
The following year, 1977, was also majorless for Nicklaus, but his second-place finish behind Tom Watson at the British Open at Turnberry created headlines around the world. In a one-on-one battle dubbed the "Duel in the Sun," Nicklaus shot 65-66 in the final two rounds, only to be beaten by Watson, who scored 65-65. Nicklaus would later say:
"There are those in golf who would argue into next month that the final two rounds of the 1977 British Open were the greatest head-to-head golf match ever played. Not having been around for the first five hundred or so years of the game, I'm not qualified to speak on such matters. What's for sure, however, is that it was the most thrilling one-on-one battle of my career.During 1977, Nicklaus won his 63rd tour event, passing Ben Hogan to take second place on the career wins list, behind only Sam Snead.
Nicklaus won the 1978 British Open to become the only player to have won each major championship three times. This record has since been tied by Tiger Woods, by winning the 2008 U.S. Open. Nicklaus and Woods are the only two to win three "Career Grand Slams." Nicklaus won three other tournaments on the PGA Tour including the Tournament Players Championship, and was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. After this year he suffered a lapse of form, not winning another tournament until June 1980. The year of 1979 was the first in which he failed to win a tournament; he had only one runner-up finish.
In the offseason, Nicklaus addressed two problems which had hurt his performance. His longtime coach Jack Grout noticed that he had become much too upright with his full swing; this was corrected. Then Nicklaus' short game, never a career strength, was further developed with the help of Phil Rodgers, a 20-year friend and tour rival, who had become a fine coach. Rodgers lived for a time at the Nicklaus home while this work was going on (Jack Nicklaus: My Story, by Jack Nicklaus, with Ken Bowden).
In 1980, Nicklaus recorded only three top-ten finishes, but two of these were victories in majors (the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship); the other was a runner-up finish in the Doral-Eastern Open. During the next five years Nicklaus won only twice on the tour, including his own tournament (Memorial Tournament) in 1984.
In 1986, Nicklaus capped his career by recording his sixth Masters victory under incredible circumstances, posting a six-under 30 on the back nine at Augusta for a final round of seven-under 65. At the 17th hole, Nicklaus hit it to within 18 feet and rolled it in for birdie, raising his putter in celebration and completing an eagle-birdie-birdie run. Nicklaus made a victory-sealing par-4 at the 72nd hole, and waited for the succeeding players to falter. At age 46, Jack Nicklaus became the oldest Masters winner in history, a record which still stands. On the feat, sports columnist Thomas Boswell remarked,
"Some things cannot possibly happen, because they are both too improbable and too imperfect. The US hockey team cannot beat the Russians in the 1980 Olympics. Jack Nicklaus cannot shoot 65 to win the Masters at age 46. Nothing else comes immediately to mind."This victory was his 18th major title as a professional.
Nicklaus won the 1986 Masters using the Response ZT putter. Its manufacturer, MacGregor Golf, received 5,000 orders the next day; it had planned to sell only 6,000 copies of this model for the entire year. Before the tournament, Tom McCollister, writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said that Nicklaus was "done, washed up, through," and this spurred him on, as he says:
"I kept thinking all week, 'Through, washed up, huh?' I sizzled for a while. But then I said to myself, 'I'm not going to quit now, playing the way I'm playing. I've played too well, too long to let a shorter period of bad golf be my last.
This victory was to be his last in his long career on the PGA Tour. At the age of 58, Nicklaus made another valiant run at the 1998 Masters, where he tied for sixth.
After a winless year in 1992, Nicklaus came back to win the U.S. Senior Open for the second time in 1993. Also in that year he teamed up with Chi Chi Rodriguez and Raymond Floyd to win the Wendy's Three Tour Challenge for the Champions Tour team. In 1994 he won the Champions Tour's version of the Mercedes Championship for his only win of the year. The Tradition was his again in 1995, in a year where he made the top 10 in all of the seven tournaments he entered in. His 100th career win came the next year, when he won the Tradition for the fourth time, and second time in succession. This was to be his last win on the Champions Tour, and the last official win of his career.
Nicklaus finished his professional career at the The Open Championship at St. Andrews on July 15, 2005. Nicklaus turned 65 in January that year, which was the last year he could enter The Open Championship as an exempt player. He played with Luke Donald and Tom Watson in his final round. After hitting his tee shot off the 18th tee in the second round, Nicklaus received a ten-minute standing ovation from the crowd. Soon afterwards, Nicklaus ended his career with a fitting birdie, holing a fifteen-foot birdie putt on the 18th green. Nicklaus missed the 36-hole cut with a score of +3 (147).
In 2000, Nicklaus played in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship for the last time. In 2005, Nicklaus made his last Masters appearance, and played The Open one last time.
In 1999, Nicklaus was selected as the top male individual athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated magazine.
He was inducted into the Royal Canadian Golf Association's Hall of Fame, the only non-Canadian so honored, in recognition of his contributions to Canadian golf. His likeness was featured on a special issue five-pound note from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Nicklaus received the 2005 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honor.
Nicklaus also continues to manage the Memorial Tournament he created in his home state of Ohio, which is played on a course he designed and is one of the more prestigious events on the PGA Tour. His other interests are varied and many, and include a golf equipment company and golf academies. There is a Jack Nicklaus Museum on the campus of the Ohio State University in his home town of Columbus, Ohio. He had the unique privilege of dotting the "i" of "Script Ohio" (specifically the "i" in "Ohio"), the signature formation of the Ohio State University Marching Band, at the Ohio State homecoming game on October 28, 2006 when the Buckeyes played Minnesota; this is considered the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a non-band member. While at Ohio State University, Nicklaus became a member of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. Nicklaus also a trustee at a private school in North Palm Beach called The Benjamin School. Most of his children and grand children attended this school.
Nicklaus also owns Nicklaus Golf Equipment. Founded in 1992, the Nicklaus Golf Equipment Company manufactures golf equipment in three distinctive categories (Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus Signature and Nicklaus Premium) targeting golfers at every stage of their golfing development. Jack's passion for excellence and intense focus translates to the design and development of his golf equipment, which in turn enhances each golfer's playing experience.
Nicklaus, a pioneer of performance science, was also known for eating bananas on the golf course as an energy food.
|Year||Championship||54 Holes||Winning Score||Margin||Runners Up|
|1962||U.S. Open||2 shot deficit||-1 (72-70-72-69=283)||Playoff 1||Arnold Palmer|
|1963||The Masters||1 shot lead||-2 (74-66-74-72=286)||1 stroke||Tony Lema|
|1963||PGA Championship||3 shot deficit||-5 (69-73-69-68=279)||2 strokes||Dave Ragan|
|1965||The Masters (2)||5 shot lead||-17 (67-71-64-69=271)||9 strokes||Arnold Palmer, Gary Player|
|1966||The Masters (3)||Tied for lead||E (68-76-72-72=288)||Playoff 2||Gay Brewer, Tommy Jacobs|
|1966||The Open Championship||2 shot deficit||-2 (70-67-75-70=282)||1 stroke||Doug Sanders, Dave Thomas|
|1967||U.S. Open (2)||1 shot deficit||-9 (71-67-72-65=275)||4 strokes||Arnold Palmer|
|1970||The Open Championship (2)||2 shot deficit||-5 (68-69-73-73=283)||Playoff 3||Doug Sanders|
|1971||PGA Championship (2)||4 shot lead||-7 (69-69-70-73=281)||2 strokes||Billy Casper|
|1972||The Masters (4)||1 shot lead||-2 (68-71-73-74=286)||3 strokes||Bruce Crampton, Bobby Mitchell, Tom Weiskopf|
|1972||U.S. Open (3)||1 shot lead||+2 (71-73-72-74=290)||3 strokes||Bruce Crampton|
|1973||PGA Championship (3)||1 shot lead||-7 (72-68-68-69=277)||4 strokes||Bruce Crampton|
|1975||The Masters (5)||1 shot deficit||-12 (68-67-73-68=276)||1 stroke||Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller|
|1975||PGA Championship (4)||4 shot lead||-4 (70-68-67-71=276)||2 strokes||Bruce Crampton|
|1978||The Open Championship (3)||1 shot deficit||-7 (71-72-69-69=281)||2 strokes||Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd, Tom Kite, Simon Owen|
|1980||U.S. Open (4)||Tied for lead||-8 (63-71-70-68=272)||2 strokes||Isao Aoki|
|1980||PGA Championship (5)||3 shot lead||-6 (70-69-66-69=274)||7 strokes||Andy Bean|
|1986||The Masters (6)||4 shot deficit||-9 (74-71-69-65=279)||1 stroke||Tom Kite, Greg Norman|
1 Defeated Arnold Palmer in 18-hole playoff - Nicklaus (71), Palmer (74)
2 Defeated Tommy Jacobs & Gay Brewer in 18-hole playoff - Nicklaus (70), Jacobs (72), Brewer (78)
3 Defeated Doug Sanders in 18-hole playoff - Nicklaus (72), Sanders (73)
|The Masters||T13 LA||T7||T15||1||T2||1||1||CUT||T5||T24|
|U.S. Open||2 LA||T4 LA||1||CUT||T23||T31||3||1||2||T25|
LA = Low Amateur
DNP = did not play
WD = withdrew due to injury
CUT = missed the half way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.