Carmel Magazine

Spring-Summer 2019

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Page 147 of 267

146 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9 we witnessed the arrival of Nicklaus, the coro- nation of Palmer and the end of Hogan." Most contemporary golf fans recall only that Palmer birdied six of the first seven holes to steal his only victory in a tournament that seri- ally tormented him. But Hogan, at 47, was tied for the lead playing the 71st hole when he dunked a 50-yard pitch into a pond fronting the green. "I guess they'll say I lost it," Hogan lamented afterward. "Well, one more foot and the wedge on 17 would have been perfect. But I'll tell you something. I played 36 holes today with a kid who should have won this Open by 10 shots." With that quote, the legend of Nicklaus was born, even as he remained an undergrad at Ohio State, in his hometown of Columbus. If he was feeling any pressure at Pebble Beach it didn't show—Big Jack tore through the Amateur bracket and won the final match in a blowout, 8 & 6. An enduring romance was born. "It was love at first sight," he says. Ever since, Nicklaus has called Pebble Beach his favorite golf course in the world. His length allowed him to exploit the do-or-die par-5s and his pinpoint accuracy with his irons gave Nicklaus a signifi- cant advantage coming into the tiny, fraught greens. And this Midwestern boy with a crew cut could never get over all that coastal beauty. Nicklaus turned pro in the months after the Amateur and spent the next decade refashion- ing the game in his image. By the time he returned to Pebble Beach in 1972, for the grand old links' first U.S. Open, Nicklaus had won two PGA Championships, two British Opens, two U.S. Opens and, just a couple months earlier, his four th Masters. Throw in his two U.S. Amateurs and he had a dozen major championship victories, one less than his boy- hood hero, Bobby Jones. The winner of three Crosby Clambakes, Nicklaus knew that Pebble Beach represented his best opportunity yet to get halfway to the Nicklaus won his second U.S. Amateur trophy at Pebble Beach in 1961. Photo: PGA of America /Getty Images Photo: Jim Mandeville / The Nicklaus Companies Jack Nicklaus at his office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with a helmet from Florida State football player and grandson Nick O'Leary. Besides being a legendary golfer, Nicklaus has designed renowned golf courses across the world.

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