Countdown to the Masters 2011 - Day 30: Nicklaus, Faldo and Woods presenting Green Jackets to themselves


Welcome to Day 30 of the Today's Golfer Countdown to The Masters 2011. Every day from February 17th until the big day when the season's first Major tees off, April 7th, we will be bringing you some of our favourite memorable moments from The Masters since the tournament started in 1934.

Only three men in the history of the Masters have won back-to-back Green Jackets; Jack Nicklaus in 1965 and ’66, Nick Faldo in 1989 and ’90, and tiger Woods in 2001 and ’02.

Nicklaus was the first to do it. His win in 1965 was emphatic, as he smashed Ben Hogan’s 12-year tournament record of 274 by three shots, as well as tying the record 18 hole score around Augusta National of 64. A year later, he found things much tougher, not least because high winds made scoring very difficult. Jack made up three shots in the final five holes to tie Tommy Jacobs and Gay Brewer. And then in the 18-hole Monday playoff, Jack shot a 70 to beat Jacobs by two and Brewer by 8.

Faldo had much more nail-biting finishes in both 1989 and 1990. In ’89 his challenge looked all over when Scott Hoch had a two and a half foot putt on the 18th in regulation to win a Green Jacket.

Shockingly, the American missed, threw his putter in the air in despair, and lost the sudden death playoff two holes later on the 11th, when Faldo holed a putt across the green in the near dark. And 12 months later, it was on that same hole – the 11th – where Raymond Floyd ultimately lost to Faldo, again at the second hole of a sudden death playoff, when his approach went left into the water.

Tiger’s win in 2001 was of course all about the glory of becoming the first man to win four majors in a row – the feat that became known as the Tiger Slam. His win a year later was ruthlessness personified as all the world’s best players (Goosen, Els and Mickelson) got close to him, before he stepped on the accelerator, and won by three.

“Tiger intimidates through osmosis,” said his father Earl; and few who witnessed it were in a position to argue with the old man.