Countdown to the Masters 2011 - Day 13: Nicklaus rolls back years in 1998


Welcome to Day 13 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.

In 1998 The Augusta National committee made a presentation before play started to mark the 58-year-old Jack Nicklaus’ 40th Masters. Chairman Jack Stephens pointed out that they had left some room at the bottom of the plaque, “just in case”. Nicklaus responded, “Let’s see if we can try to fill it.”

Nicklaus couldn’t quite do enough to claim a 19th Major title, but he did finish tied for 6th and beat Sam Snead’s record as the oldest top-ten finisher in Masters history (54 in 1967). He entertained a lot of people along the way.

He was in contention for another Green Jacket well into the back nine on Sunday before Mark O’Meara emerged victorious with a one-shot victory over David Duval and Fred Couples.

Nicklaus opened with steady rounds of 73-72 to make the cut by six shots. This was a great achievement in itself for the 58-year-old but, as he so often did over his illustrious career, he came alive over the weekend.

A 70 on Saturday elevated him into the top 10, just five shots off the lead, and whispers of a another victory 12 years after his last Masters and Major win began to circulate.

A fantastic 68 on Sunday gave him a chance, but he was just too far back and finished four behind O’Meara. It was a glorious reminder of why Nicklaus is the greatest man to ever wield a golf club.