Masters anniversaries from Demaret to Nicklaus to Woods

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A look at some of the anniversaries this year at the Masters:

75 years ago (1947)

In his most recent major championship performance, Jimmy Demaret suffered a 10-and-9 loss to Ben Hogan in the semifinals of the PGA Championship. He more than made up for it in the 1947 Masters, becoming the first player to break par in all four rounds at Augusta National. Demaret opened with a 69 to share the lead with Byron Nelson, who had retired the year before. He shared the 36-hole lead with Cary Middlecoff, and then Demaret had a 70 in the third round to build a three-shot lead. Nelson got within one shot approaching the turn until bogeys at the ninth and 10th, and Demaret was on his way. Having won in 1940, he joined Nelson and Horton Smith as the only two-time Masters champions.

50 years ago (1972)

Jack Nicklaus embarked on his boldest attempt at the Grand Slam. Coming off a runner-up finish at Augusta National the year before to Charles Coody, Nicklaus opened with a 69 and became only the third player at the time to go wire-to-wire, and the first since Arnold Palmer in 1960. Nicklaus had a one-shot lead over Jim Jamieson going into Sunday and stretched his lead to five shots at the turn. No one came close, and three bogeys by Nicklaus over the last eight holes only kept the margin from being worse. He won by three shots and tied Palmer with his fourth Masters victory. It was the first Masters without co-founder Bobby Jones, who died the previous November. For Nicklaus, it was his 10th major, one short of the record held by Walter Hagen (professional majors) and Jones (which included U.S. and British Amateur titles).

25 years ago (1997)

No other Masters was more historic than Tiger Woods truly introducing himself to the world of golf. He became the youngest Masters champion at age 21, the first player of Black heritage in a green jacket and set 20 records along the way. Woods wound up winning by 12 shots, a record that still stands. In his first major as a professional, Woods opened with a 40 on the front nine and played his next 63 holes in 22-under par. His power was unlike anything golf had seen. He was hitting pitching wedge into some of the par 5s. Staked to a three-shot lead over Colin Montgomerie through 36 holes, Woods shot 65 to build a nine-shot lead and sailed to victory. That put golf on notice, and Woods went on to win five green jackets among his 15 majors. The 1997 Masters was viewed by a record 44 million Americans and was a catalyst to a big spike in TV ratings and ultimately more prize money.

20 years ago (2002)

The super-sized era of Augusta National began when the club tried to combat technology by lengthening nine of the 18 holes, adding as much as 285 yards. Some called it “Tiger-proofing,” but it wasn’t nearly enough to stop Tiger Woods from becoming only the third player to repeat as Masters champion. In a tournament plagued by rain, Woods birdied his last hole for a 66 on Saturday to share the lead with Retief Goosen. An early burst of birdies in the final round gave him the lead, and no one got closer than two shots the rest of the way. Woods closed with a 71 for a three-shot win over Goosen. At that point, he had won six of the last 10 majors.

10 years ago (2012)

The final round of the Masters began with the rarest shot in golf when Louis Oosthuizen holed out with a 4-irorn for the first albatross on the par-5 second hole. It ended with a shot that felt just as rare. Bubba Watson, from deep in the pines right of the 10th fairway in a playoff, hooked a gap wedge off the pine needles from 155 yards to 10 feet for a par to beat Oosthuizen on the second hole of a playoff. Watson closed with a 68. Phil Mickelson was in the final pairing with 54-hole leader Peter Hanson. Mickelson, going for a fourth green jacket, took triple bogey on the par-3 fourth and was never a factor.

5 years ago (2017)

Sergio Garcia played 70 majors as a pro before he finally cashed in by winning the Masters in a playoff over Justin Rose. No one ever waited that long to win a major, and the joy was evident in the Spaniard’s reaction when he swirled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to win in a playoff. Rose appeared to be in control with a two-shot lead when Garcia hooked his drive into the trees left of the par-5 13th fairway. He somehow escaped with par, birdied the 14th and his 8-iron glanced off the flag and set up an eagle on the par-5 15th to tie. Rose birdied the 16th and bogeyed the 17th and they wound up in a playoff. Rose hit into the trees on the 18th in the playoff, and Garcia had two putts for the win. He only needed one. Garcia joined Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as Spaniards winning the Masters.

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