1971 PGA Championship: Nicklaus Slams It ... Again

The 1971 PGA Championship was the 53rd time the tournament was played. With his victory here, the winner completed a the career grand slam for the second time, the first golfer to do so.

Winner: Jack Nicklaus, 281

Where it was played: PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Tournament dates: February 25-28, 1971

Leader after first round: Bob Murphy, 68

Leader after second round: Jack Nicklaus, 138

Leader after third round: Jack Nicklaus, 208

What Happened at the 1971 PGA Championship

Jack Nicklaus won the tournament by two strokes, his second career victory in the PGA Championship. And that made him the first golfer to win all four of the professional majors at least twice each. In other words, his win here made Nicklaus the first-ever to win the double career grand slam.

Nicklaus opened with a 69, took the lead with another 69 in the second round, then cruised to the win. Nicklaus led by four strokes after a third-round 70, with Gary Player pursuing. But in the final round, Player could do no better than match Nicklaus' 73 and finished tied for fourth. The golfers who finished 2-3 — Billy Casper and Tommy Bolt — started the final round well back of Nicklaus and never threatened his lead.

Bolt was 55 years old at the time of the 1971 PGA Championship, and hadn't posted a Top 10 finish in a major since 1965. His third-place showing here was his last Top 10 in a major. For Casper, it was his third time finishing as runner-up in a PGA Championship, a tournament he never won.

This was Nicklaus' ninth career win in a professional major, tying Ben Hogan on the all-time list for second at the time, behind only Walter Hagen's 11 wins in the pro majors. It was the 34th overall win for Nicklaus on the PGA Tour.

The PGA was played in February this year, making it the first major of the year rather than the last. Sixty-nine-year-old Gene Sarazen completed the first two rounds and missed the cut, nearly 50 years after his win in the 1922 PGA Championship (he also won this major in 1923 and 1933). He entered in 1972, but withdrew, so the 1971 PGA is the last one in which he completed play. Walter Burkemo, winner of the 1953 PGA Championship, played in his final major here and missed the cut. And Chandler Harper, winner of the 1950 PGA Championship, also made his final start in any major here. At age 56, he made the cut but withdrew following the third round.

1971 PGA Championship Final Scores

Jack Nicklaus 69-69-70-73—281
Billy Casper 71-73-71-68—283
Tommy Bolt 72-74-69-69—284
Gary Player 71-73-68-73—285
Miller Barber 72-68-75-70—285
Jim Jamieson 72-72-72-70—286
Gibby Gilbert 74-67-72-73—286
Dave Hill 74-71-71-70—286
Bob Lunn 72-70-73-72—287
Jerry Heard 73-71-72-71—287
Fred Marti 72-71-74-70—287
Bob Rosburg 74-72-70-71—287
Larry Hinson 71-73-73-71—288
Bruce Devlin 71-71-74-72—288
Frank Beard 74-71-73-70—288
Bob Charles 70-75-70-73—288
Lee Trevino 71-73-75-69—288
Herb Hooper 74-71-73-71—289
Arnold Palmer 75-71-70-73—289
Bob E. Smith 73-70-75-72—290
Johnny Miller 71-76-72-71—290
John Schroeder 72-74-74-71—291
Hale Irwin 73-72-72-74—291
Jerry McGee 73-74-71-73—291
Larry Wood 74-71-72-74—291
Chuck Courtney 74-71-74-72—291
Brad Anderson 71-75-75-70—291
Bert Yancey 71-74-70-76—291
Tom Weiskopf 72-70-77-72—291
Terry Dill 75-68-75-74—292
Rod Funseth 72-74-75-71—292
Gene Borek 72-70-73-77—292
Al Geiberger 74-69-77-72—292
Sam Snead 71-74-74-74—293
Homero Blancas 72-73-74-74—293
Dave Eichelberger 74-74-72-73—293
George Archer 74-73-74-72—293
Bobby Mitchell 70-73-75-75—293
Julius Boros 71-74-72-76—293
Dave Stockton 73-73-75-73—294
Grier Jones 74-75-73-72—294
John Schlee 72-76-75-71—294
Billy Maxwell 75-71-76-72—294
Howie Johnson 77-71-75-71—294
Babe Hiskey 75-72-69-78—294
eane Beman 71-74-75-75—295
Dan Sikes Jr. 73-73-75-74—295
Bobby Nichols 74-72-74-75—295
Jim Colbert 72-73-76-74—295
Mike Hill 72-72-74-77—295
Larry Ziegler 74-68-76-77—295
Cesar Sanudo 77-72-73-73—295
Bob Murphy 68-78-75-74—295
Bob Goalby 70-74-73-78—295
Al Kelley 73-74-74-75—296
Bill Garrett 74-75-75-72—296
Mason Rudolph 76-72-75-74—297
Bill Bisdorf 76-73-76-72—297
Bruce Crampton 72-77-73-75—297
Jacky Cupit 76-71-73-77—297
Dick Lotz 76-73-77-71—297
Hugh Royer Jr. 78-71-73-75—297
Joe Campbell 73-76-74-75—298
Labron Harris Jr. 76-72-74-76—298
Dewitt Weaver 73-76-77-72—298
Chi Chi Rodriguez 73-76-73-77—299
Chick Evans 74-74-73-78—299
Bob Duden 72-75-79-73—299
Bob Stone 73-75-72-79—299
Corky Dahl 75-69-79-76—299
Larry Mancour 74-71-78-77—300
Pete Brown 76-70-78-76—300
R.H. Sikes 76-73-79-72—300
Bert Greene 76-69-73-82—300
Ken Towns 75-74-76-77—302
Manuel De La Torre 74-70-79-79—302
Gene Littler 73-71-82-76—302
Ken Still 76-72-77-78—303
Steve Spray 75-73-79-76—303
John Molinda 75-72-79-78—304

Previous and next:
1970 PGA Championship - 1972 PGA Championship

Popular posts from this blog