1965 Masters Winner and Scores: Nicklaus Dominates 'Big 3'

Jack Nicklaus overpowered Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and everyone else in a record-setting victory at the 1965 Masters, the 29th time the tournament was played. Those three superstars were tied after 36 holes, but after 72 holes Nicklaus had a nine-stroke victory.

Winner: Jack Nicklaus, 271

Where it was played: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia

Tournament dates: April 8-11, 1965

Leader after first round: Gary Player, 65

Leader after second round: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, 138

Leader after third round: Jack Nicklaus, 202

What Happened in the 1965 Masters Tournament

The "Big 3"— Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player — shared the 36-hole lead at the 1965 Masters, but then Nicklaus ran away from the other two to a record-breaking victory. This was one of only three times the Big 3 finished 1-2-3 on the PGA Tour. But there was no suspense down the stretch about who the winner would be.

Nicklaus won by nine strokes, leaving Palmer and Player in his dust to battle for second place (they tied). Nicklaus set new Masters Tournament records for lowest score (271) and margin of victory. (Nicklaus lowered the 72-hole scoring record by three over Ben Hogan's previous mark of 274 set in 1953.) It wasn't until the 1997 Masters that both records were broken by Tiger Woods.

Nicklaus was early into just his fourth PGA Tour season. But his win here was his second in The Masters (after 1963) and fourth overall major championship crown. He won again in the 1966 Masters, becoming the tournament's first back-to-back champion.

Nicklaus' combination of power, precision and putting seemed tailor-made for Augusta National, but it was particularly Nicklaus' length and strength that moved Masters founder Bobby Jones to remark, after watching Nicklaus dominate the final two rounds, "Nicklaus played a game with which I am not familiar."

Gary Player was the first-round leader with a 65 to Nicklaus' 67. After two rounds, Nicklaus, Player and Palmer were all tied at 138. But in the third round, Nicklaus tied the then-tournament record for 18-hole score with a 64. That opened a 5-shot margin over Player (who shot 69 in Round 3) and eight strokes over Palmer (72).

Nicklaus added a 69 in the final round for the final 9-stroke margin of victory over Palmer and Player.

Speaking of legends, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson both made the cut in the 1965 Masters, Hogan tying for 21st and Nelson tying for 15th. For Nelson, in retirement from the full-time Tour life since 1947, this was the last Masters in which he made the cut. Three-time winner Jimmy Demaret, who finished 35th, also made his last cut in a Masters Tournament.

Before the tournament began, Art Wall won the Par-3 Contest with a score of 20. At the time that set a new Par-3 Contest scoring record, one that wasn't tied until 1973 and wasn't beaten until 2016.

1965 Masters Final Scores

Jack Nicklaus 67-71-64-69—271
Arnold Palmer 70-68-72-70—280
Gary Player 65-73-69-73—280
Mason Rudolph 70-75-66-72—283
Dan Sikes 67-72-71-75—285
Gene Littler 71-74-67-74—286
Ramon Sota 71-73-70-72—286
Frank Beard 68-77-72-70—287
Tommy Bolt 69-78-69-71—287
George Knudson 72-73-69-74—288
Tommy Aaron 67-74-71-77—289
Bruce Crampton 72-72-74-71—289
Paul Harney 74-74-71-70—289
Doug Sanders 69-72-74-74—289
George Bayer 69-74-75-72—290
Bruce Devlin 71-76-73-70—290
Wes Ellis 69-76-72-73—290
Tommy Jacobs 71-74-72-73—290
Kel Nagle 75-70-74-71—290
Byron Nelson 70-74-72-74—290
Dow Finsterwald 72-75-72-72—291
Ben Hogan 71-75-71-74—291
Tony Lema 67-73-77-74—291
Terry Dill 72-73-75-72—292
Al Geiberger 75-72-74-71—292
Bernard Hunt 71-74-74-74—293
Tomoo Ishii 74-74-70-75—293
Billy Maxwell 74-72-76-71—293
Tom Nieporte 71-73-75-74—293
Bo Wininger 70-72-75-76—293
Doug Ford 74-74-73-73—294
a-Downing Gray 72-74-73-75—294
Dave Ragan 73-74-73-74—294
Bert Weaver 72-75-72-75—294
Billy Casper 72-72-71-80—295
Jimmy Demaret 71-75-76-73—295
Bobby Nichols 73-71-75-76—295
Mike Souchak 74-74-72-75—295
a-Don Allen 70-77-74-75—296
Chen Ching-Po 71-77-77-71—296
Bob Goalby 71-75-75-75—296
a-Bill Hyndman 73-73-75-76—297
Jack McGowan73-75-77-72—297
Johnny Pott 74-74-73-76—297
Bob Charles 72-74-76-77—299
Art Wall Jr. 71-76-77-75—299
a-Richard Davies 70-78-78-76—302
a-John Hopkins 70-78-78-77—303
a-Deane Beman 74-72-79-79—304

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