1986 Masters Tournament: Nicklaus' Final Charge

One of the most-famous tournaments in golf history, the 50th Masters was the site of Jack Nicklaus' final Masters victory, his final major championship win and last PGA Tour win.

Winner: Jack Nicklaus, 279

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

Tournament dates: April 10-13, 1986

Leader after first round: Ken Green and Billy Kratzert, 68

Leader after second round: Seve Ballesteros, 139

Leader after third round: Greg Norman, 210

What Happened in the 1986 Masters Tournament

It had been six years since the 46-year-old Jack Nicklaus had won a major, two years since his last win of any kind, when he arrived at Augusta National for the 1986 Masters Tournament. And when he arrived, he saw a newspaper article by a sportswriter who described him as finished. He posted that article on a wall in the rental house where he stayed during the week, then went out to prove that sportswriter wrong.

But a 74 in the first round got him off to a lackluster start. Nicklaus added a 71 in the second round and at the midway point was six strokes off Seve Ballesteros' lead. In the third round, Nicklaus carded a 69. That got him into the Top 10 (tied for ninth) and moved him to four strokes off Greg Norman's 54-hole lead.

In the final round, Nicklaus wasn't making up ground through eight holes. But then the old Nicklaus magic returned: He birdied holes 9, 10 and 11. A bogey at 12 dropped him to three behind the leaders. But what came next was an old-style "Nicklaus charge": a birdie at 13, eagle at 15, birdie at 16, birdie at 17. Suddenly, Nicklaus was in the lead, and Augusta National was ringing with the loudest cheers golf has ever heard.

Ballesteros, Tom Kite and Norman were all in position to catch or pass Nicklaus, each finishing after he did, but couldn't do it. Norman was tied for the lead as he reached the final hole, but made bogey. That left Nicklaus standing alone in the lead, the winner, for the sixth and final time, of The Masters Tournament.

He had finished with a 65 in the final round, the lowest score of the day. His winning total was 9-under-par 279, one better than runners-up Kite and Norman. Ballesteros, after hitting into water on the 15th hole, finished two strokes behind Nicklaus. At age 46, Nicklaus became the oldest winner of The Masters and the third-oldest winner of any major championship. It was Nicklaus' 18th and final win in a major championship, his 73rd and final win on the PGA Tour.

In the third round, Nick Price set a new 18-hole Masters scoring record with a 63. Bob Goalby, winner of the 1968 Masters, missed the cut in his final appearance in The Masters or any other major.

1986 Masters Final Scores

Jack Nicklaus 74-71-69-65—279
Tom Kite 70-74-68-68—280
Greg Norman 70-72-68-70—280
Seve Ballesteros 71-68-72-70—281
Nick Price 79-69-63-71—282
Jay Haas 76-69-71-67—283
Tom Watson 70-74-68-71—283
Tommy Nakajima 70-71-71-72—284
Payne Stewart 75-71-69-69—284
Bob Tway 70-73-71-70—284
Donnie Hammond 73-71-67-74—285
Sandy Lyle 76-70-68-71—285
Mark McCumber 76-67-71-71—285
Corey Pavin 71-72-71-71—285
Calvin Peete 75-71-69-70—285
Dave Barr 70-77-71-68—286
Ben Crenshaw 71-71-74-70—286
Gary Koch 69-74-71-72—286
Bernhard Langer 74-68-69-75—286
Larry Mize 75-74-72-65—286
Curtis Strange 73-74-68-72—287
Fuzzy Zoeller 73-73-69-72—287
T.C. Chen 69-73-75-71—288
Roger Maltbie 71-75-69-73—288
Bill Glasson 72-74-72-71—289
Peter Jacobsen 75-73-68-73—289
Scott Simpson 76-72-67-74—289
Dave Edwards 71-71-72-76—290
David Graham 76-72-74-68—290
Johnny Miller 74-70-77-69—290
Fred Couples 72-77-70-72—291
Bruce Lietzke 78-70-68-75—291
Dan Pohl 76-70-72-73—291
Lanny Wadkins 78-71-73-69—291
Wayne Levi 73-76-67-76—292
Rick Fehr 75-74-69-75—293
Hubert Green 71-75-73-74—293
Larry Nelson 73-73-71-76—293
a-Sam Randolph 75-73-72-73—293
Tony Sills 76-73-73-71—293
Don Pooley 77-72-73-72—294
Bill Kratzert 68-72-76-79—295
John Mahaffey 79-69-72-75—295
Ken Green 68-78-74-76—296
Phil Blackmar 76-73-73-76—298
Jim Thorpe 74-74-73-77—298
Lee Trevino 76-73-73-77—299
Mark O'Meara 74-73-81-73—301

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1985 Masters - 1987 Masters

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