10 - 13 April


Last Updated: 01/04/14 1:02pm

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Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus

The 1970s was the final decade of total American command of the Masters and Jack Nicklaus continued to lead that domination.

70's Moments

1970 Beatles Break Up
1971 Decimal Currency introduced
1972 Watergate scandal
1973 End of Vietnam War
1974 Nixon Resigns
1975 Microsoft Founded
1976 North/South Vietnam unite
1977 Elvis Found Dead
1978 First Test-Tube Baby
1979 Thatcher becomes PM

'The Golden Bear' won his fourth and fifth Green Jackets in 1972 and 1975, and never once finished outside the top eight.

The only man to equal his 1970s tally of two wins was the South African Gary Player who won his second and third Masters in 1974 and 1978.

By the end of the decade the tally of winners was USA 40 Gary Player 3 - he was still the only international winner of a Green Jacket.

During that final win in 1978 he did, however, help to inspire the next non-American winner because as he swept to victory (shooting seven birdies in his final 10 holes) his playing partner Severiano Ballesteros watched on in awe and used the experience as motivation for his future success.

The rest of the decade saw a series of US golfers try on the Green Jacket. In 1970 Billy Casper defeated Gene Littler in the last 18-hole play-off the tournament would witness.

In 1971 the little-known Charles Coody overhauled Johnny Miller and held off Jack Nicklaus.

Two years later Tommy Aaron won the title, his only major win and it is arguable if he is better known for that one win or the fact he was the errant scorecard marker who cost Roberto Di Vicenzo a place in a play-off in 1968.

Raymond Floyd won in 1976, a rampant eight stroke victory for the man who, 16 years later, aged 49, he would become the tournament's oldest runner-up.

Tom Watson won the first of his two Green Jackets in 1977. As with that year's famous Duel in the Sun at Turnberry he pushed Jack Nicklaus into second place.

The final winner of the 1970s was Fuzzy Zoeller, only the third man to win the tournament on his first appearance (the other two were Horton Smith in the first Masters and Gene Sarazen in the second).

The decade also saw the death of the two men responsible for the Augusta legend - Bobby Jones in 1971 and Clifford Roberts in 1977 - and, in 1975, Lee Elder became the first black man to play the tournament.


When Nicklaus emerged as a contender to Arnold Palmer in 1960 the galleries were suspicious of the shaven-headed fat kid from Ohio; 26 years later his final win at Augusta would be celebrated like few others in American golf history. In between times Nicklaus proved himself the finest professional golfer the world has known in terms of results and Augusta witnessed the best of him. He won there for a first time in 1963, the first of three wins in four years. In the 1970s he never once finished outside the top eight and won another two titles. Augusta National is famed for the roars that echo through the trees on the back nine on Sunday and never were they louder or more rapturous than when, in 1986, the 46-year-old Nicklaus rallied on the back nine on Sunday to become the oldest champion to slip his arms through a Green Jacket. The bullet-headed boy of old was long forgotten and 'The Golden Bear' loved forever.

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