In one of the most memorable and exciting final rounds in Masters history….where five different players held at least a share of the lead in the final round….as Seve Ballesteros gained a share of the lead on the front 9 helped by a hole-out eagle at 8….while Jack Nicklaus played his first eight holes in even par…. but stormed into contention with birdies at 9, 10 and 11….however, Nicklaus bogeyed the 12th to fall three behind the leaders. Greg Norman, tied for the lead at −7 as he made the turn….then double-bogeyed the 10th hole to give Ballesteros the outright lead by one shot over Tom Kite….when Ballesteros hit his second shot at 13 to within six feet…..and after Kite lagged up his own eagle putt on 13….that is when Ballesteros holed his putt for his second eagle of the day….and a three shot lead over Kite. Kite then holed his birdie putt to cut the lead back to two.
After a par at 14, Nicklaus began his legendary charge at 15….when after hitting his 204-yard (187 m) approach to 12 feet (3.7 m), he buried the putt for eagle to pull within two shots of Ballesteros. Nicklaus then hit his tee shot on 16 to within 3 feet….and after holing his birdie putt he was within one shot of Ballesteros who was playing the 15th hole….as Ballesteros was in prime position to go for the green in two….but instead he pull hooked his approach into the water. After failing to get up and down, Ballesteros bogeyed the hole….thus giving Nicklaus a share of the lead. Kite made birdie at 15 to enter into a three-way tie with Ballesteros and Nicklaus…..when after a wayward drive….Nicklaus hit his approach on 17 to 18 feet (5.5 m)….where after long deliberation, he holed his putt on 17 for sole possession of the lead for the first time in the tournament. He two-putted for par on 18 to post −9 and a one shot lead.
Ballesteros three-putted the 17th to fall out of contention….but Kite had 12 feet for birdie on 18 to tie Nicklaus….when he barely missed his putt on the high side to miss a playoff by one shot. Norman….who was left for dead after his double-bogey on 10….then birdied 14, 15 and 16 to pull within one shot of the lead. After hooking his drive way left on 17….Norman made an incredible shot between two pines to within eight feet….and buried the birdie putt, his fourth straight, to tie for the lead. Norman then hit a perfect drive on 18….while needing birdie for his first major championship….however, he pushed his approach shot into the gallery…. and subsequently missed his 15-foot (4.6 m) par putt to finish one stroke behind….as Nicklaus had stormed back by shooting 30 on the back nine to win his sixth Masters title and became the oldest Masters champion at age 46.