1980sBrent MusburgerCBSGolfLee TrevinoMastersPat SummerallPGA

Golf – 1986 Masters – Final Round – Nicklaus & Ballesteros & Norman & Kite & Crenshaw – Part 1


This final round of the 1986 Masters Tournament was brought to the viewing public by CBS Sports….with an incredible group of golf commentators bringing the action including Bob Murphy at the 10th hole, Steve Melnyk at the 11th and 12th hole, Ken Venturi at the 13th, Gary McCord at the 14th, Ben Wright at the 15th, Jim Nantz at the 16th, Verne Lundquist at the 17th and Pat Summerall at the 18th….with Brent Musburger and Tom Weiskopf in the booth….on a day that became historic beyond compare at the Augusta National Golf Course on the first weekend in May, 1986.

Today, I am focusing this commentary on Gene Sarazen….who along with Sam Snead were the official starters for this soon to be historic final round…..partly because Sarazen played during the 1930’s when there was very little vidoe of him playing….and he was a great player having won 7 major titles and 44 PGA championships in his career….but also because Bone Daddy followed Gene Sarazen and “Misterious Mister X” at the 1st ever Legends of Golf Seniors Classic played at Onion Creek Country Club in Austin, TX…..as BD had a great love for both players.

Part 1 of this 1986 Masters Golf final round starts out with a really wonderful video history of the Masters…..starting with legendary golfer Gene Sarazen and longtime official starter of The Master….and “the shot heard ’round the world” at Augusta National Golf Club in the Masters Tournament in 1935. It was a final round 235-yard (215 m) 4-wood on the par-5 fifteenth hole that went in, giving him a very rare double eagle two on the hole….and being only one of four to ever achieve such a feat on any hole at the Masters. He trailed the leader by three shots at the time, and made them up all at once. It led to his later winning the tournament in a 36-hole playoff over Craig Wood the next day. At the time of his memorable stroke, the winner’s check of $1,500 had already been made out to Wood, who had finished his round; he waited another six years before winning the Masters in 1941….his first of two consecutive major wins. The Sarazen Bridge, approaching the left side of the fifteenth green, was named in 1955 to commemorate the double eagle’s twentieth anniversary….which included a contest to duplicate, with the closest just over 4 feet (1.2 m) away  Although it happened 82 years ago, it remains one of the most famous shots in golf history.

In spite of his height of 5 ft 5 12 in (1.66 m),] Sarazen was one of the longest hitters of his era. He played several lengthy exhibition tours around the world, promoting his skills and the sport of golf, and earned a very good living from golf. As a multiple past champion, he was eligible to continue competing after his best years were past, and occasionally did so in the top events, well into the 1960’s, and occasionally into the 1970’s. Throughout his life, Sarazen competed wearing knickers or plus-fours….which were the fashion when he broke into the top level. 

For many years after his retirement, Sarazen was a familiar figure as an honorary starter at the Masters. From 1981 to 1999, he joined Byron Nelson and Sam Snead in hitting a ceremonial tee shot before each Masters tournament. He also popularized the sport with his role as a commentator on the Wonderful World of Golf television show, and was an early TV broadcaster at important events.  At age 71, Sarazen made a hole-in-one at The Open Championship in 1973, at the “Postage Stamp” at Troon in Scotland.  In 1992, he was voted the Bob Jones Award….which is the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. Sarazen had what is still the longest-running endorsement contract in professional sports with Wilson Sporting Goods from 1923 until his death, a total of 75 years.  Sarazen died at age 97 in 1999 from complications of pneumonia in Naples, Florida….and in 2000, Sarazen was ranked as the 11th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine….and we are happy to honor him at the start of this awesome 1986 Masters final round….so, click below to watch and enjoy….and then click on Part 2 for the balance of a magnificient day in the history of professional golf.


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