Categorized | Tales, 2014, March 2014

Curious Tales from the Golf Course 3

By: The Golf Nut's

From: The Golf Nuts’ Book of Amazing Feats & Records by Bruce Nash, Allan Zullo with George White



Jack Nicklaus holds his trophies after winning the U.S. Open golf Championship at the Oakmont, Pa. country club, in this June 17, 1962 photo. (AP Photo)

Most Time Elapsed Between the Final Two Putts to Win the U.S. Open

12 minutes
Jack Nicklaus
1962 US Open

In all the excitement of winning the 1962 U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus forgot to hole out.

Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer had been locked in an 18-hole playoff at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh. Palmer, who grew up 30 miles away in Latrobe, did not have a good day. On the 18th green, he holed out with a 74, three strokes behind Nicklaus, whose ball was just 30 inches from the cup. Realizing victory was virtually impossible, Palmer walked over to Nicklaus’ ball and, being the gracious man that he is, picked it up and handed it to Nicklaus, conceding the putt, and, thus the match.

The gallery raced onto the green, engulfing the two players and caddies, along with the marshals and scorers. Nicklaus and Palmer were being swept toward the scorer’s tent when an alert United States Golf Association official noted there was a rules oversight.

In medal play, which the Open is, an opponent cannot concede a putt. Each stroke must be made over the entire 18 holes. Had Nicklaus signed his scorecard with a score of 71, he would have been disqualified for signing an incorrect total.

Joe Dey, the secretary of the USGA, received the news in stunned disbelief, then realized that an error had indeed been committed. He was able to reach Nicklaus before the winner had signed his scorecard and ushered him to the green so the final stroke could be made.

After the lengthy delay, Dey placed Nicklaus’ ball at a spot thought to be where Palmer had picked it up. Nicklaus then crouched over the ball, studied the line momentarily, and drained the out to officially seal the victory.

Most Number of Sevens Linked to a Hole-in-One

Kent Averett, 1977
Painted Hills Golf Club
Salt Lake City

The number seven played a big role in the hole-in-one made by Kent Averett of Cedar City, Utah, at a par-3, 197-yard hole at Painted Hills Golf Club.

It happened on the seventh day of the seventh month of 1977 (7-7-77 if you’re keeping the date numerically). Averett made his ace at the seventh hole — at exactly 7:00 pm. There was a seventh seven linked to his ace. It was the seventh hole-in-one of the year at Painted Hills.

There could have been more sevens if fate had really wanted to have fun. Averett didn’t use a 7-iron; he used a 6-iron. And he didn’t shoot a 77 that day; he shot a 72. If only he had been drinking a 7-Up before the shot.

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