Posted March 23, 2012, 7:17 pm |
1973: Tommy Aaron wins first major at Masters
Growing up in Gainesville, Ga., Tommy Aaron often dreamed of playing in the Masters. Amateur legend Bobby Jones, a Georgia native, had started Augusta National and the Masters after his playing career was over.
Claude Harmon had become the first native Georgian to win the Masters in 1948, but the state had not produced any other Masters champions since.
Aaron changed that in 1973. A 68 in the first round gave him the outright lead, and he backed it up with 73 to enter a four-way tie for first. Saturday’s third round was washed out by rain, which meant the golfers would have to finish on Monday.
Aaron struggled to 74 in the third round, and Englishman Peter Oosterhuis seized the lead with a fine 68.
Aaron trailed Oosterhuis by four shots going into the final round, but he finished with 68 to nip J.C. Snead by a stroke and claim his only major victory.
Aaron had been involved in the Roberto De Vicenzo scorecard incident in 1968 when he marked down an incorrect score for his playing partner. De Vicenzo signed the incorrect scorecard and was forced to take the higher score, which left him one shot behind winner Bob Goalby.
Ironically, Aaron caught a mistake on his scorecard at the 1973 Masters. Playing partner Johnny Miller had marked down a 5 on No. 13 for Aaron, but he had made birdie 4.
“Winning the Masters for me was a dream come true,” Aaron wrote in 2012. “From the time I started playing in Gainesville, Ga., northeast of Atlanta, I thought the Masters was the only golf tournament in the world.”