With all the talk this weekend about whether Tiger Woods can reignite his chase for Jack Nicklaus' all-time Majors record, we figured it was high time some more entertaining records be considered for discussion. So while everyone else is watching Tiger, you can root for the player tanking the worst in the first round, or for Fred Couples (you'll see why).
Gary Player was an absolute fixture in Augusta. From 1959-82, Player made every single cut. He even won three of them ('61,'74,'78). In addition to the aforementioned victories, Player amassed 15 Top Ten finishes. And while he missed the cut in the last ten tourneys he played in, Player will still be remembered as one of the best ever at The Masters. For some perspective: Tiger Woods leads all current golfers with 15 consecutive cuts made at The Masters.
Billy Casper shot a 106. Seriously. In 2005, a 73-year-old Casper played one last time at the request of his children and grandchildren. He shot a 49 on the front nine and finished it off with a 57 on the back half. Although, to be fair, 16 of those strokes were on the 14th hole alone (including the five straight he put in the drink). And to be even more fair, Casper didn't even sign the scorecard in order to make the round official. "I have it right here in my pocket," he said. "I'm going to take it and frame it." Which means that officially...
...Charles Kunkle is our man. He was one of 19 amateurs playing in the 1956 Masters. He, quite obviously, did the worst of all of them. He started with a respectable 78 in the first round, then went downhill. Fast. The next two rounds were 82 and 85, respectively. He then went out on the last day and shot a 95, bringing his 4 round total to a 340. Ken Venturi was the best of the amateurs (pictured middle), losing by one stroke to eventual champion (at right) Jack Burke, Jr.
Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear, was on his way to his golden years when he showed the youngsters how it's done. He shot a 30 on the back nine and finished seven-under for the tourney. He went eagle-birdie-birdie on the last three holes, finishing it out in true style. It had been 23 years since his first green jacket in 1963. It was his record-breaking sixth Masters victory and would be his last major win.
Fred "Boom Boom" Couples has been lucky (and good) enough to have played 27 times in The Masters. He has 11 Top Ten finishes and won the green jacket in 1992. While he might feel he should have won a few more, he has been a model of consistency. His 71.94 strokes-per-round is .04 better than Nicklaus and a full 1.5 strokes better than the great Sam Snead. Couples has seen a resurgence when it comes to The Masters, finishing third in 2006 and sixth in 2010.
Maybe the Tiger intrigue is enough to keep you tuned in, but if that intrigue fades, we hope these snippets will help keep you entertained on the side.
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