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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Nicklaus shows Masters poise
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

April 7, 1963

At 23, Jack Nicklaus shows the poise of a master. With two bogies in the first 12 holes, Nicklaus falls out of the Masters lead on the final round, but he steadies himself with two birdies on the next four holes and then, knowing he needs to just par the final two holes to win the tournament, he gets them.

Nicklaus shoots an even-par 72 to finish at two-under 286, one stroke better than "Champagne Tony" Lema, who birdies the 18th. Two strokes behind at 288 are Julius Boros and Sam Snead. "Slammin' Sammy" had gone a stroke ahead of Nicklaus with a birdie on 15, but bogies on 16 and 18 cost the 50-year-old three-time Masters champ the lead.

On the final hole, Nicklaus knocks in a three-foot putt for the first of his six Masters titles. He tosses his hat wildly in celebration. Not only is he the youngest Masters champion (Tiger Woods will break this mark in 1997), but the hefty golfer also is the heaviest at 214 pounds.

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