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1967


Jack Nicklaus

Jack W. Nicklaus, 27, of Columbus, Ohio, set a new Open scoring record of 275 over the Baltusrol Golf Club's Lower Course, Springfield, New Jersey, in winning his second Championship. The previous record was 276, established by Ben Hogan at the Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles, in 1948. Nicklaus thus became the 12th player to win the Open more than once; he won previously in 1962.

At Baltusrol, Nicklaus had rounds of 71,67, 72 and a closing 65,which equaled the final round record. He won by four strokes over Arnold Palmer, of Latrobe, Pa., who had 279. For the first time since 1954 an amateur held the outright lead in the Open. Martin A. Fleckman, 23, of Port Arthur, Texas, scored 67 in the first round and took a two-stroke lead over seven others who had 69. Fleckman scored 73 in the second round and fell three strokes behind Palmer, who had 69-68-137. Nicklaus was then second, one stroke behind Palmer. A third-round 69 put Fleckman in the lead gain, the first time an amateur had led so late in the Championship since 1933 when John Goodman won.

Fleckman had 209, one stroke behind were Nicklaus, Palmer, and Bill Casper, Jr., the defending Champion. The Open soon developed into a duel between Nicklaus and Palmer, who played together. Fleckman scored 80 and finished in a tie for 18th place. Casper scored 72 and finished fourth. Palmer went ahead of Nicklaus briefly at the second hole but Nicklaus caught him with a birdie at the third and never was behind again.

Beginning with the third hole, Nicklaus birdied five of the next six, scored 31 on the front nine and was then four strokes ahead of Palmer. A bogey 5 on 10 and birdies on 13 and 14 left Nicklaus needing one more birdie to break the record. He came to the par-5 18th still needing that one birdie, drove off the fairway on the right, hit a bad recovery, then a magnificent 1-iron to the green, and holed a 21-foot putt for his 65 and 275.

Palmer became the first player to score less than 280 in the Open twice. The estimated attendance of 88,414 was the largest on record. The prize money was $169,400 in the Championship proper and $8,400 in Sectional Qualifying for a grand total of $177,800, an Open record. Entries reached a new high of 2,649.

OPEN RECORDS


Starts - 44

Best Finish - Winner 1962, '67, '72, & '80

Rds - 160

Cuts Made - 35

Top 3 - 9

Top 5 - 11

Top 10 - 18

Top 25 - 22

Avg. - 72.59

Scores In 60s - 29

Rds Under Par - 37

Earnings - $372,245.05