One of the best golf rivalries during the past 50 years pitted two Midwesterners, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, who first met in an exhibition match in 1967, when Nicklaus (the elder by 10 years) was already an established star. Watson was a gallery favorite who proved a worthy rival to the Golden Bear on many occasions as the two players won a combined 26 major championships and often dueled in some of the most dramatic chapters in modern golf.
Here’s an excerpt from “The Secret of Golf”:
“One of the wonderful things about the Masters Tournament is that the layout turns the golf course into a giant sound stage. When someone makes a great shot, the cheers rattle through the pines and echo all over Augusta National. On a wild Sunday like this one, cheers and shrieks rose sporadically from different directions, like the sounds of firecrackers on the Fourth of July. Nicklaus roars flared up at first, but they were soon matched by Watson cheers. Watson birdied four holes in a row and led Nicklaus by two shots going into the back nine.”