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Saturday April 10th, 2021 2:26PM

MASTERS '21: Key anniversaries for champions over the years

By Doug Ferguson
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A look at some of the anniversaries this year at the Masters:

75 years ago (1946)

The Masters resumed after a four-year layoff because of World War II and had a major upset. Herman Keiser, who was discharged from the Navy a year earlier, began 69-68 to build a five-shot lead and maintained that margin over Ben Hogan going into the final round. Keiser struggled to a 74, and it looked as though he might have thrown away the Masters with a three-putt bogey on the 18th. That dropped him into a tie with Hogan, who was in the final group. Hogan had a birdie putt from 15 feet for the win, ran it 3 feet by and missed the par putt. Keiser finished at 6-under 282 and won $2,500 for his only major. Hogan closed with a 70. He won his first major later that year at the PGA Championship.

50 years ago (1971)

Jack Nicklaus was coming off his first major of the year at the PGA Championship, held in February in 1971 in Florida. He was tied for the 54-hole lead with Charles Coody, who in 1969 bogeyed his last three holes at Augusta National to lose by two shots. The charge came from 23-year-old Johnny Miller, who was 6 under through 14 holes to take the lead. Miller bogeyed two of the last three holes for a 68. Coody turned his game around with birdies on the 15th and 16th to build a two-shot lead, and Nicklaus had a cold putter that kept him from catching up. Coody closed with a 70 for a two-shot victory over Nicklaus (72) and Miller for his only major.

25 years ago (1996)

The stories were practically written before the final round began. Greg Norman, who tied the course record with a 63 in the opening round, built a six-shot lead over Nick Faldo going into Sunday. Finally, it was time to given Norman his due after so many Masters heartache. Instead, he suffered the biggest setback of his career. Faldo pulled to within three shots through eight holes, and then Norman made three straight bogeys and they were tied going to the par-3 12th. Norman’s ball came up short into Rae’s Creek for a double bogey to fall two behind. It stayed that way until Norman pulled his tee shot into the water left of the par-3 16th for another double bogey. Faldo closed with a 67 and a five-shot victory, often overlooked because Norman shot 78 and lost the largest 54-hole lead in major championship history. Faldo won his third green jacket. Norman never won the Masters.

20 years ago (2001)

Tiger Woods finished the previous year by winning the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. He had to wait nearly seven months for his shot at becoming the only player to hold all four majors at the same time, known as the “Tiger Slam.” Woods built a one-shot lead over Phil Mickelson going into the final round, with David Duval lurking. The dynamic Sunday was all anyone could ask. Mickelson tied Woods four times, but never passed him. Duval ran off four straight birdies and tied Woods with a birdie on the 10th. Duval tied Woods one last time with a birdie on the 15th, but his tee shot on the 16th stayed on the top shelf and he three-putted for bogey to fall one behind. Duval missed birdie putts inside 10 feet on the next two holes. Woods birdied the 18th for a 68 to beat Duval (67) by two shots and Mickelson (70) by three.

10 years ago (2011)

Rory McIlroy took a four-shot lead into the final round. Few could have imagined a Sunday with so many possibilities, with eight players having at least a share of the lead at some point on the back nine. Charl Schwartzel finally gave this Masters a finish it deserved. McIlroy lost his way through the cabins and trees for a triple bogey on the 10th hole, three-putted from 7 feet on No. 11 and four-putted from 12 feet on No. 12. He shot 80. The Aussie trio of Adam Scott, Jason Day and Geoff Ogilvy all had their chances. Schwartzel became the first Masters champion to finish with four straight birdies, the last one giving him a 66 to win by two shots over Day and Scott.

5 years ago (2016)

Jordan Spieth was in Butler Cabin, just like everyone expected, except he was there to present the green jacket to Danny Willett in one of the biggest shockers at the Masters. Spieth took a one-shot lead into the final round in his bid to become the only player to go wire-to-wire in winning consecutive Masters titles. He led by five at the turn, and the back nine figured to be a coronation. Instead, it was a collapse as stunning as any. Spieth began the back nine with two straight bogeys, and then put two balls in Rae’s Creek at No. 12 to make triple bogey. The door was open, and Willett walked through. Suddenly staked to a one-shot lead, Willett birdied the 16th and finished off his bogey-free round of 67. Spieth tried to rally, but his hopes ended when he missed an 8-foot birdie on the 16th and made bogey from the bunker on the 17th. He shot 41 on the back for a 73 and was finished three shots behind with Lee Westwood.

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