Date: April 04, 2007

Heroes of Augusta

Jack Nicklaus is the undisputed king of Augusta, and the only man who might topple him in the near future, Tiger Woods, needs two more wins at Augusta to match Nicklaus&apos heroics. Nicklaus is the only man to win six green jackets, including his most famous triumph in 1986 when he was 46 years old and stormed home with a back nine of 30 on the final day to seal the win. Nicklaus won for the first time in 1963, beating Tony Lema by one shot. In 1965 a rampaging Nicklaus won by nine shots, shooting a then record 17-under for the tournament, including a third round 64. He then became the first man to defend his title, though he did so in tougher circumstances, defeating Tom Jacobs and Gay Brewer in a playoff after they all finished at even-par. Nicklaus has also finished runner-up four times, including twice to Tom Watson in 1977 and 1981. Even as recently as 1998 the Golden Bear finished as high as sixth, and although Tiger may overtake him in years to come, he is still a legend at Augusta. Woods himself has won at Augusta four times and he is looking to recapture the title ten years after his first success here. Woods&apos first victory came in 1997 when he won by a massive 12 shots. He again won in 2001, before defending that title in 2002. His latest success came over Chris Di Marco in 2005. The only other man to win four times is Arnold Palmer. Palmer himself beat Nicklaus by six shots in 1964, and has also twice won by a shot, in 1958 and 1960. He then had to endure a three-way playoff against Dow Finsterwald and Gary Player in 1962 to claim his third title. Nick Faldo, meanwhile, has claimed three titles, which are the only three times he has finished inside the top 10. Faldo stormed home with a 65 in 1989 to win his first title in a playoff against Scott Hoch, and in 1990 he defended his title, again in a playoff, this time against Ray Floyd after overnight leader John Huston crumbled with a 75. But that crumbling was nothing compared to 1996, when Australian Greg Norman led Faldo by six shots ahead of the final round, only to card a 78 and hand the Brit his third green jacket. The most reason Augusta hero, Phil Mickelson, had his third success in three years on the famous course. In 2004, he edged out Ernie Els by one shot, finishing nine-under. Last year, he had two shots to spare over another South Africa, Tim Clark, finishing with a seven-under total of 281 over the four days.