At age forty-six, Nicklaus was six years removed from his last major championship, but magical things can happen at Augusta1986 Masters, Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA: Do You Believe in Magic?--Jack Nicklaus Original Painting. After an opening round seventy-four that left Nicklaus six strokes off the lead, none but the truest of true believers gave the Golden Bear much of a chance to claim his record sixth Green Jacket. A second-round seventy-one left him just as far back. But scores improved on Saturday, led by Nick Price who shot a tournament-record sixty-three. For his part, Nicklaus shot a sixty-nine, leaving him four strokes behind leader Greg Norman, and tied for ninth.
But on Sunday, Nicklaus turned back the clock and turned golf history upside down with an "I-know-where-I-was" performance that people still talk about to this day. He birdied nine, ten and eleven, then gave one back with a bogey on the treacherous par-three twelfth. After Ballesteros eagled thirteen, Nicklaus responded with an eagle of his own on the par-five fifteenth, and followed that with a birdie on sixteen that came achingly close to being an ace. He added another birdie on seventeen with a putt forever soundtracked by Verne Lundquist's "Yes sir!" A tap-in par on the home hole gave him a record-tying thirty on the back nine. After embracing his son Jack, who caddied for him that week, all he could do was wait.
After birdies on fourteen, fifteen, sixteen and seventeen, all Norman needed was a par on eighteen to force a playoff. But he fanned his approach out to the right and made a bogey. That left Tom Kite, who had a putt to tie Nicklaus. As he said later, "I made the putt--it just didn't go in." Nicklaus had won his sixth Green Jacket and his unparalleled eighteenth major championship---and it was a win for the ages.
The Walter Spitzmiller Collection of Jack Nicklaus Original Artwork
This is one of eighteen lots that represent a shared labor of love between award-winning sports artist Walter Spitzmiller and the iconic Jack Nicklaus, one of the most decorated golfers of all time. Together, this pair set out to create a visual record of Nicklaus' eighteen major championships to form a special portfolio of limited edition giclee prints entitled, "Jack's Majors." Only one hundred editions were made.
Nicklaus was thoroughly moved when the challenging endeavor was complete, saying, "I have always respected Walt's work and how he interprets a scene and a moment in history. Walt dedicated himself to the challenge of putting to canvas the story of my eighteen majors. It took me twenty-five years to win them, and it took Walt eight years to paint them. I hope he can reflect on his body of work with pride, because he should."
Each work is oil on canvas, in pristine condition. It is unquestionably the finest series of visual works dedicated to this giant of American athletics.
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