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Remembering Augusta’s Greatest Day

Jack Nicklaus

It is arguably the greatest final round in the game’s history, the golf equivalent of the Miracle on Ice or Kirk Gibson’s Game 1 homer in the 1988 World Series. The 1986 Masters had so many layers and storylines, so much texture and drama – Jack Nicklaus at age 46, Seve Ballesteros trying to win his fifth major, Greg Norman and Tom Kite trying to win their first – that 30 years later, fans still recall every shot they saw and every emotion they felt.

Those memories remain vivid because of the masterful storytelling of Frank Chirkinian, the late CBS Sports producer, and his team. Now celebrating the 30th anniversary of Nicklaus’ last and most dramatic major title, the men who worked that broadcast recall for The Post what it was like to not only stand witness to history, but to showcase it for the world.

Gary McCord: I was just starting out on the team and I was on a weekly contract. I didn’t start full time until 1990. So if I missed a cut, which I did very well, I’d go up and do the telecast. About two weeks before (The Masters) all the boys, (Pat) Summerall, (Ken) Venturi, all those guys were trying to get Frank to put me on. At dinner one night, Frank said, “Alright you a**hole, I’m going to put you on The Masters,” and everybody toasted.

They put me on 14, which was where they stuck you when you first started out. I was in a treehouse on the right side in the loblolly pines and you couldn’t see anything. Literally, you couldn’t see down your own fairway.

It was Jim Nantz’s first Masters as well, so he and I had to go meet (Augusta National Chairman) Hord Hardin on Wednesday. Hord gave us all the rules. But the only one I remember came from Frank. He told me, ‘Don’t say anything stupid.’

Jim Nantz: Early in the day on Sunday, we didn’t have…..READ FULL ARTICLE


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