Ed. note: This look back at the 1980 U.S. Open – during the week that the 120th edition had been scheduled at Winged Foot – is the second in a series of remembrances of memorable years in tournament history.
Before the 1986 Masters, Jack Nicklaus had the 1980 U.S. Open.
Nicklaus was 40 years old at the time and the storyline of his remarkable career hadn’t tilted fully toward sunset, but it was heading that way, or so it seemed.
If Nicklaus’ unlikely sixth Masters victory as a 46-year old was the emotional high point of his career, his fourth and final U.S. Open win (and second at Baltusrol) was a prelude of sorts.
When 1980 arrived, Nicklaus was coming off his first winless season on the PGA Tour, raising questions if time had erased the wide gap between Nicklaus and everyone else. It was a natural assumption and Nicklaus, who hardly touched his clubs during a five-month break, had gone back to his longtime teacher, Jack Grout, early in 1980 to rework a swing that he felt had become too vertical.
Get access to this article and all the quality, in-depth journalism of Global Golf Post Plus.
or Log In