1961 Masters Tournament
|Dates||April 6–10, 1961|
|Course(s)||Augusta National Golf Club|
|Organized by||Augusta National Golf Club|
|Length||6,980 yards (6,383 m)|
|Field||88 players, 41 after cut|
Due to heavy rains and flooding of several greens, Sunday's final round was halted before 4 p.m. and the scores were erased, even though ten players had completed their rounds. Third round leader Gary Player was even par through eleven holes, and defending champion Arnold Palmer was two-under through nine. The entire round was replayed the next day.
In the final round on Monday, Player defeated Palmer and amateur Charles Coe by one stroke to become the first international champion at the Masters. Player made an up and down from the bunker on the final hole but thought he had lost the tournament, after carding a disappointing 40 (+4) on the back nine. In the final pairing with a one-shot lead, Palmer needed a par on the final hole for the win. From the fairway, his approach shot also landed in the bunker right of the green. With a poor lie, Palmer's bunker shot went past the hole and off the green and down a hillock. Using his putter from off the green, he failed to get the fourth shot close, then missed the 15-foot (4.5 m) bogey putt which would have forced a playoff.
It was the first of three green jackets for Player, age 25, and the second of his nine major titles. His other wins at Augusta came over a decade later in 1974 and 1978. Jack Nicklaus, 21, recorded the first of his 22 top-10 finishes at the Masters, his last as an amateur. He tied for seventh, but the low amateur honors went to Coe. Nicklaus regained the U.S. Amateur title in September at Pebble Beach and turned professional in November.
A field of 88 players entered the tournament and 41 of them made the cut at five-over-par (149).
- 1. Masters champions
Jack Burke Jr. (4,8,11), Jimmy Demaret, Doug Ford (4,10,11), Claude Harmon (8), Ben Hogan (2,3,4,8,9), Herman Keiser, Cary Middlecoff (2,11), Byron Nelson (2,4), Arnold Palmer (2,8,9,10), Gene Sarazen (2,3,4), Horton Smith, Sam Snead (3,4,8,10,11), Craig Wood (2)
- The following categories only apply to Americans
- 2. U.S. Open champions
- 3. The Open champions
- 4. PGA champions
- 6. Members of the 1959 U.S. Walker Cup team
- Tommy Aaron had turned professional. Campbell and Kocsis were reserves for the team. Harvie Ward did not play.
- 7. 1960 U.S. Amateur quarter-finalists
- 8. Top 24 players and ties from the 1960 Masters Tournament
- Ed Oliver did not play.
- 9. Top 16 players and ties from the 1960 U.S. Open
- 10. Top eight players and ties from 1960 PGA Championship
- Jim Ferrier (4) did not play
- 11. Members of the U.S. 1959 Ryder Cup team
- 12. One player, either amateur or professional, not already qualified, selected by a ballot of ex-Masters champions
- 13. One professional, not already qualified, selected by a ballot of ex-U.S. Open champions
- 14. One amateur, not already qualified, selected by a ballot of ex-U.S. Amateur champions
Bob Cochran (a)
- 15. Two players, not already qualified, from a points list based on finishes in the winter part of the 1961 PGA Tour
- 16. Foreign invitations
Keith Alexander (a), Al Balding, Phil Brownlee (a), Antonio Cerdá, Bruce Crampton (8), Roberto De Vicenzo, Mário Gonzalez, Bill Kerr, Stan Leonard (8), Sebastián Miguel, Ángel Miguel, Kel Nagle (3), Gary Player (3,8), Chi-Chi Rodríguez, Miguel Sala, Peter Thomson (3)
- Numbers in brackets indicate categories that the player would have qualified under had they been American.
Thursday, April 6, 1961
|T1||Arnold Palmer||United States||68||−4|
|Bob Rosburg||United States|
|3||Gary Player||South Africa||69||−3|
|4||Jack Nicklaus (a)||United States||70||−2|
|T5||Doug Ford||United States||71||−1|
|Paul Harney||United States|
|Byron Nelson||United States|
|Johnny Pott||United States|
|T9||Tommy Bolt||United States||72||E|
|Billy Casper||United States|
|Charles Coe (a)||United States|
|Jay Hebert||United States|
|Gene Littler||United States|
|Ken Venturi||United States|
Friday, April 7, 1961
|T1||Arnold Palmer||United States||68-69=137||−7|
|Gary Player||South Africa||69-68=137|
|3||Bob Rosburg||United States||68-73=141||−3|
|4||Don January||United States||74-68=142||−2|
|T5||Tommy Bolt||United States||72-71=143||−1|
|Walter Burkemo||United States||74-69=143|
|Charles Coe (a)||United States||72-71=143|
|Lionel Hebert||United States||74-69=143|
|Ted Kroll||United States||73-70=143|
|Byron Nelson||United States||71-72=143|
|Ken Venturi||United States||72-71=143|
Saturday, April 8, 1961
|1||Gary Player||South Africa||69-68-69=206||−10|
|2||Arnold Palmer||United States||68-69-73=210||−6|
|T3||Charles Coe (a)||United States||72-71-69=212||−4|
|Paul Harney||United States||71-73-68=212|
|5||Bill Collins||United States||74-72-67=213||−3|
|T6||Jack Burke Jr.||United States||76-70-68=214||−2|
|Don January||United States||74-68-72=214|
|Bob Rosburg||United States||68-73-73=214|
|T9||Ted Kroll||United States||73-70-72=215||−1|
|Jack Nicklaus (a)||United States||70-75-70=215|
|Doug Sanders||United States||76-71-68=215|
|Ken Venturi||United States||72-71-72=215|
Sunday, April 9, 1961
Monday, April 10, 1961
Play on Sunday was washed out due to heavy rain and wind shortly after 4 pm and all scores were erased; the final round was replayed on Monday. Although Player was the leader after 54 holes, he finished his round nearly an hour ahead of Palmer's double-bogey at the final hole.
|Silver Cup winner (low amateur)|
|(a) = amateur|
|(c) = past champion|
|Place||Player||Score||To par||Money (US$)|
|T2||Charles Coe (a)||72-71-69-69=281||−7||0|
|Arnold Palmer (c)||68-69-73-71=281||12,000|
|T7||Jack Burke Jr. (c)||76-70-68-73=287||−1||3,200|
|Jack Nicklaus (a)||70-75-70-72=287||0|
|Leaderboard below the top 10|
|Place||Player||Score||To par||Money ($)|
|Robert W. Gardner (a)||74-71-72-71=288||0|
|Sam Snead (c)||74-73-69-73=289|
|T22||Roberto De Vicenzo||73-74-71-74=292||+4||1,000|
|T32||Doug Ford (c)||71-76-78-73=298||+10||500|
|Ben Hogan (c)||74-73-72-79=298|
|Byron Nelson (c)||71-72-78-77=298|
|CUT||Deane Beman (a)||73-77=150||+6|
|Chuck Kocsis (a)||77-73=150|
|Charles Lewis III (a)||74-76=150|
|Cary Middlecoff (c)||75-75=150|
|Robert Sweeny Jr. (a)||74-77=151|
|Keith Alexander (a)||76-76=152||+8|
|Bud Taylor (a)||74-78=152|
|Don Cherry (a)||79-74=153||+9|
|Jimmy Demaret (c)||75-78=153|
|Billy Joe Patton (a)||78-75=153|
|Bill Hyndman (a)||74-80=154||+10|
|Sam Parks Jr.||80-75=155|
|Gene Sarazen (c)||79-77=156|
|William C. Campbell (a)||76-81=157||+13|
|Claude Harmon (c)||76-81=157|
|Phil Brownlee (a)||79-79=158||+14|
|Dick Chapman (a)||80-79=159||+15|
|Steve Spray (a)||80-79=159|
|Bob Cochran (a)||80-80=160|
|John Farquhar (a)||77-83=160|
|Craig Wood (c)||80-80=160|
|Claude Wild (a)||78-83=161||+17|
|Herman Keiser (c)||81-81=162||+18|
|Ward Wettlaufer (a)||80-85=165|
|Horton Smith (c)||86-83=169||+25|
Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par
Birdie Bogey Double bogey
- "Player, Palmer tie for Masters lead". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. April 8, 1961. p. 1-part 2.
- "Rain washes out Masters; finish today". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. April 10, 1961. p. 2-part 2.
- Bartlett, Charles (April 10, 1961). "Masters washed out by rain". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 4.
- Bartlett, Charles (April 11, 1961). "Palmer flops on 18th, Player takes Masters". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 3.
- "Player wins Masters (280)". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. April 11, 1961. p. 3-part 2.
- Bisher, Furman (April 11, 1961). "Palmer played it like a duffer". Miami News. p. 1C.
- Wright, Alfred (April 17, 1961). "A duel golfers will never forget". Sports Illustrated. p. 18.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (April 11, 1961). "Player wins as Palmer blows lead". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 1.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (April 7, 1961). "Palmer, Rosburg fire 68s, lead Masters". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 20.
- "Second-round Masters golf scores". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. April 8, 1961. p. 14.
- "Masters golf tourney scores". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). Associated Press. April 8, 1961. p. 8.
- Bartlett, Charles (April 8, 1961). "Gary Player catches Palmer at 137". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 5.
- Bartlett, Charles (April 9, 1961). "Player pulls ahead of Palmer in Masters golf". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
- "Masters – Past Winners & Results". Augusta National Inc. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
- "Past results – Masters tournament". PGA Tour. Retrieved April 20, 2021.