Bobby Nichols

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Bobby Nichols
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Robert Herman Nichols
Born (1936-04-14) April 14, 1936 (age 78)
Louisville, Kentucky
Nationality  United States
Career
College Texas A&M University
Turned professional 1960
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 15
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 12
Champions Tour 1
Other 2
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 1)
Masters Tournament 2nd: 1967
U.S. Open T3: 1962
The Open Championship DNP
PGA Championship Won: 1964

Robert Herman Nichols (born April 14, 1936) is an American professional golfer, best known for winning the PGA Championship in 1964.

Early years[edit]

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Nichols attended St. Xavier High School. While in high school, Nichols and several other youths were involved in an automobile accident resulting from a 100 mph (160 km/h) joy ride. He suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis, concussion, back and internal injuries, and was hospitalized 96 days. His legs were also paralyzed for about two weeks, but he was able to regain full use of his legs after intensive physical therapy. Nichols later played on the Aggies golf team at Texas A&M University in the Southwest Conference.

Pro career[edit]

Nichols began playing on the PGA Tour in 1960 and recorded 12 victories, one of which, the PGA National Team Championship, was not fully recognized until 2012.[1] He was a member of the Ryder Cup team in 1967, and his best year on tour was 1974 when he won twice, earned $124,747 and finished 14th on the money list. Nichols, Jerry Heard, and Lee Trevino were struck by lightning at the Western Open on Friday, June 27, 1975.[2] All three men came back to play professional golf. Nichols has had 12 holes-in-one in his professional career.[3]

The 1964 PGA Championship was played at the Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. Nichols won with a 271 total, three shots ahead of runners-up Arnold Palmer and defending champion Jack Nicklaus, playing in his hometown.[4][5][6] This was a record low score for the PGA Championship and it stood for 30 years, until broken by Nick Price's 269 in 1994.[7] Nichols was the first wire-to-wire winner since the PGA Championship switched format from match play to stroke play in 1958.[8] He came close to winning a second major at the Masters in 1967, finishing second to his lifelong friend, Gay Brewer.

After turning 50 in 1986, Nichols played on the Senior PGA Tour, now the Champions Tour. He had numerous top-10 finishes but only one victory – the Southwestern Bell Classic in 1989, when he defeated Orville Moody on the third hole of a playoff.

Bobby Nichols Golf Course is a 9-hole municipal course that is part of Waverly Park in Louisville, southwest of downtown. (38°07′34″N 85°50′17″W / 38.126°N 85.838°W / 38.126; -85.838) The back tees are set at 6,970 yards (6,370 m) with a rating of 72.0 and a slope of 130.[9][10]

Professional wins (15)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (12)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 Mar 18, 1962 St. Petersburg Open Invitational −16 (71-67-70-64=272) 2 strokes United States Frank Boynton
2 Apr 22, 1962 Houston Classic −2 (68-69-71-70=278) Playoff United States Jack Nicklaus, United States Dan Sikes
3 Sep 15, 1963 Seattle Open Invitational −16 (66-68-68-70=272) 2 strokes United States Raymond Floyd, Canada Stan Leonard
4 Jul 19, 1964 PGA Championship −9 (64-71-69-67=271) 3 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus, United States Arnold Palmer
5 Aug 30, 1964 Carling World Open −6 (72-68-66-72=278) 1 stroke United States Arnold Palmer
6 Apr 18, 1965 Houston Classic −11 (67-69-67-70=273) 1 stroke Australia Bruce Devlin, United States Chi Chi Rodriguez
7 Jul 17, 1966 Minnesota Golf Classic −14 (67-67-66-70=270) 1 stroke United States John Schlee
8 Sep 22, 1968 PGA National Team Championship
(with George Archer)[1][11]
−22 (65-66-69-65=265) 2 strokes United States Monty Kaser & United States Rives McBee
9 Aug 30, 1970 Dow Jones Open Invitational −12 (68-70-69-69=276) 1 stroke United States Labron Harris, Jr.
10 Aug 5, 1973 Westchester Classic −16 (70-67-70-65=272) Playoff United States Bob Murphy
11 Jan 27, 1974 Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational −13 (69-69-68-69=275) 1 stroke United States Rod Curl, United States Gene Littler
12 Jul 28, 1974 Canadian Open −10 (67-67-68-68=270) 4 strokes United States John Schlee, United States Larry Ziegler

Senior PGA Tour wins (1)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 May 28, 1989 Southwestern Bell Classic −7 (69-69-71-209) Playoff United States Orville Moody

Senior PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1988 Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am New Zealand Bob Charles, United States Don Massengale, United States Orville Moody Moody won with birdie on first extra hole
2 1989 Southwestern Bell Classic United States Orville Moody Won with birdie on third extra hole

Other senior wins (2)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
1964 PGA Championship 1 shot lead −9 (64-71-69-67=271) 3 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus, United States Arnold Palmer

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1958 1959
Masters Tournament DNP DNP
U.S. Open T52 DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP T24 T25 T35 T22 2 T30 T29
U.S. Open DNP DNP T3 T14 T14 CUT 7 T23 4 T31
PGA Championship DNP DNP 6 T23 1 T54 CUT T14 T57 T44
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament DNP DNP T31 T24 T7 T4 CUT DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open T46 T9 T11 T20 T49 CUT CUT DNP 52 T25
PGA Championship T26 T46 T62 T51 T39 T33 CUT T51 T19 CUT
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
U.S. Open CUT T53 CUT CUT DNP DNP
PGA Championship CUT CUT T34 T36 CUT T40

Note: Nichols never played in The Open Championship.
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 1 0 2 3 7 12 11
U.S. Open 0 0 1 2 4 10 22 16
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
PGA Championship 1 0 0 1 2 5 24 18
Totals 1 1 1 5 9 22 58 45
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 23 (1967 Masters – 1975 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1962 U.S. Open – 1962 PGA)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Just in ...". Golf World 66 (10): 15. September 17, 2012. The victory totals for four former PGA Tour players have been increased after the tour determined they were not credited with winning the 1968 and 1972 National Team Championship ... Hiskey and Zarley now have three wins, Archer 13 and Nichols 12. 
  2. ^ "Trevino survives lightning". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 28, 1975. p. 1-part 2. 
  3. ^ Bio from pgatour.com
  4. ^ Wright, Alfred (July 27, 1964). "'You aren't going to believe this, but...'". Sports Illustrated: 48. 
  5. ^ Gundelfinger, Phil (July 20, 1964). "Nichols PGA Champ with record 271". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 19. 
  6. ^ "Nichols holds off Nicklaus in PGA". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. July 20, 1964. p. 3B. 
  7. ^ Parascenzo, Marino (August 15, 1994). "Price is a major force". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. B1. 
  8. ^ Year by Year History of the PGA Championship
  9. ^ "Course Rating and Slope Database: Bobby Nichols Golf Course". USGA. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Bobby Nichols Golf Course". Louisville - Jefferson County Metro Parks. Scorecard. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Nichols, Archer triumph". The Windsor Star. AP. September 23, 1968. p. 6B. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]