|Full name||Robert Herman Nichols|
April 14, 1936 |
|College||Texas A&M University|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour Champions||1|
|Best results in major championships
|Masters Tournament||2nd: 1967|
|U.S. Open||T3: 1962|
|The Open Championship||DNP|
|PGA Championship||Won: 1964|
Born in April 1936 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.
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. 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. All three men came back to play professional golf. Nichols has had 12 holes-in-one in his professional career.
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. 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. Nichols was the first wire-to-wire winner since the PGA Championship switched format from match play to stroke play in 1958. 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.
Professional wins (15)
PGA Tour wins (12)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||Mar 19, 1962||St. Petersburg Open Invitational||−16 (71-67-70-64=272)||2 strokes||Frank Boynton|
|2||Apr 23, 1962||Houston Classic||−2 (68-69-71-70=278)||Playoff||Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sikes|
|3||Sep 15, 1963||Seattle Open Invitational||−16 (66-68-68-70=272)||2 strokes||Raymond Floyd, Stan Leonard|
|4||Jul 19, 1964||PGA Championship||−9 (64-71-69-67=271)||3 strokes||Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer|
|5||Aug 30, 1964||Carling World Open||−2 (72-68-66-72=278)||1 stroke||Arnold Palmer|
|6||Apr 18, 1965||Houston Classic||−11 (67-69-67-70=273)||1 stroke||Bruce Devlin, Chi Chi Rodriguez|
|7||Jul 17, 1966||Minnesota Golf Classic||−14 (67-67-66-70=270)||1 stroke||John Schlee|
|8||Sep 22, 1968||PGA National Team Championship
(with George Archer)
|−22 (65-66-69-65=265)||2 strokes||Monty Kaser & Rives McBee|
|9||Aug 30, 1970||Dow Jones Open Invitational||−12 (68-70-69-69=276)||1 stroke||Labron Harris, Jr.|
|10||Aug 5, 1973||Westchester Classic||−16 (70-67-70-65=272)||Playoff||Bob Murphy|
|11||Jan 27, 1974||Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational||−13 (69-69-68-69=275)||1 stroke||Rod Curl, Gene Littler|
|12||Jul 28, 1974||Canadian Open||−10 (67-67-68-68=270)||4 strokes||John Schlee, Larry Ziegler|
PGA Tour playoff record (2–2)
|1||1961||Ontario Open||George Bayer, Eric Monti||Monti won with birdie on second extra hole|
|2||1962||Houston Classic||Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sikes||Won with eagle on first extra hole after 18 hole playoff (Nichols:71, Sikes:71, Nicklaus:76)|
|3||1973||Westchester Classic||Bob Murphy||Won with birdie on second extra hole|
|4||1975||Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational||Raymond Floyd, J.C. Snead||Snead won with birdie on fourth extra hole
Nichols eliminated with par on first hole
Senior PGA Tour wins (1)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||May 28, 1989||Southwestern Bell Classic||−7 (69-69-71-209)||Playoff||Orville Moody|
- Senior PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)
|1||1988||Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am||Bob Charles, Don Massengale, Orville Moody||Moody won with birdie on first extra hole|
|2||1989||Southwestern Bell Classic||Orville Moody||Won with birdie on third extra hole|
Other senior wins (2)
- 1986 Showdown Classic (with Curt Byrum)
- 2007 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Demaret Division (with Butch Baird)
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runners-up|
|1964||PGA Championship||1 shot lead||−9 (64-71-69-67=271)||3 strokes||Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer|
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
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 23 (1967 Masters – 1975 Masters)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1962 U.S. Open – 1962 PGA)
- "Just in ...". Golf World. Vol. 66 no. 10. September 17, 2012. p. 15.
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.
- "Trevino survives lightning". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 28, 1975. p. 1-part 2.
- Bio from pgatour.com Archived February 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Wright, Alfred (July 27, 1964). "'You aren't going to believe this, but...'". Sports Illustrated. p. 48.
- Gundelfinger, Phil (July 20, 1964). "Nichols PGA Champ with record 271". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 19.
- "Nichols holds off Nicklaus in PGA". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. July 20, 1964. p. 3B.
- Parascenzo, Marino (August 15, 1994). "Price is a major force". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. B1.
- Year by Year History of the PGA Championship
- "Course Rating and Slope Database: Bobby Nichols Golf Course". USGA. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- "Bobby Nichols Golf Course" (PDF). Louisville - Jefferson County Metro Parks. Scorecard. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- "Nichols, Archer triumph". The Windsor Star. AP. September 23, 1968. p. 6B. Retrieved October 26, 2012.