History

1971: A game of bridge lifts the Golden Bear

Champion: Jack Nicklaus, North Palm Beach, Fla.
Site: PGA National Golf Club (presently known as BallenIsles Country Club of JDM), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Date: Feb. 25-28
Purse: $202,440
Par: 36-36 - 72 (7,096 yards)
Field: 144 Cut at 149 (81 players advanced)

Playing a game of bridge Monday before the PGA Championship Jack and Barbara Nicklaus invited Mr. and Mrs. Deane Beman to their new home in North Palm Beach, Florida. Beman mentioned during the game that Jack "never completed a backstroke" while putting in a practice round they had played. After the Bemans had beaten the Nicklauses in bridge, Jack retired to the family pool deck where he putted on Astroturf. The new putting stroke, Nicklaus said, put him in a "good frame of mind" to march to a 7-under-par 281 total for 72 holes, a wire-to-wire triumph and a two stroke victory over fast-finishing Billy Casper. It was Nicklaus's second PGA Championship and made him the first professional to twice conquer the modern Grand Slam of winning the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

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