The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 14, 1986 · Page 21
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 21

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Monday, April 14, 1986
Page 21
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Sports The Indianapolis Star MONDAY, APRIL 14, 1986 Classified 27-34 Weather 35 PAGE 21 Lightly By BOB COLLINS Nicklaus found a bit of yesterday A UGUSTA. CA.. It wasn't a victory. It was a trium phal march. Caesar returning from Caul. Napoleon on the lam from Elba should have heard such cheers. On Sunday. April 13. In 1986. the Bear stepped out of the shadows and re-claimed his throne. Twenty-three years after he won his first green Jacket. Jack Nicklaus captured the Masters for the sixth time. There was laughter, there were thunder ous cheers. And there were tears. The Bears said he had trou ble concentrating on the last few holes because his eyes were wet. That didn't make him unique. Hell, a lot of people cried. This was the 50th Masters. And Bobby Jones, wherever he is. must have pulled a few strings. The 50th anniversary is called gold. But you can throw In all of the other precious met als. There never has been a better, more exciting, more sat isfying Masters golf tourna ment. For three days the foreign contingent had been beating proud Augusta National to pieces. And the final round quickly turned into a duel be tween Spaniard Severiano Bal- lesteros and Greg Norman, the Great White Shark from Aus tralia. Ballesteros. a charger with the confidence of a shooter with loaded dice, scored eagles on holes eight and u. Alter Norman took the scenic route for a double bogey on No. 10. it looked like Seve was going to be fitted for his third green Jacket. Hut that old liear was out there tromplng through the woods. He's 46 now. Just four years away from the seniors tour. He'd won but two tourna ments since 1980, when he captured the U.S. Open and PGA. The whispers became questions, the questions state ments. The Bear, the greatest golfer who ever lived, was through. He no longer would be a con tender In a major tournament. You've seen It happen too many times before: Willie Mays circling under fly balls. Warren Spahn pitching In the minors. Muhammad All catching punches from palookas. Why. we ask. don t they quit while they're on top? Why do they stay on stage until their skills are eroded, their glory days way behind them? Why do they Insist on being carried out of their shields? But Nicklaus stubbornly In sisted that while It may be De cember, he still had a month to go In a legendary career that he still could win. And Sundav. In his tourna ment, on the goir course tnat was created for him. Nicklaus reached back and found yester day. He took it to them, he did. He reached down deeD and re claimed the days when every golfer in the wona neara nis fnntstens. The Rear blrdied seven out of the last 10 holes. He played 14. 15 and is lour under par. He finished with a 30 on the back side under Masters Dressure 65 for the day and 279 for the tournament. It must have been difficult for the vounff Hons to keep it to gether when they the ground was shaking from ovations as Nicklaus took Augusta oy uie throat and shook It. The biff turnaround was on 15. Nicklaus helped himseu to c an eade on the par five hole. Then Ballesteros. who had been In cruise control at nine-under-oar. found the water with his second shot on the same hole. He took six. That's a three- shot difference. The Bear was pumped. He was walking so fast he looked like he was trying to play through the twosome ahead. He nearly made a hole-in-one of 16 and settled for a birdie two. He blrdied 17 and had the lead to himself. It was noisier than the sound of a thousand ghetto blasters See NICKLAUS Page 22 f .o. iff V'. 4 - ' f I . . e . ..1. - - . - C h 1 jp ' ' ' ' ' r J rr:' ; "iM&k ' I ... . 4x:z2::XW' I'rx:' it Lf ' X - Jack Nicklaus flashes a devilish grin as his birdie putt on the cup. The putt put Nicklaus into the lead in the Masters Tournament, which he went on to win. Michael Andretti races to Long Beach victory By ROBIN MILLER STAR ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR Long Beach. Calif. More than a few skeptics raised their eyebrows when it was an nounced that Indy cars would be replacing Formula One here In 1984. But Sunday. In the 12th run ning of the Long Beach Grand Prix. Michael Andretti and AI Unser Jr. put on a show that had never been seen on these streets. The two second-generation drivers staged a classic, frantic duel to the finish, with young Andretti snaring his first victory by .380 of a second over young Unser. Never separated by more than a few car lengths during the last 25 laps, the 23-year-old son of the four-time Indy-car champion held off the 23-year-old son of the three-time Indy 500 winner before a most appreciative audience of 77.500. "The changing of the guard has happened." said Unser af terwards. "1 think Michael Is going to be somebody to contend with, and I plan to do this for quite a while myself." The two phenoms. who began racing snowmobiles against each other when they were 7. went at each other like brothers fighting over space In the backseat of a car. "If I d have sneezed a little bit. Al would have gone right by me." said Andretti. whose pulsating triumph was also the first for the Kraco Stereo team. "I " .' AAt.v ' j Michael Andretti out-dueled Al Unser Jr. for Long Beach title. found myself praying a lot near the end. hoping the car would hold together and hoping I wouldn't make a mistake." Andretti never cracked under Unser's relentless pressure and It's a credit to both of them. "I was hoping traffic was going to make Michael make the wrong decision." said Al Jr. "But he didn't, he didn't make any mistakes and he did a super Job all day. "I tried as hard as I could to get him but I couldn't." There were three critical confrontations between the two during the stretch run. ' After making his final fuel stop on Lap 69. Unser managed to get out of the pits Just ahead of Andretti. who had already 5 'f-;f: i I 15 UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL the 17th hole is about to fall in stopped for the last time on Lap 56. But Michael managed to get by Al In Turn Five. In what proved to be the winning pass. "I came out leading, but my tires were cold and his were hot." said Junior. "I almost lost It trying to stay In front of him so I had to let him by. I had no choice." The next drama occured on Lap 80. as the two leaders closed In to lap Roberto Moreno at Turn 10 a tough left-hander. Unser dove to the outside, pulled alongside and the two were wheel-to-wheel approaching the 90 degrees of Turn 11 before Andretti bulled back Into command. "That was a very tense moment, that's when Al got the closest to me." said Michael. "We never touched, but It was pretty close." said Unser. A few laps later. Al tried to nose the Domino's Pizza Lola T8600 under Michael as they roared down the backstretch and Unser had to lock up his brakes when he ran out of room. "Oh yeah. I saw him." said Andretti. "I was Just trying to hang on. I didn't want to put Al Into the wall and I didn't want to give him too much room either. "But I can trust Little Al. we've raced together a lot." Unser never quit hounding Andretti and tried to pull even as they accelerated out of Turn 1 1 for the last time and charged for the checkered flag. "Michael could come off Turn 11 real strong and I couldn't." stated Unser. "We were even on Rally proves Nicklaus still M asters-ful By BILL BENNER STAR STAFF WRITER Augusta. Ga. Jack Nicklaus. his career seemingly on the decline and his best days supposedly behind him. fired a final-round 65 Sunday and stunned the golfing world by capturing his sixth Masters and his 20th major championship. ' The Golden Bear came out of the woods with a record-tying 30 Masters cards over Augusta National Golf Club's famous back nine to win frrt ; 212 ltt?S ... . . Nicklaus out 444 443 453-35 the tournament by one shot over Klte out 545 343 434.35 Tom Kite and Greg Norman. Norman out 454 342 454-35 Nicklaus' blazing finish Ballesteros out 454 343 335J4 his best final-round score in 28 KSIJ 3 tS&sZro Masters appearences gave Klte jn 433 444 3438 280 him a four-day total of 279. nine Norman in 643 534 23545-70280 under par. Ballesteros in ..443 346 35446-70 281 "Phenomenal." said Kite of Nicklaus's performance. but came right back with a bird- "Phenomenal," added Nor- ' ie at the 13th. He scrambled for man who. like Kite, could have a par 4 at the 14th and then forced a playoff on the final hole he took charge of destiny, but faltered. After lashing a monster. 300- Yes. phenomenal. Absolutely yard drive on the par-5 15th. phenomenal. Nicklaus stood 202 yards from Twenty-four years after win- the pin. facing a shot that has nlng his first major title. 11 decided many Masters champl- years after winning his last Mas- onships. Nicklaus took the 4- ters. six years after winning his Iron offered by his caddie son. last major championship and Jackie, swung and stopped the two years after winning his last ball 12 feet from the cup. tournament, the 46-year-old "I remembered that I had al- Nicklaus blew away both the most the same putt In '75 (his critics who had written him off last Masters triumph) and didn't and a Masters field filled with hit it hard enough, so my main pretenders and contenders to his thought was to get it to the throne. hole." said Nicklaus. "Obviously. I'm tickled pink," He not only got It to the hole, said Nicklaus. "There was an he got it In the hole. Eagle 3. article (in an Atlanta newspaper) Now Nicklaus was 7-under for Sunday that said people aged 46 the tournament, and closing in don't win the Masters, that I was on Ballesteros, who had eagled washed up. that I had no the 13th to go 9-under. chance, that I was finished. I'm Nicklaus then stepped to the not all that sure 1 didn't agree. 16th. a dangerous, water-guard-but a friend posted that on the ed par-3. His tee shot landed to refrigerator and I sizzled for the right of the flag but took the awhile. Something clicked with slope and trickled down toward that. the hole. It missed by an Inch or "I'm not as good as I was 15 so of being a hole-ln-one, but years ago. I don't play as much stopped Just a couple of feet concentrated golf. But obviously away. The birdie was a cinch. 1 can play a little at a time." And, behind him. Ballesteros Obviously. - was about to meet the his doom. Sunday. Nicklaus was playing Playing the 15th hole that even-par golf through the first Nicklaus had Just eagled. Balles- elght holes. On the ninth, he had teros. too. was In position to a 11 -foot birdie putt, but had to make a 3 on the par-5. But he back off while the noise behind caught his 4-lron heavy and the him subsided. Both Kite and ball splashed Into the pond. Bal- Spaln's Seve Ballesteros. playing lesteros took a drop, pitched be- In the twosome behind Nicklaus. hind the green and made bogey made back-to-back eagles on the 6. dropping the Spaniard to 8- par-5 eighth. under. For Ballesteros it moved him ..,t.s hard tQ knQW what h Into the lead. And certainly, ev- pencd said Ballesteros. "I eryone was thinking, the Bear wasn.t nervous , Just hlt a 4. or anyone else would be lron too easy. , should have ht a no match for the Spanish mata- 5.r0n ,t was ,he onIy shot I But Nicklaus made that birdie tournament. We, maybe. I don't putt on nine. And when he came know Jack , d we .. back with two more birdies at 10 . ' Nicklaus was and 1 1 . the galleries around Au- A,nd' "f f? ,1? Pusta National came to life as continuing to do Just that. He iti. 1 ?f l til i P"lll his tee shot at the 17th Nicklaus went up on the lea- r . . , . . . , derboards. far to the ,eft' but somehow He bogeyed the par-3 12th See MASTERS Page 22 rfTOYOTA JLiI 41 1 km- 3 1 , If ASSOCIATED PRESS Al Unser Jr. takes the early lead in the long Beoch. Grand Prix Sunday afternoon. Second is Danny Sullivan. certain parts of the track but he had a real strong engine today." . Andretti. who was leading the CART opener at Phoenix handily before his engine failed, started seventh but was third after only seven laps. He led 45 of the 95 laps In the Adrian Newey-de-signed March 86C. Geoff Brabham, yet another second-generation star, nursed the Vaivoline Lola T8600 to third place after Tom Sneva ran out of fuel on the last lap. Sneva. who charged from TOYOTA "1 15th to take the lead on Laps 69-72. was holding down third when his Skoal Bandit March 86C sputtered to a stop. Mario Andretti. winner ef both previous CART shows here and the 1977 F-l rare, soldiered his Lola T8600 home In fifth despite losing his brakes and clutch at the halfway point. Pole-sitter Danny Sullivan led early before running Into Jose Garza and eventually retired with Ignition failure.

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