Only on 12: A special interview with Masters great Jack Nicklaus

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock, April 7, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Jack Nicklaus is a golf legend. He's won more Masters than anyone else. It's been twenty three years since his last win here, that unforgettable win in 1986.

April 13th, 1986 was a special day. Jack Nicklaus was on the charge, looking to win his 6th Masters.

Millions watched in amazement as Nicklaus did the unthinkable -- including my Mom and Dad who watched from an Atlanta delivery room just a couple hours before I was born.

Just like that. With a beautiful putt on 17, Jack Nicklaus was back.

"All of a sudden I'm leading the Masters. Here's this old man coming up the 18th fairway and the rest is history," says Nicklaus.

But let's back up history to Saturday, April 12th. My Dad, David Beasley is in Augusta cheering on his favorite player, Jack Nicklaus.

He gets the call from his wife that she's going into labor. He's forced to sell his Sunday ticket and head home to Atlanta.

On the way out, he runs into Nicklaus, who autographs this hat. My first present and something I've cherished for the last twenty three years.

"Did you think we'd be talking about it, still today?" Katie asks. "Well thank goodness you are. Without it I think they say, you just sort of blow away some place. I guess, I'm gonna stick around a little while longer," says Nicklaus.

From an eagle on 15 to birdie on 16. The crowd knew they were witnessing something extraordinary, but one of the most surprised of all might have been Jack himself.

"Did you ever doubt yourself? Some people were counting you out back then." Asks Katie. "Not too many people, including me -- none of us expected me to win. I knew I still had a golf game, but I didn't know what I was gonna do with it," answers Nicklaus.

It's a back nine no one expected and no one will ever forget.

"That was a fun experience, a great experience, having my son with me. Coming down the stretch to do those things and all of a sudden win the golf tournament for the 6th time was very special and then you were born!" Says Nicklaus.

April 13th, 1986. A special day for me, and an unforgettable one for Jack Nicklaus. Who is still quite a charmer. "I was told that you were born on the day I won the '86 Masters and I said, I wanna interview her. That's what I wanna do," laughs Nicklaus.

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  • by Bill Hall Location: Marietta, GA on Apr 15, 2009 at 10:53 PM
    Jack Nicklaus has always been one of my favorite golf champs. Great interview by a great girl from a great family. My priviledge to now know 4 generations of Beasleys. Grandmother gave me the heads up.
  • by Quinton Location: Fayetteville,GA on Apr 9, 2009 at 10:52 PM
    Great Story! Great Champ! Great Girl!
  • by Nancy Location: Rock Hill, SC on Apr 8, 2009 at 01:34 PM
    Wonderful human interest story! Jack is a quality guy, and I enjoyed the link he shares with Katie. It's nice to hear a positive story! Good job, Katie & News 12!
  • by David Beasley Location: Canton, Ga. on Apr 8, 2009 at 11:21 AM
    Nice Story Katie. I remember that day well as if it was yesterday. It will always be one of the happiest days in my life. Love Always, Dad
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