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Original Issue


Gay Brewer, who won the Masters 30 years ago and, as author of a
golf instructional, was on our cover four months later, might
well have become the first man to win at Augusta two years in a
row. In 1966, Brewer arrived at the 18th tee on Sunday needing
only a par to win, but after reaching the green in two, he
three-putted and fell into a tie with Jack Nicklaus and Tommy
Jacobs. The next day Nicklaus, the '65 champion, easily won the
18-hole playoff, which made him the first to win back-to-back
Masters. In '67, Brewer again came to the 18th on Sunday needing
a par to win. "Experience means everything at Augusta," he once
said. "That first year I thought all I had to do was knock it
anywhere on the green. So I left myself a terrible 40-footer and
three-putted. The second time I made sure to keep my approach
below the hole." An easy two-putt gave him the title.

Brewer never won another Masters, but he had other memorable
Augusta moments, both bad and good. On the eve of the '72
Masters he had pains in his midsection and passed out. "I
thought I was dying," he says. "They gave me hormone shots to
revive me." Doctors diagnosed bleeding ulcers and gave him a
transfusion. "I was bleeding to death and didn't even know it."
He recovered and a year later returned to Augusta, where he
finished tied for 10th, his best Masters finish since winning in

Today, at 65, Brewer lives in Mission Hills, Kans., with his
wife of 38 years, Carole Lee. He still plays the Senior PGA Tour
but with increasing difficulty: In 27 events last year, he had
only two top-25 finishes. "The ligaments are gone in both my
knees," he says. "Walking is tough. If I'm in a deep bunker, I
need my caddie to pull me out."

Nevertheless Brewer was back in Augusta last week, exercising
his right as a past champion to compete. "I'll play as long as I
can walk the course," he says. Last Thursday the pairing of
Brewer and 1971 champion Charles Coody followed the ceremonial
tee-off by Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson. When Brewer
hit the first official shot of the '97 Masters, his swing looped
up and around in the same curious way it did 30 years ago, and
his ball sailed down the fairway. On the first green he hauled
out his 48-inch putter--he was a pioneer of the long stick--and
took three putts for a bogey. At day's end he had shot 84. He
followed that with a 79 on Friday, missing the cut. Would he be
back next year?

"Of course," he said.