Gay Brewer Loved Augusta National

1967 Masters champion Gay Brewer once said, “If they’ve got an Augusta National in heaven, that’s where I want to go.”

Perhaps Brewer, who died last Friday after a bout with lung cancer, is playing Amen Corner today. He was 75.

I was fortunate to meet Gay Brewer in April at the Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga. The 11-time PGA Tour winner was sitting beside Bobby Nichols in the players’ dining room. I walked up and asked Brewer if I could shake the hand of a Masters champion.

Gay grasped my hand and then said I’ll tell you something you don’t know. What’s that? I asked. I was the one who broke the Masters win streak of the big boys, he related.

Brewer was referring to the seven-year run from 1960 to 1966 during which the Masters was won by the Big Three of golf: Arnold Palmer (three times), Jack Nicklaus (three times) and Gary Player (one time).

In 1967 Gay Brewer started a new string of Masters winners. Following Brewer’s victory with wins were Bob Goalby (1968), George Archer (1969), Billy Casper (1970) and Charles Coody (1971). Because of his fondness for Augusta National, it was fitting that the Masters was Brewer’s only major.

The Armchair Golfer

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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