The 1961 Masters Tournament was the 25th Masters Tournament, held April 6–10 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
Due to heavy rains and flooding of several greens, Sunday's final round was halted before 4 p.m. and the scores were erased, even though ten players had completed their rounds. Third round leader Gary Player was even par through eleven holes, and defending champion Arnold Palmer was two-under through nine. The entire round was replayed the next day.
In the final round on Monday, Player defeated Palmer and amateur Charles Coe by one stroke to become the first international champion at the Masters. Player made an up and down from the bunker on the final hole but thought he had lost the tournament, after carding a disappointing 40 (+4) on the back nine. In the final pairing with a one-shot lead, Palmer needed a par on the final hole for the win. From the fairway, his approach shot also landed in the bunker right of the green. With a poor lie, Palmer's bunker shot went past the hole and off the green and down a hillock. Using his putter from off the green, he failed to get the fourth shot close, then missed the 15-foot (4.6 m) bogey putt which would have forced a playoff.
It was the first of three green jackets for Player, age 25, and the second of his nine major titles. His other wins at Augusta came over a decade later in 1974 and 1978. Jack Nicklaus, 21, recorded the first of his 22 top-10 finishes at the Masters, his last as an amateur. He tied for seventh, but the low amateur honors went to Coe. Nicklaus regained the U.S. Amateur title in September at Pebble Beach and turned professional in November.
A field of 88 players entered the tournament and 41 of them made the cut at five-over-par (149).
Amateur Deane Beman won the Par 3 contest with a score of 22; he turned pro in 1967 and later became the second commissioner of the PGA Tour, from 1974 to 1994.
Thursday, April 6, 1961
Friday, April 7, 1961
Saturday, April 8, 1961
Sunday, April 9, 1961
Monday, April 10, 1961
Play on Sunday was washed out due to heavy rain and wind shortly after 4 pm and all scores were erased; the final round was replayed on Monday. Although Player was the leader after 54 holes, he finished his round nearly an hour ahead of Palmer's double-bogey at the final hole.
Source:(a) denotes amateur
Cumulative tournament scores, relative to par