Javier brought honor to the family name, opening with 65, followed by rounds of 73 and 68. He finished joint 12th.
“I dedicate it to my father,” said the 21-year-old Ballesteros, a law student at Madrid’s Complutense University. “I think he would be happy.”
Something rang a bell about that 12th-place finish, so I looked it up. Sure enough, golf immortal Jack Nicklaus finished in a tie for 12th in his first PGA Tour event, the 1958 Rubber City Open.
Young Jack (he was 18) was just one shot off the 36-hole lead. And he was an amateur, still about four years from turning professional. A year later, in 1959, Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur. Then he won it again in 1961.