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The Lost Masters: Grace and Disgrace in '68 Hardcover – March 15, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

No one remembers the silver medalist, the second-place finisher, the runner-up. And no one remembers the first loser of the 1968 Masters Tournament. Sampson, a former touring golf pro and author of seven books, including the bestseller The Masters, hopes to change all that by retelling a story many people have forgotten and even more never knew. The '68 Masters was held under a cloud of war, racial tension and national mourning. The tournament began on April 11; eight days earlier, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, and he was buried in nearby Atlanta, Ga., two days before the tournament began at Augusta National. Anti-war sentiment pervaded the nation's conscience as Bob Goalby lined up for the first tee shot of the tournament. What followed was four days of competition and controversy. While the world watched and waited for one of the two favorites, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, to take the cup, three virtual unknowns-Roberto Devicenzo, Bob Goalby and Bert Yancy-staged their own three-way battle for the title. It was one of the tightest tournaments in the Masters' history, and its ending further solidified its place in the history books. When the final stroke was tallied, it was Devicenzo-Goalby, one-two. But in a scoring error on the 17th hole of the final day, it was discovered that Devicenzo's partner recorded a four instead of the three he actually shot, and more controversy ensued. A marvelous look at a compelling event, this book is a surefire pleasure for golf fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The worst sports scandals usually involve cheating, but golf's biggest controversy occurred when the rules were followed too closely. The 1968 Masters Tournament ended in a tie between Roberto Devicenzo and Bob Goalby, but the latter was pronounced the winner when it was discovered that Devicenzo signed a scorecard showing his score to be one shot higher than it really was. Veteran golf writer Sampson reprises the tournament and looks closely at the incident and its aftermath. Would Arnold Palmer have been allowed to correct his score, in spite of the rule? Does the whole fiasco illustrate golf's bedrock sportsmanship, or does it show, yet again, the arrogance of the rich white guys who run the Masters? Sampson gives all sides a fair hearing, but most interestingly, he looks at how the scoring mess turned Devicenzo into a fan favorite and became a permanent monkey on Goalby's back. The attempt to place the controversy in the context of Vietnam and the sixties in general is overstated, but all in all, this is a fascinating slice of golf history. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; 1st Atria Books Hardcover Ed edition (March 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743470028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743470025
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,990,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
And this one was no exception.

Very well researched, interesting, and written so well. I can hardly put the book down once I start.

Fascinating story of what happened in the 68 Masters.

Hopefully next he'll tackle the DISGRACE that was the 58 Masters and the Palmer Venturi debacle.

Gee Goalby received harsh treatment since SOMEBODY else broke a basic, well known and steadfast rule in golf.

As I write, Australia's best female golfer, Carrie Webb, just got DQ'd for the same offence as Roberto did all those years ago....

Also didn't know Devlin lead in a Masters Sunday......

Buy and enjoy!!

Cheers, Simon
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it. I grew up in Belleville Illinois and I get to shake Bob Goalby's hand once a year in a charity golf scramble that Mr. Goalby and I participate in. So I knew all the references in the book to Belleville and that was kinda cool. It was well written and gave an even handed account of the Master's tournament in question. It was interesting to get an insight into the workings of the Tour back in those times. I'd call it a good summer read for fans of golf.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Perhaps the most infamous moment in Masters history and this is the ONLY book that has any details about it. The story is great and Sampson is a terrific writer who certainly has the scoop down here. My only quibble is that I wish he'd had interviewed a few more golfers like Nickalus and Palmer and maybe some Masters members about the whole thing but that is only the most minor of criticisms.

For a dad who loves golf, or even (like me) just follows the major championships, this would be a great Father's Day gift.
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Format: Hardcover
The book contains a fascinating report of two gentlemen that were the victims of two unfair events: Roberto De Vicenzo was the victim of an unfair (and recently modified) rule and Goalby was the victim of an unfair treatment by the media and some golf fans. The two of them had a very gentle reaction after the incident and remained close friends. The book is a refreshing story about excellence in sports.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i've read this book at least 4 times since i bought it a few years back. i've also gone on to read all of Sampson's books as he's an incredible writer. i quit my job and moved into a van and now live outside his home with my pet iguana "iggy."

if you believe that then you should be more trusting of our species and our capacity for humor.

anyway, this is a great book as it talks about a part of masters lore that is rarely talked about. i'm originally from augusta and thought i'd heard all the stories about the "tunamint" and its lore. however, this story never came up and that's unfortunate as its a very interesting story.

as an aside, during my "college years," which was a 6-year odyssey of brilliance and stupidity plus wasted coin. i held one of the worst jobs ever working as a breakfast-shift waiter in a mediocre hotel in augusta (it was closed decades ago). imagine if you will its masters week and as always in augusta every hotel is booked (particularly the crappy ones) and i am your clearly hungover waiter for a lovely, pre-tournament breakfast.

an older couple sat down and it immediately it was clear the service and surroundings weren't up to their standards, which isn't meant to be snippy as only a hobo could have found this hotel and restaurant worth what they were charging, believe me.

anyway, older couple was nice and frankly i was so busy i didn't pay them much attention as i was working about 10 tables with 3 hours of sleep and just wanting the day to end. i deliver the check and come back to pick it up and the woman looks me in the eye and says, "son, its clear you don't know who Bob Goalby is." i look over and the man is glaring at me too. i'm not sure what i said or if i even said anything as a hungover teenager at 6am isn't a fountain of interaction, but, make no doubt that after i reading this book 4 or more times i now do know who Bob Goalby is.
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Format: Paperback
Curt Sampson takes us back to the historic 1968 Masters in this solid, but unspectacular, book. He does a fine job of setting the cultural context for the event (MLK having just been buried, Vietnam, etc) and of introducing the main players (Roberto De Vicenzo and Bob Goalby). He also does a good job of giving us all the facts involved in the scorecard dispute. So the pieces are all there. So why 4 stars instead of 5?

For one, Sampson tries a little too hard to be picturesque with his language. He also spends a little too much time on stories outside of the main topic in an effort to fill the title's 238 pages.

Still, I ripped through this in no time and enjoyed it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read anything by Curt Sampson. Another great book with interesting behind the scenes info.
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