It was at just about this time that Wall struck—and viciously. Playing two groups back of Palmer, Wall banged a wood to the edge of the 13th and then plunked in a 15-foot putt for his birdie after a chip shot from 80 feet left him short. Twenty feet from the hole on the back edge of the par-4 14th, Wall rolled in his putt for another birdie. On the 15th, millions of televiewers gasped as his putt from 25 feet for an eagle just skirted the edge of the cup, but the next went down for a birdie.
Up ahead Palmer was shaking badly. He missed a two-foot putt on the 17th green to take a bogey 5 there and then, when it seemed that he could clinch the championship with a birdie 3 on the final hole, his first putt from only four feet scooped out of one corner of the hole and he had to settle for a par 4. This opened the gap wide for Wall. He needed one birdie to beat Palmer's final score of 286, but he got two; with a 15-foot putt on the 17th and a 12-footer on the 18th.
It was as well that he did. Just as Wall walked into the clubhouse with his final score of 284, Cary Middlecoff smashed a two-iron just three feet from the hole on the 15th and then tapped in the putt for an eagle 3.
This demonstration of golf under pressure put Cary into a position where a birdie on any one of the last three holes could tie him for the lead, but he wasn't quite up to such a severe assignment. Pars on 16 and 17 preceded a bad approach shot to the 18th hole. On the right-hand fringe 25 feet away Middlecoff stroked the ball boldly for the hole, but it rolled by on the left leaving Wall a most deserving Masters champion.
For Art Wall, winning the Masters meant a first prize of $15,000, among other incalculable benefits; his 1959 total is now $33,000, the most a professional golfer has ever won at this point in the year.