Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus are partners in this week's Champions Tour event in Savannah, Ga. (Squire/Getty Images)
|Click here for latest scores from the Demaret Division at Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf|
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Jack Nicklaus made 594 starts on the PGA TOUR during his illustrious career, and another 84 starts in Champions Tour events. He seemingly has played in every golfing community in America ... except for Savannah, Ga.
This week, he gets to cross that city off the list, as he teams up with another legend, Gary Player, to participate in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf.
Nicklaus and Player are paired in the Demaret Division two-man team competition that takes place Monday and Tuesday at the Club at Savannah Harbor.
"I have no history of playing in Savannah, and I have no expectations," Nicklaus said during Masters week, prior to joining Player and Arnold Palmer for the ceremonial opening tee shot.
Player is usually paired with Bob Charles, but last year Charles couldn't make it. So Player partnered with Simon Hobday. When Nicklaus heard about the switch, he told Player, "I wish you'd asked me. ... I would love to play with you."
Player replied, "Well, you'll play next year."
As he finished recalling the story, Nicklaus added with a laugh, "I should have kept my mouth shut."
That's because Nicklaus hadn't played golf in a month and said that he's "not taking a golf tournament serious. I don't play golf anymore. I play occasionally if I have to."
But he added, "Gary and I will have a good time. We'll have fun."
Player has a different outlook. He's focused on winning.
Player and Charles won the Demaret Division twice; last year, he and Hobday finished fifth, six strokes behind winners Gibby Gilbert and J.C. Snead.
"I'm very happy to play with Jack," Player said. "Obviously we've gone up together and have a lot of respect for each other, but I'm not doing it for fun. I want to win."
MONDAY TEE TIMES - Demaret Division
|11 a.m. ET||Gibby Gilbert/J.C. Snead||Jim Albus/Jim Dent|
|11:10 a.m. ET||Jack Nicklaus/Gary Player||Mike Hill/Lee Trevino|
|11:20 a.m. ET||Bruce Devlin/Larry Mowry||Charles Coody/Dale Douglass|
|11:30 a.m. ET||Butch Baird/Larry Laoretti||Don Bies/Tom Shaw|
|11:40 a.m. ET||Jim Colbert/Bob Murphy||Al Geiberger/Jimmy Powell|
|11:50 a.m. ET||Frank Beard/Larry Ziegler||Don January/Gene Littler|
|Noon ET||Miller Barber/Jim Ferree||Homero Blancas/Bobby Nichols|
|12:10 p.m. ET||Tommy Aaron/Lou Graham||Tommy Jacobs/Johnny Pott|
|12:20 p.m. ET||Dow Finsterwald/Bob Goalby||Jack Fleck/Bob Toski|
|12:30 p.m. ET||Doug Ford/Billy Maxwell||Billy Casper/Ken Still|
|12:40 p.m. ET||Lee Elder/Doug Sanders||Fred Hawkins/Howie Johnson|
Nicklaus won 73 times in his career on the PGA TOUR. (Carroll/Getty Images)
Jack Nicklaus turned 73 on Monday. He has the same number of career victories on the PGA TOUR, which ranks third all-time behind only Tiger Woods and Sam Snead.
What is your favorite memory of Nicklaus?
Share your thoughts and wish him a happy birthday below.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Mark Wilson has set the bar high.
He and his wife Amy, who is president of the PGA TOUR Wives Association, recently started a lectureship series at Indiana. Amy, who is a 1999 graduate of Indiana's Kelley School of Business, remembers attending free lectures when she was a student there and a member of Delta Gamma sorority.
So first, Mark put together the Spikes for Speakers Golf Classic Pro-Am, which was held on the IU championship course. Among the 12 pros participating were former Hoosiers Jeff Overton, Shaun Micheel and Stephen Wheatcroft. The event raised $100,000 to endow the lectureship series.
Then Wilson brought in the really big guns -- asking Jack Nicklaus to be the first speaker. All Nicklaus wanted in return was to try to raise some more money for charity so a dinner was arranged prior to his lecture that raised $75,000 for The First Tee of Central Indiana.
"We had just a really fun evening," Wilson said. "He was there with us for probably five hours. And I kept saying over and over, 'Thank you. Thank you so much. I know these are so tough to do and we really appreciate it.' And he find finally looked at me and said, 'It's okay. It's okay, Mark. I enjoy doing this for you guys.'
"I think at the stage of his career he's, what, 73 years old now? He probably enjoys reminiscing, because they're going to ask him about his accomplishments and he can candidly talk about them-- instead of personally I know I have to go tee it up in a couple days, so I'm not going to share everything with you guys that I'm working on. Whereas, he's done with his career basically, in terms of competitive golf, so now he can just kind of relive all the fun moments.
"And I think that's what I saw in him that day. He soaked it up and he loved talking about golf and trying to pass along some advice to the young people at Indiana University."
Wilson acknowledged Nicklaus would be a tough act to follow. Someone suggested the defending champ of the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation need only look as far as the tournament host and former president for next year's coup.
"There you go," Wilson said with a big grin.
Greg Norman created quite a stir earlier this week when he told FoxSports.com that he felt Tiger Woods was "really intimidated" by Rory McIlroy, the 23-year-old Northern Irishman with four wins this season.
The two players, who have a friendly rivalry, played down those comments on Wednesday on the eve of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, where they are playing together in today's first round. The subject also came up during an interview Jack Nicklaus did on ESPN 980 in Washington, D.C.
“Quiet Greg, quiet," Nicklaus said. "Down boy. I think Tiger had a pretty darn good year this year. It’s the first time he has gotten himself back into contention in the majors, he didn’t finish them and I think by his own admission he said he had a hard time finishing them. That’s like anything else. He had a pretty big event in his life that changed a lot of things and he has to learn how to go back and play again. I think he’s learned how to play again, now he has to learn how to finish again. I think Tiger has a lot of wins left in him."
At the same time, though, Nicklaus went on to say that Woods has more competition than he once did. The Golden Bear noted that players like McIlroy and Keegan Bradley -- "and I could probably name a half dozen other guys," he said -- learned to win while Woods was injured and later revamping his swing.
"They’re not scared of him anymore," Nicklaus said. "Before Tiger just showed up coming down the stretch and everybody said ‘oh there’s Tiger and I wilt.’ They don’t do that anymore. Tiger’s got his work cut out for him but I don’t think Tiger is by any means finished. I just think Tiger is too good of an athlete and too good of a player.”
No golfer has won more professional majors than Jack Nicklaus, who has 18. No tennis player has won more Grand Slam events than Roger Federer, who has 17.
The two legends, arguably the best ever in their respective sports, finally met for the first time last week at Wimbledon, prior to Federer winning his seventh title in England.
Prior to the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, Tom Watson meets with the media and talks about The Greenbrier.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Tom Watson knows a little something about history.
He won 39 times on the PGA TOUR, including eight major championships, and another 14 times on the Champions Tour.
Given that resume, there are few players who can assess the careers of Tiger Woods an the late Sam Snead better than the man who’s played with and against both.
Woods has 14 career major championships, which puts him four shy of Jack NIcklaus’ record. Woods also has 74 career wins on the PGA TOUR, second all-time to Snead’s 82.
So which is the more impressive record?
“They're two separate animals,” Watson said. "The importance you put on the majors make that record probably the most important record, but the way I look at it, how many times have you won and have you won majors.”
Woods has won three times this season. None of those were majors, however. His last victory in a major came at the 2008 U.S. Open.
The last time Woods won at Bay Hill, Muirfield Village and Congressional in the same year, 2009, he went on to record six victories that season. Again, however, none at a major championship.
“It's how many tournaments you win,” Watson said. “Look at the majors, the last nine majors won by first-timers. Golf goes through cycles. You had the dominance of Woods for all these years, the resurgence of Woods now. When I look back at somebody's record, I'll say, first of all, how many tournaments did they win. That's number one. Did they win more than 20 tournaments? Then I'll say how many majors did they win, did they win more than three or four majors? Then that puts them up in the great category.”
Woods, of course, has done both, and if he keeps playing the way he has this season, he might surpass both records, too.
The host of the Memorial meets the media during his traditional Wednesday news conference.
DUBLIN, Ohio -- As he does prior to every Memorial Tournament, Jack Nicklaus held an engaging interview session for the media on Wednesday. Among the topics were clip-on ties, the 1962 U.S. Open, Bubba Watson, slow play and family. Here are some of the highlights.
ON BUBBA WATSON: "He's got, to put it mildly, a rather unique golf swing, and I think that's to his credit, which is to me what the game is all about, is learning who you are and what you are and what you do. You know, people criticize Furyk for his golf swing, but Jim knows what he does and how he does it. You look at some other golf swings and you see what you think is a perfect golf swing, but sometimes they don't know what they're doing with it. Bubba knows what he's doing with his golf club. He had to learn that. He had to learn how to do that. I think that's what's so unique about it and what's so good about it.’
ON SWING INSTRUCTORS: "When I was 19, Bobby Jones invited me down to his cabin at the Masters. My father and I went down. ... He said I had my seven lean years, and he said, every time I'd play, I'd run back to Stewart Maiden, who was his teacher, and get a lesson for the problems I was having, and so forth and so on. He said, it wasn't until I learned that I didn't need to run back to Sterling or didn't want to run back to Sterling that I became a golfer. ... Jack Grout taught me from the start. He said I need to be responsible for my own swing and understand when I have problems on the golf course how I can correct those problems on the golf course myself without having to run back to somebody. And during the years that I was playing most of my competitive golf, I saw Jack Grout maybe once or twice a year for maybe an hour. If I was in the Miami area or something, I'd run down and see Jack and we'd spend about an hour and we'd spend five minutes on the golf swing and an hour catching up. But he taught me young the fundamentals of the game. He taught me how to assess what I was doing. When I made a mistake, when I was doing things, how do you on the golf course fix that without putting yourself out of a golf tournament and then teaching yourself. You've heard me say in many press conferences, I'm not hesitant to change my golf swing in the fourth round of the U.S. Open or the Masters midway in the round if I didn't like what I was doing, because I felt like if I didn't like what I was doing, pretty soon it was going to get me."
ON TIGER WOODS' SWING: "I sat with Arnold over here and I had Tiger over here at the Masters dinner this year, and Arnold and I, I can't remember what we were talking about because Arnold couldn't hear me, I guess, but we had a great time. We kid each other constantly, so we have a good time. And then Tiger over here ... I was asking him, Why do you need somebody to watch you all the time? He said, I really don't. He said, I go to Sean and I get some ideas, but then I really go work on it myself and try to learn what I want to do and how I want to do it, which I think is the right way. I said, If you're doing that, you're on the right track, but all I read in the papers is how Sean is making a swing change on you. He said, That's not what I'm doing. I said, Okay, that's fine then, because he's trying to be responsible for himself."
ON THE 1962 U.S. OPEN AT OAKMONT: “Going to Oakmont it sounds funny, may sound ridiculous to all of you, but I didn't know who Arnold Palmer was for all intents and purposes. I didn't mean it that way, but what I mean is that all I had to do was worry about myself. I wasn't worried about Arnold or Gary or whoever might be there. I was interested because I felt like I really had the chance to win those two previous (Opens), and I had just finished second the week before to (Gene) Littler at Thunderbird and I was really playing well and I was charged up to play, and that was my sole thought was that this was my week. All of a sudden I found out I was in Arnold Palmer's backyard, but I found that out a couple weeks later after the tournament was over because I didn't pay attention to it while I was there. I don't know if you understand that, but that's what a 22-year-old kid thinks like. Maybe even a 16-year-old kid."