Monday, May 16, 2005

Golf's greatest player calls it a day

The Old Course is a special place, even if you're not a golfer. But if you are, like Bobby Jones or Jack Nicklaus, the course seems to become more than simply a piece of golf architecture. It becomes a living, breathing entity with which you have an indelible connection.
So it is no surprise that Nicklaus said yesterday that his rounds at the Old Course in July for the British Open will be the end of one of the most remarkable careers in sports.
I expect I'll be just as emotional at St. Andrews," Nicklaus said in London yesterday. "I'm a sentimental old fool. I enjoy being part of history and what's going on, but I don't consider myself competitive any more.
"Hopefully when I get to St. Andrews I will have some kind of game. It won't be great, but I hope not to embarrass myself. I will enjoy it."
Jack isn't like Arnold Palmer -- he knows when to hang it up. At 65, he can no longer compete or be competitive and even the Seniors Tour doesn't seem appealing. So it will all end at St. Andrews.
Nicklaus had essentially already stated that the Old Course would be the end, but yesterday, in the UK to promote golf developments in Spain, he made it clear that it'll all be over in July.
Given the television coverage of Palmer's last march through Augusta overshadowed everything, I imagine a lot of focus will be placed on Nicklaus. Unlike Palmer, Nicklaus isn't likely to shoot 88, which will at least make it less painful to watch.
  • Jack Nicklaus: A career
  • Tour Victories: ? PGA Tour: 73? Senior PGA Tour: 10(113 total victories worldwide)
    Major Championships: Professional: 18? Masters: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986? U.S. Open: 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980? British Open: 1966, 1970, 1978? PGA Championship: 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980 Amateur: 2? U.S. Amateur: 1959, 1961
In other news, Lorne Rubenstein on wrote on Golfobserver.com that Michelle Wie brings something to the PGA Tour that is useful for some stops. I agree -- another player heading home on Friday.

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