Nicklaus Im About Done

By Associated PressApril 28, 2004, 4:00 pm
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. -- It turns out Jack Nicklaus might be finished with more than just the Masters.
He spoke Wednesday about giving up a game he once dominated, winning 73 PGA Tour events and 18 major titles.
'I'm about done playing golf,' the 64-year-old Nicklaus said at the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. He's competing here with his four sons: Jackie, Gary, Steve and Michael.
'I haven't made up my mind whether I'm going to play anymore this year after the Memorial tournament' in June, Nicklaus said.
At the Masters this month, the six-time champion said it was likely that he would not play at Augusta National in 2005. And that was before he shot consecutive 75s to miss the cut.
Nicklaus has struggled with arthritis, injuries and a faltering game the past few seasons.
'I know I can't compete at the level I used to compete,' Nicklaus said. 'If I go out and finish in the top 10, and that's a great week, then I know it's time to hang up your spikes.'
Gary Player, 68, empathized with Nicklaus.
'It's hard spending all your time playing golf, like you did when you were a young man,' said Player, here with his son Marc.
A year ago, the Golden Bear was the only Nicklaus around for the Nationwide event's final two rounds. He won the pro-am competition with son Steve and briefly scared the younger pros when he got to within five shots of the lead after 36 holes. Nicklaus left with a smile on his face, happy he was close to again playing successful, competitive golf.
Time and his own high standards have made it hard to maintain that momentum, Nicklaus said.
People continually ask him not to quit. 'But I tell them, 'Well, you're not in my body,'' Nicklaus said.
A full day swinging clubs is more of a physical toll than ever before. 'It takes me a while before it wants to work,' he said. 'If I'm not playing golf, it doesn't hurt too much. If I am playing golf, that's when it really hurts.'
Nicklaus was on hand to present the Nationwide's 2003 player of the year award -- named in his honor -- to Zach Johnson, who claimed his first PGA Tour win this year at the BellSouth Classic.
Looking at the sculpture of a younger Nicklaus, he quipped: 'I was that thin once?'
Johnson said Nicklaus was an idol to so many young players.
'He was the man I looked up to in this game,' Johnson said.
Nicklaus started strongly on the Champions Tour this year, finishing sixth at the Mastercard Classic with rounds of 68, 66 and 67. But he's only played two other Champion events, none since March.
'If you're not capable of winning, then you're just cluttering up the field. That's the way I look at it,' Nicklaus said. 'Then again, maybe my standards are a little higher.'
His competitive fire still burns strongly. He recalled talking with Player after the 2002 Masters, when the South African was pleased with a 78 at a beefed up Augusta National.
'You're Gary Player,' Nicklaus chided his friend. 'You've won the tournament three times and you're proud to break 80?'
Then again, maybe Nicklaus just wants a break after so long in the spotlight. He returned to The Cliffs to play with his children, one of his life's great joys. Now, Nicklaus says he's just as happy to fish quietly with his wife, Barbara.
'I spent all my weekends the last 40 years in press rooms at golf courses,' Nicklaus said. 'Frankly, I just think it's time to ... do something else.'
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes - BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs
  • Full Coverage - BMW Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.