Nicklaus Not Bothered by Missing Memorial

By Associated PressMay 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus leisurely arrived at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Tuesday morning.
 
With no practice rounds to play and no tournament for which to groom his game, there was no need to rush. The Memorial Tournament gets started Thursday, for the first time without the man who created it in the field.
 
Have you seen me play lately? Nicklaus cracked when he was asked whether it would be odd not tee it up. I wont feel weird at all. It will be a pleasure not to play.
 
Nicklaus was the only person to have played in each of the 30 previous Memorial Tournaments. He walked away from tournament golf a year ago after the British Open at St. Andrews. The reasons were numerous.
 
Jack Nicklaus hands last year's winner, Bart Bryant, the Memorial trophy.
First, he was no longer competitive in PGA TOUR events'particularly at the Memorial. He missed the cut at the Memorial more times in the last five years (three) than he did the first 19 times he played in it.
 
If I came back, Id want to enjoy it and not come out here and shoot a pair of 85s, he said. Id like to play decent and make the cut, or Im not going to do that. Im not just going to go out and clutter up the field.
 
Second, at the age of 66 and with substantial hip and back problems over the past few years, climbing the hills and hollows of Muirfield Village is harder and harder for him.
 
Im not sure I could walk 18 holes every day, Nicklaus said. I played three times a week ago, which was my seventh, eighth and ninth times since the British Open'and it darned near killed me.
 
He described wearing a pair of well-worn, broken-in golf shoes, but having to put Band-Aids on every toe after walking a round.
 
Once you feel like physically you cant do it, and then all of a sudden you play a little bit, you say, Wow. This is an ordeal, he said.
 
Third, he continues to have a full life off the golf course.
 
Im absolutely loving what Im doing, he said. Im traveling twice as much as I ever traveled, going to places I never would have gone before and doing things that dont require me to make sure I watch what I do here or there because Ive got a tournament coming up.
 
Even though hes not playing this week (other than in the pro-am), Nicklaus will still be hovering over his tournament like a doting parent.
 
Jim Furyk, who won the Memorial in 2002, said he and other players accept that Nicklaus role has changed.
 
I received the trophy from Jack Nicklaus, said Furyk, who met his wife, a native of the area, during the tournament one year. Having him present, having this be his tournament with his name on it, its a wonderful feeling. Ill always remember that and whether he tees it up in the golf tournament or not, the fact that hes here and he takes pride in this place is plenty.
 
Nicklaus reserves the right to someday play in the Memorial again. He even initiated changes in the tournaments contract so that if he decided to play he wouldnt be bumping a younger player out.
 
Thats in the future, however. Perhaps, that day will never arrive.
 
In the meantime, its enough that Nicklaus isnt longing to live up to his legacy'or his own expectations.
 
Describing his most recent round of golf at Muirfield Village, he said, I played the back tees on Saturday and I cruised around with a 77, just easy as can be.
 
Then he laughed at himself, long and hard.
 
Related Links:
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  • Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

    Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."