Notes Nicklaus Hits Spectator with Ball

By Associated PressJune 2, 2005, 4:00 pm
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus' drive on the ninth hole was fading to the right toward the trees.
'Spit it out,' Nicklaus said.
That's what happened, only it didn't ricochet off a tree.
The ball hit Joe Broecker of Fishers, Ind., square in the jaw and split it open. It was Broecker's first trip to the Memorial, and it became memorable for all the wrong reasons.
'We were just waiting on Jack to come through,' he said.
When Nicklaus arrived, he casually asked if everyone was OK when he saw Broecker, 39, holding a red-stained towel to his jaw with streaks of blood on his face and hands. Nicklaus visited with Broecker, and later sent PGA Tour security to get his name and address 'so I can check on him.'
'I just don't like to hurt somebody,' Nicklaus said. '[It was] a pretty nasty cut.'
Broecker got medical help as he sat under a tree, then headed to a hospital for stitches. He was with his friend, Jim Rees of Columbus, who invited him to the Memorial.
'He got to meet Jack Nicklaus,' Rees said, 'just not the way he wanted.'
Nicklaus, who parred the hole on the way to a 75, said he was glad he got Broecker's address and not the other way around.
'He's not going to be real happy later,' Nicklaus joked. 'He was a big guy, too.'
Nicklaus received a thunderous ovation when he was introduced as he walked up the 18th fairway. Among those applauding him was playing partner David Toms.
'It's just respect,' Toms said. 'He paved the way for guys like me to do this.'
Sean O'Hair shot a 69 in the opening round Thursday. He gave much of the credit to his father-in-law/caddie, Steve Lucas.
'The only problem is, if we have a problem I can't fire him,' O'Hair said, joking. 'But we have a good time out there.'
The friendship is a welcome tonic for O'Hair, whose father Marc dominated his life before they parted ways two years ago. That was about the same time Sean married Jackie Lucas. They now have a 3 1/2-month-old daughter.
Before O'Hair went to qualifying school last year, he asked Jackie's father to caddie for him. Things worked out so well -- he's won almost $1 million as a rookie -- that Steve Lucas has stayed on the road with O'Hair and put his insurance business on hold back in Philadelphia.
'What's interesting about my relationship with him is, he can say things to me that nobody would say to their father-in-law and I can say things to him that would get every caddie fired,' Lucas said. 'So there's no egg shells. I don't watch what I say to him. I don't treat him like he's a baby but I don't want him acting like one. And he doesn't.'
O'Hair said Lucas is more than a father-in-law, more than a caddie, more than a friend.
'If I get a little too big for my britches, he'll definitely bring me back down to reality,' he said. 'He just tries to keep me calm no matter what the circumstance is.'
Vijay Singh shot a 77 that left him a dozen shots out of the lead after the opening round.
The wind picked up and was swirling by the time he finished his round. But he didn't use that as an excuse for two double-bogeys and a 41 on the back nine.
'It wasn't the wind,' he said. 'I just played bad.'
Some said Tiger Woods would lose his hunger to win when he married Elin Nordegren last October. That has not been the case, Woods said.
'People think it's going to totally change my life. It didn't really change anything,' he said after shooting a 3-under 69. 'Our relationship is exactly the same, and that's the beauty of it. I love her to death and I'm very excited about my life now and the prospects for the future.'
Bo Van Pelt, who shot a 67, said he skipped school when he was a kid in Richmond, Ind., to travel the 100 miles to watch Memorial Tournament practice rounds. Yes, he made up the schoolwork. 'Excused absence,' he said. ... A light mist drifted over the course for most of the day. Intermittent rain is predicted for each of the next three days. ... Defending champion Ernie Els pounded a drive 351 yards on the par-4 6th. 'Geez, I don't know where that came from. That was miles,' Els said. ... Bill Haas was 5-under par with three to play but double-bogeyed the next two holes and closed with a birdie for a 70.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.