Arnold Jack Bowing Out Together

By George WhiteAugust 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
So the two go off into the sunset together, the man who looked over the world of sport as every mans neighbor, and the man whose unbelievable talents may have made him the greatest golfer ever. Its ironic that Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus would both sum up their professional careers in the same year, though they are separated by 10 years of age.
 
Arnold is on the countdown now. Hes 75 and has been playing professionally for more than 50 years. He played last week in the 3M Championship near Minneapolis as the days of his competitive life continue to dwindle down to a precious few.
 
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer says his playing days are at an end.
This is the week of the PGA Championship, and Arnold never did win a PGA ' the only blot on his major championship record. And that has always rankled him enormously. His father was a lifelong greenskeeper and a club professional, and Palmer felt a real kinship with the men and women who keep golf alive and running. The last time he tried the PGA was in 1994. Nicklaus hasnt played the PGA since 2000.
 
Palmer says he will play the Administaff Small Business Classic ' he endorses the company - near Houston in October. He will possibly play the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in three weeks. Then he will walk away from competitive golf forever.
 
He hedges his pronouncement with probably. And he will continue to play publicly in exhibitions, he said. But Arnie knows only too well that not even he can go on playing tournaments forever, and that this year is, in all likelihood, the final chapter.
 
I have no intentions of playing at all, maybe a few charity events, and that will be it, said the man who has been dubbed The King by golf fans the world over.
 
Yes, he will leave the sport of golf in much better shape than he found it. That, he says, makes him happy.
 
Well, it's fine if they say it, if it's true, and certainly I hope that the game is headed in the direction that I think it is, said Palmer. And of course I'm very happy for that.
 
Palmer got a rousing send-off a couple of weeks ago at the U.S. Senior Open. And he responded with a lot of emotion as the fans cheered him around the course in one of his last tourneys ever.
 
Am I emotional? Certainly, he said. You can't not be after being on the Champions Tour or the Senior Tour for 25 years.
 
I feel very fortunate to have lived long enough to be able to do that. That in itself has a lot of sentiment to it. The fact that these people come out - I won one of the early Open championships for the Champions Tour, and to see the crowds and see the enthusiasm that was shown here this week does me a lot of good, and it is very emotional.
 
And Jack is equally as sentimental about the game. Its a wonderful game ' a game I love, he said as he prepared to walk off the stage at the British Open.
 
Jack NicklausI love playing golf. Don't get me wrong, because I do and there's nothing I've enjoyed more in my life than playing golf and being competitive and being part of what's going on. But when you're not part of the competitive part of it, it loses its glow. And I haven't been part of the competitive part of it for several years now, realistically.
 
Nicklaus believes the game went whizzing past him sometime when he passed the age of 50 in 1990. Of course, hes been wracked by a succession of injuries ' a balky back limited him to two events in 2002, and he had a hip replaced in 99. But he promptly won five majors in his first two years on the Champions Tour, and as late as 96, when he was 56, he was winning The Tradition ' a Champions major.
 
But though Nicklaus is truly flattered by the massive outpouring of gratitude by the golfing public, he has never been interested in performing just for the people.
 
That's just me, he said in a moment of total candor. I can't go out and play for people. I've got to play for me. I'm the only person that I've got to please with my golf game really, and I'm probably tougher on myself through the years than anybody else would be on me. Maybe that's why I won a few things - because I was tough on myself.
 
People want you to play, but I can't play for them. The only person I can play for is myself. And when I'm playing for myself, and to be as if I can please myself, then I know I'll please people that are watching. But I know that I can't please anybody if I don't please myself. If I'm shooting 85, I can't possibly be pleasing anybody else. Somebody has come in, and whatever it cost them to buy a ticket, to watch Jack Nicklaus play golf, I'd like to have them see Jack Nicklaus.
 
Has he hung on too long at age 65? Of course he has, if you are talking victories. But something in the back of his mind always told him that, This week might just be the week. And Jack has finally decided that it isnt going to be this week, or this month, or this year - or forever. And therefore, since he cant possibly win, its time to hang em up.
 
I've already hung on too long, he said, - we all do that. There's a lot of other guys that have done that, too, not only in golf but in other sports, too.
 
Nothing in golf is ironclad, of course, and Jack leaves open the remote possibility of another appearance at his Memorial Tournament, Arnold at Bay Hill or some favorite Champions Tour appearance. But you can pretty much take it as gospel ' this is the finale. After Palmer bows out this season in Houston, its over. Two giants will have left the game. And its altogether fitting that they should go out together.
 
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry