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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Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.