70 things you dont know about Jack Nicklaus

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 21, 2010, 12:50 am
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In honor of Jack Nicklaus’ 70th birthday, GolfChannel.com has compiled a list of 70 things you don’t know about Nicklaus, or at least have forgotten by now:


1) He led outright or shared the lead after three rounds of a major championship 12 times in his career, and went on to win 10 times.

2) At age 10, he shot 51 on the first nine holes he ever played.

3) He qualified for his first U.S. Amateur at age 15.

4) His first-ever PGA Tour event was the 1958 Rubber City Open at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. After shooting 67-66 the 18-year-old amateur found himself one stroke out of the lead heading into the weekend. He went on to finish T-12.

5) His first and last PGA Tour victories were majors (1962 U.S. Open and 1986 Masters)

6) Pebble Beach is his favorite course. It was there where he won the 1961 U.S. Amateur and 1972 U.S. Open, as well as three Bing Crosby National Pro-Ams.

7) He’s the author or co-author of 15 books.

8) He never won a major with four rounds in the 60s.

9) He won 15 of his 18 majors in regulation by an average margin of 2.93 strokes.

10) He played in the 2003 Nationwide Tour BMW Charity Pro-Am with his three sons. He was the only one in the family to make the cut, and finished T-45.

11) He is the only player to win the U.S. Open in three different decades (1960s-1980s)

12) He is the youngest U.S. Open champion in the modern era having won in 1962 at age 22.

13) He was the first Masters champion to successfully defend his title (1965, 1966)

14) He won the Masters three times in his first five attempts as a professional.

15) He won at least one PGA Tour event in 17 consecutive years (1962-1978).

16) His worst finish at the British Open from 1966-1980 was sixth.

17) He's in a select number of non-band members to dot the “i' at an Ohio State football game (Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, OSU President Novice Fawcett, retired ticket director Robert Ries and astronaut John Glenn)

18) From the 1970 British Open to the 1978 British Open (33 majors) he finished in the top 10 in every major but two.

19) He holds the record for most top-five finishes in major championships with 56.

20) He played in 156 consecutive majors. (1957 U.S. Open to the 1998 U.S. Open)

21) One of his 19 runner-up finishes in a major came as an amateur (1960 U.S. Open)

22) In his first 22 seasons on Tour, he finished first or second in at least one major every year except one (1969).

23) He got his nickname from Australian sportswriter, Don Lawrence, who said in 1960 that Nicklaus looked like a big “cuddly, golden bear.”

24) He never won the Vardon Trophy for low PGA Tour scoring average.

25) Eight of his ten Champions Tour wins are majors.

26) In addition to winning the most majors (18), he also has the most senior major titles (eight).

27) In 1966 he completed the career grand slam, but he didn’t win his first Player of the Year award until the following year.

28) He was the first PGA Tour player to reach the 2, 3, 4 and 5-million-dollar mark in career earnings.

29) He has made 20 career holes-in-one during competition.

30) He made his first professional start at the 1962 Los Angeles Open and won $33.33.

31) He won the World Series of Golf his first two years on Tour.

32) He was one of 11 inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame class of 1974.

33) He made 105 consecutive cuts from 1970-1976.

34) He won five-straight Ohio State Junior Championships starting at the age of 12.

35) He made his first appearance in a U.S. Open at the age of 17, and made the cut for the first time at age 18.

36) He holds the 72-hole scoring record on the Champions Tour with his 27-under-par 261 at the 1990 Senior TPC. (65-68-64-64)

37) After winning his first Masters in 1963, he was supposed to receive his own green jacket within a year. For unknown reasons he never did, but he kept quiet about it, borrowing other jackets as needed. It wasn’t until 1998 that he brought the matter up, and his request for a green jacket was granted.

38) He, Arnold Palmer and John Harris are the only pro golfers who are members at Augusta.

39) A Jack Nicklaus plaque, honoring the six-time Masters champion, is affixed to a drinking fountain between Nos. 16 and 17 at Augusta National.

40) He is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

41) He was diagnosed with polio when he was 13.

42) He and Tiger Woods are the only players who have won the career grand slam three times over.

43) He finished in the top 10 at the Masters every year in the 1970s.

44) There is a Jack Nicklaus Museum on the campus of Ohio State University in his home town of Columbus, Ohio.

45) Not only does he hold the record for most PGA Championship wins but also runner-ups, top-3s, and top 10s.

46) He holds the record for most under par rounds in the PGA Championship (53).

47) He holds the record for most rounds in the 60s in the PGA Championship (41).

48) 2005 was his final Masters and he missed the cut, but he birdied No. 16 both days.

49) He set the record for low 72-hole score by an amateur (282) at the 1960 U.S. Open.

50) He played on six Ryder Cup teams (1969-1971-1973-1975-1977-1981) and was never on the losing side.

51) He had a 4-4-2 singles record at the Ryder Cup, playing in morning and afternoon singles in 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975.

52) He had a 17-8-3 overall career Ryder Cup record.

53) He was 8-1-0 in Ryder Cup foursomes.

54)He captained the 1987 U.S. Ryder Cup team, which was the first American team to lose on home soil.

55) The 1987 Ryder Cup was played at Muirfield Village, site of the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament.

56) He captained four U.S. Presidents Cup teams, going 2-1-1.

57) The Jack Nicklaus Award, established in 1990, is awarded annually to the PGA Tour Player of the Year based on player voting.

58) The NCAA hands out an annual Jack Nicklaus Award to the collegiate Player of the Year.

59) In 2005 he joined the Queen of England and the late Queen Mother as the only people to be commemorated on a British bank note while alive. His image, clutching the Claret Jug, was on the back of two million five-pound notes as issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

60) His instructional book, “Golf My Way,” has sold more than 2 million copies.

61) In 2005 at St. Andrews, he drained a 15-foot birdie putt on his final hole, in his final British Open appearance.

62) When he went in to see his first-born child, Jackie, his knees got wobbly and he passed out.

63) When his second born, Steve, was first brought out to him, Nicklaus passed out again.

64) When his third born, Nancy, was brought out, Nicklaus blacked out yet again. The doctor joked that he required more time in the recovery room than his wife, Barbara.

65) When nurses brought out his fourth born, Gary, guess what happened? Nicklaus keeled over once more.

66) When his fifth and last child, Michael, was brought out, Nicklaus’ legs finally held up. He managed not to pass out.

67) On the morning of his wedding (July 23, 1960), Nicklaus played a full round of golf at Scioto Country Club with three of his friends. He cold topped his last drive as a single man into a water hazard left of the 18th tee box.

68) He caught a 1,358-pound black marlin in a 6-hour and 25-minute fight off the Great Barrier Reef while in Australia to play the 1978 Australian Open. Not only did he hook the largest fish, he won the golf tournament too.

69) He won the Australian Open six times. No other American has won it more than once.

70) He never plays a round of golf without three pennies in his pocket. One to use as his ball marker, one as a backup should he lose the first and one in case a fellow player needed one.

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.