Nicklaus Its a Different Day

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 27, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Four players were having lunch in the grill room at Muirfield Village when they straightened in their chairs at the sight of Jack Nicklaus, who sat down to join them in conversation.
 
Lucas Glover played for him and Geoff Ogilvy played against him in the last Presidents Cup. Another player at the table was Daniel Chopra, fluent in three languages (Swedish, Hindi and English) yet struggling to comprehend the language spoken by Boo Weekley, who walked by muttering something about having to wear a different hat.
 
Nicklaus was only kidding when he said he saw 20 guys in the grill room and didnt know 10 of them.
 
I love seeing the young guys come along, he said. Young people come along in the game every year, and I think thats great.
 
What he has trouble recognizing at times is the game they play and how they play it.
 
Its a different day, Nicklaus said, a phrase he uttered 21 times in a press conference that lasted just over an hour and covered such topics as the Ryder Cup, mental coaches, player gratitude and yes, technology.
 
So much has changed, not all for the good.
 
Muirfield Village is where Europe won the Ryder Cup for the first time on American soil, with Nicklaus as the U.S. captain. That was the first sign Europe was gaining equal footing, and lately, it has stomped all over the American team.
 
I dont understand it, frankly, said Nicklaus, who designed the Muirfield course.
 
Its a curious trend, especially considering that the United States has not lost in the Presidents Cup in 10 years. It made Nicklaus wonder if Ryder Cup captains are taking their jobs too seriously. He mentioned the number of assistant captains brought to the matches, and alluded to Tom Lehman taking his team to Ireland a month before the Ryder Cup to practice.
 
To take a whole team over to go play a practice round a month before an event? he said. You give me Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, who are basically Nos. 1-2-3 in the world on our team. And they just finished playing all the major championships in the world, and they all are working their tail off. And you say, OK, guys, now were going to do something important. Give me a break.
 
Get out of the way and let them go play, he said. Thats sort of my feeling.
 
If theres too much baby-sitting going on, its not restricted to the Ryder Cup.
 
Nicklaus often recalls his practice sessions with teacher Jack Grout at the start of the season, to knock off the rust and make sure his fundamentals were in order. He might have seen Grout a few more times during the year, but not much more. As for sports psychologists? Nicklaus saw them as often as a seven-figure paycheck.
 
Ive never known one during the time when we played, he said.
 
Nicklaus learned from his father how to run his own life. Grout taught him to play golf and understand his swing so he could correct his mistakes and learn how to prepare on his own.
 
And the one thing is that Jack Grout, never one time in all the years that he worked with me, did he ever step on a practice tee at a tournament. Not once, Nicklaus said. When youre a young guy and you come out and you see all the guys out there all have coaches, and you say, Well, Ive got to get that, too. As I say, its a different day.
 
Perhaps the most troubling for Nicklaus is communication skills.
 
Nicklaus was asked if Tiger Woods ever called him personally when he decided not to play the Memorial because of soreness in his left knee from surgery in April.
 
Its a different day and age today, guys, he said. Its all through agents.
 
He did appreciate Mark Steinberg at IMG calling him twice over the last few months to report on Woods progress, and twice more leading up to the decision Friday.
 
But that got Nicklaus thinking about the way it used to be. Arnold Palmer was a rival, but he also was a mentor to Nicklaus, and the King once told the Bear that he almost always wrote sponsors a note of thanks for putting on the tournament.
 
So every tournament I ever played in, I always dropped the sponsor a note, Nicklaus said.
 
Then he paused, reflecting on his role as the tournament host at the Memorial.
 
We get one or two, Nicklaus said. Im not saying that of everybody. We do get one or two. But not very many.
 
Rarer still are notes of regrets, and there are plenty of opportunities this year. Adam Scott changed his mind about playing, a surprise to tournament officials Friday. Steve Stricker and Anthony Kim were among five players who withdrew Tuesday. Woods isnt here for the second time in three years. Vijay Singh pulled out with an injury.
 
Guys just dont communicate anymore, Nicklaus said. Every once in a while, I might get something. But I dont think I ever had a note from anybody when theyre going to leave the Memorial Tournament or not going to play or something that wrote and said, Jack, Im sorry. I had a problem, I cant be here.
 
Someone suggested that most players use text messages.
 
I think thats a cop-out, Nicklaus said.
 
Does he worry about manners?
 
Its a different day, he said.
 
Nicklaus finds it irrelevant trying to compare this generation of titanium and solid-core balls against his generation of wooden drivers and balatas, against previous generations of hickory shafts and gutta percha.
 
Its a different day, but one thing hasnt changed. And this brings some energy to his voice.
 
If I would have grown up in this age, I would have loved this age just as much as the age I grew up in, he said. I think the guys today love playing the game. I think they love playing.
 
Thats not all bad.
 
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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.