Jack and The Media

By Rich LernerMay 22, 2002, 4:00 pm
Ive been sitting at my seat inside the media center at The Memorial staring at a blank screen for better than half an hour, the pressure building. See about eight feet to my right on the wall rest 34 different plaques of those distinguished golf writers whove won the Memorial Golf Journalism Award. Theyre looking right down upon me, and Im cramping up as if I was preparing to hit a four-footer to win the damn tournament itself!
Go ahead and try to spit out a cogent sentence in the company of the games greatest wordsmiths'guys like O.B. Keeler, Bob Drum, Bernard Darwin, Henry Longhurst, Jim Murray, Bob Green, Herbert Warren Wind and so many others who painted so many colorful pictures through so many glorious eras in the sport.
That there even exists such an award, given to those whove served the profession with conspicuous honor, says much about just how strongly the tournament host feels about the media.
Toward that end, Len Shapiro, the award-winning columnist for The Washington Post, and affable Ken Bowden, Jacks longtime biographer, were swapping Nicklaus stories and allowed me to eavesdrop.
Shapiro recalled the 1993 U.S. Open at Baltusrol and a sizable media scrum which had gathered around Jack after a round hed played. A young staffer from ABC television tugged at the arm of the legend, trying to get his attention. Jack, deep in the interview, didnt seem to notice. Finally this producer, desperate, drew the strength to say, Excuse me Mr. Nicklaus, but Mr. Jastrow (then the golf producer at ABC) said he needs you to come up to the tower for an interview and he needs you right now.
Jacks reply? Young man, he said, You kindly tell Mr. Jastrow that these guys Im talking to have been following me around for 30 years, and when Im finished with every last question of theirs then Ill find my way to the booth.
Jack, according to Bowden, was always acutely aware of the medias role, as was Arnold Palmer. Those two gave the scribes untold volumes of material with their monumental achievements, but whats more they provided the writers with access. You could talk one-on-one with them, in many cases even befriend Arnie and Jack. And as a result, the two legends more often than not received favorable treatment from the press.
Bowden related another story that illustrates Jacks overall perspective. The 1977 British Open at Turnberry, considered by many the greatest duel in golf history, had just ended, with Tom Watson making birdie at the last to clip Jack by a single shot. Jack had shot 65-66 with a miracle birdie from near a gorse bush at the 72nd hole. Yet Watson, in the early stages of his career ascent, fired 65-65. When it ended, Jack walked off the green with his arm around his young opponent in a display of sportsmanship that, along with the putt he conceded to Tony Jacklin at the 1969 Ryder Cup, would define Jacks career as much as the 20 major titles.
Anyway, as Bowden tells it, he and his wife Jean had a dinner engagement with Jack and Barbara scheduled for that evening. Somewhat sheepishly, Bowden, fearing that Jack would be too disappointed to keep the date, said to Jack, Hey look, dont worry about dinner.
Jack, with his high-pitched voice, shot back, You dont want to eat?!
Well yeah, I do, said Bowden. But Im just thinking about you.

Go get cleaned up, responded Jack. And in what Bowden claims is one of the great lines in golf history, Jack added simply, Its only a game.
A wonderful game at that, in large part because of men like Jack Nicklaus.
Full Coverage of the 2002 Memorial
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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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Cart on the green

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Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

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Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

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Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

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Pros comment on the president

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm