Notes Nicklaus Has Back Surgery

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Jack Nicklaus had surgery last week on his lower back to relieve pain in his legs that has bothered him in recent years. The surgery lasted only three hours, and Nicklaus was walking later in the day.
 
Jack NicklausHe could return to playing golf within a month, although the Golden Bear said that wasnt the reason for surgery.
 
I had this procedure done for my quality of life, not for golf, Nicklaus said. I enjoy staying active, and this will allow me to remain active, but hopefully with much less pain in the upper legs.
 
Still, Nicklaus said he needed to be in good shape if decides to play next year.
 
He has said he likely would play the British Open at St. Andrews for the last time, and he could also play in the Masters and his Memorial tournament.
 
DIVOTS
Ernie Els has told the Buick Invitational he will play next year, his first time at Torrey Pines. ... Fred Couples now has earned more money from the Skins Game ($3,515,000) than Lee Trevino in his entire PGA Tour career ($3,478,328). ... The Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour voted last week to remove the gender clause from its constitution, clearing the way for transsexual Mianne Bagger to play Down Under. The Ladies European Tour recently changed its regulations after Bagger earned her card. ... The Canadian Open is returning to popular Hamilton Golf & Country Club in 2006 because a new golf course outside Montreal wont be ready. The new course, being designed by Tom Fazio, instead is scheduled to host the 2008 Canadian Open. ... Craig Stadler will make his debut in the Champions Skins Game on Feb. 5 at Wailea Resort on Maui, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and defending champion Tom Watson.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Sixteen players already have earned at least $250,000 in the PGA Tours silly season.
 
FINAL WORD
When you reflect on all the excitement theres been in 2004 and bear that in mind, its hard to say theres an awful lot wrong.'Royal and Ancient secretary Peter Dawson, on whether technology is ruining golf.
 
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