Notes Nicklaus Hits Spectator with Ball


DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus' drive on the ninth hole was fading to the right toward the trees.
'Spit it out,' Nicklaus said.
That's what happened, only it didn't ricochet off a tree.
The ball hit Joe Broecker of Fishers, Ind., square in the jaw and split it open. It was Broecker's first trip to the Memorial, and it became memorable for all the wrong reasons.
'We were just waiting on Jack to come through,' he said.
When Nicklaus arrived, he casually asked if everyone was OK when he saw Broecker, 39, holding a red-stained towel to his jaw with streaks of blood on his face and hands. Nicklaus visited with Broecker, and later sent PGA Tour security to get his name and address 'so I can check on him.'
'I just don't like to hurt somebody,' Nicklaus said. '[It was] a pretty nasty cut.'
Broecker got medical help as he sat under a tree, then headed to a hospital for stitches. He was with his friend, Jim Rees of Columbus, who invited him to the Memorial.
'He got to meet Jack Nicklaus,' Rees said, 'just not the way he wanted.'
Nicklaus, who parred the hole on the way to a 75, said he was glad he got Broecker's address and not the other way around.
'He's not going to be real happy later,' Nicklaus joked. 'He was a big guy, too.'
Nicklaus received a thunderous ovation when he was introduced as he walked up the 18th fairway. Among those applauding him was playing partner David Toms.
'It's just respect,' Toms said. 'He paved the way for guys like me to do this.'
Sean O'Hair shot a 69 in the opening round Thursday. He gave much of the credit to his father-in-law/caddie, Steve Lucas.
'The only problem is, if we have a problem I can't fire him,' O'Hair said, joking. 'But we have a good time out there.'
The friendship is a welcome tonic for O'Hair, whose father Marc dominated his life before they parted ways two years ago. That was about the same time Sean married Jackie Lucas. They now have a 3 1/2-month-old daughter.
Before O'Hair went to qualifying school last year, he asked Jackie's father to caddie for him. Things worked out so well -- he's won almost $1 million as a rookie -- that Steve Lucas has stayed on the road with O'Hair and put his insurance business on hold back in Philadelphia.
'What's interesting about my relationship with him is, he can say things to me that nobody would say to their father-in-law and I can say things to him that would get every caddie fired,' Lucas said. 'So there's no egg shells. I don't watch what I say to him. I don't treat him like he's a baby but I don't want him acting like one. And he doesn't.'
O'Hair said Lucas is more than a father-in-law, more than a caddie, more than a friend.
'If I get a little too big for my britches, he'll definitely bring me back down to reality,' he said. 'He just tries to keep me calm no matter what the circumstance is.'
Vijay Singh shot a 77 that left him a dozen shots out of the lead after the opening round.
The wind picked up and was swirling by the time he finished his round. But he didn't use that as an excuse for two double-bogeys and a 41 on the back nine.
'It wasn't the wind,' he said. 'I just played bad.'
Some said Tiger Woods would lose his hunger to win when he married Elin Nordegren last October. That has not been the case, Woods said.
'People think it's going to totally change my life. It didn't really change anything,' he said after shooting a 3-under 69. 'Our relationship is exactly the same, and that's the beauty of it. I love her to death and I'm very excited about my life now and the prospects for the future.'
Bo Van Pelt, who shot a 67, said he skipped school when he was a kid in Richmond, Ind., to travel the 100 miles to watch Memorial Tournament practice rounds. Yes, he made up the schoolwork. 'Excused absence,' he said. ... A light mist drifted over the course for most of the day. Intermittent rain is predicted for each of the next three days. ... Defending champion Ernie Els pounded a drive 351 yards on the par-4 6th. 'Geez, I don't know where that came from. That was miles,' Els said. ... Bill Haas was 5-under par with three to play but double-bogeyed the next two holes and closed with a birdie for a 70.
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