DUBLIN, Ohio – Jack Nicklaus has left his bear tracks in golf for more than 50 years. He figures his last major involvement will be when the 2013 Presidents Cup is played on the course he built.
The PGA Tour announced Wednesday that the Presidents Cup will be played at Muirfield Village the next time it’s held on American soil, a tribute to the player that commissioner Tim Finchem said has played a big role in the growth of the matches.
“When you fast forward 45 or 50 years and look back on the history of the Presidents Cup, you will be able to point to Jack’s involvement early on as a real impetus to bringing the world class attention that it gets today,” Finchem said.
Nicklaus was the U.S. captain in 1998 when the cup first went overseas to Australia, the only time the Americans have lost. He was captain three straight times starting in 2003, when Nicklaus and longtime friend Gary Player famously agreed to end the matches in a draw when it became too dark to continue in South Africa.
He also was captain in 2005 and 2007, both U.S. victories.
Nicklaus designed Muirfield Village, which opened in 1974, and it has hosted the Memorial since 1976. For such a young golf course, it will have hosted the Ryder Cup (1987), the Solheim Cup (1998) and now the Presidents Cup.
“It probably will be my last involvement in anything significant in the game of golf,” Nicklaus said.
Still to be determined is what role Nicklaus will play in 2013 beyond the golf course host. Asked if he would like to be captain, Nicklaus replied, “That hasn’t been decided, but I would suspect that I should not.”
“I don’t think it would be right for the team to have a captain that doesn’t relate to his players,” said Nicklaus, who will be 73 when the Presidents Cup comes to his home course.
Nicklaus said he would redesign the par-3 16th hole for the Presidents Cup, a change he had been considering for years but had put off because of the economy.
The Presidents Cup will be held in 2013 from Oct. 3-6, with the Saturday likely to run against Ohio State football. Nicklaus said he already has spoken to school officials – president Gordon Gee was in the room as he talked – and Ohio State would be willing to move to a night game if it was home that day.