77 facts about Jack Nicklaus on his 77th birthday

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 21, 2017, 3:54 pm

1. He was born in Columbus, Ohio.

2. His father, Charlie Nicklaus, played football for Ohio State University and later played semi-professionally under an assumed name.

3. Although his father went by Charlie, that was his middle name. His first name was actually Louis.

4. As a 13-year-old, Charlie Nicklaus saw Bobby Jones win the 1926 U.S. Open at Scioto Country Club, where the family would later have a membership.

5. He took up golf at age 10, and shot 51 for the first nine holes he ever played.

6. He first broke 70 at age 13.

7. When he was 13, he had a mild case of polio.

8. His nickname, the Golden Bear, comes from the mascot at his high school, Upper Arlington HS.

9. He ran the 100- and 220-yard dashes as a seventh- and eighth-grader. He ran the 100 in 11 seconds flat.

10. In his senior year of high school, he was an honorable mention All-Ohio selection in basketball as a shooting guard.

Jack Nicklaus during a practice round for the 1959 Walker Cup. (Getty)

11. He lost in the first round of his first U.S. Amateur, in 1955.

12. He first won a tournament against pros in the 1956 Ohio Open.

13. While trying to join a fraternity at Ohio State, he had to eat goldfish.

14. He missed the cut by 10 shots in his first U.S. Open, in 1957.

15. He dropped out of Ohio State after he made the 1959 U.S. Walker Cup team.

16. He lost in the quarterfinals of his only British Amateur, in 1959.

17. He missed the cut by one shot in his first Masters, in 1959.

18. He defeated future PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman in the final of the 1959 Trans-Mississippi Amateur.

19. On his way to winning the 1959 U.S. Amateur, he defeated Bobby Jones' son, Bob Jones III, in the first round.

20. He played on the winning U.S. Walker Cup squad in 1959.

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus during the early years of their marriage. (Getty)

21. On the final day of the 1960 U.S. Open, he was paired with Ben Hogan. Hogan later said Nicklaus should have won the championship by 10 shots.

22. A month after the 1960 U.S. Open, he married Barbara Bash, whom he had met during his first week at Ohio State.

23. He played golf on the morning of his wedding.

24. He picked his wedding date - July 23, 1960 - because it fell during the PGA Championship, for which he was ineligible.

25. On his honeymoon, he played Pine Valley, but unwittingly brought his wife to the all-male club.

26. He began counting the clubs in his bag before every round after his partner in the 1960 Americas' Cup, Deane Beman, was found to have 15 clubs in his bag.

27. In 1961 he won the NCAA Championship and the U.S. Amateur, becoming the first player to win both titles in the same year.

28. He didn't begin pacing off his approach-shot distances until the 1961 U.S. Amateur, when Deane Beman suggested doing it.

29. Early in his career, he sold insurance.

30. He had a rule that he would never be away from home for more than two weeks at a time.

Jack Nicklaus with Arnold Palmer during their 1962 U.S. Open playoff. (Getty)

31. His first money earned as a pro was $75 for giving a speech to an optical company in Columbus.

32. He played in his first PGA event in the 1958 Rubber City Open Invitational at Firestone Country Club. He was one stroke off the lead after 36 holes, but finished 12th.

33. His first check as a pro in a tournament was $33.33 for tying for 50th in the 1962 Los Angeles Open.

34. As a rookie pro he signed with MacGregor Golf to play their clubs. Experimented with an extra-stiff shaft in his driver, but decided to stick with stiff.

35. He credited much of his success as a rookie to a putter given to him by George Low, a Wizard 600.

36. His first PGA Tour win was the 1962 U.S. Open, in which he beat local favorite Arnold Palmer in a playoff at Oakmont.

37. He first saw Arnold Palmer at the 1954 Ohio State Amateur when he was 14.

38. He first played with Palmer in an exhibition match at Athens Country Club in Ohio in 1958.

39. He beat fellow "Big Three" members Palmer and Gary Player in 1962 in the first playing of the World Series of Golf.

40. He tried to return to Ohio State in 1962 to get his degree, but was ordered to withdraw by the dean of the College of Commerce.

Jack Nicklaus with one of his later private jets. (Getty)

41. He used to smoke on the golf course, but quit after seeing himself in a highlights video smoking while putting. He eventually quit altogether.

42. He first met Bobby Jones at the 1955 U.S. Amateur in Virginia.

43. Despite being one of the game's best putters, he considered practicing putting to be "a chore."

44. His longest recorded drive was 341 yards, 17 inches, hit in a long-driving contest before the 1963 PGA Championship.

45. He bought his first private plane in 1964, a twin-engine Aero Commander 680 FL.

46. He took flying lessons, but ultimately decidded that, unlike Arnold Palmer, he would leave the piloting to someone else.

47. In the final round of the 1964 Masters, with Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts watching, he shanked his tee shot at the par-3 12th hole.

48. He topped the 1964 money list by earning $83.13 more than Arnold Palmer.

49. In 1966 he became the first player to successfully defend a Masters title.

50. He was so emotional about winning the Memorial Tournament for the first time in 1977 that he seriously considered retiring. His wife talked him out of it.

Jack Nicklaus in the 1967 U.S. Open at Baltusrol (Getty)

51. He fainted at the first sight of his first three children after they were born.

52. He began his course architecture career working with Pete Dye.

53. He didn't play in the Ryder Cup until 1969 because he was not a Class A member of the PGA of America until 

54. Although the Masters is the major he has most enjoyed playing in, he ranks it fourth among the majors because it is not a "championship."

55. He won the 1967 U.S. Open at Baltusrol using a borrowed putter with a head that had been spray-painted white to eliminate glare. It was known as "White Fang."

56. He compiled 73 PGA Tour victories.

57. He finished second, including ties, 58 times.

58. Worldwide, he won 105 times.

59. He made 20 hole-in-one in competition.

60. He won eight majors on the senior tour.

Jack Nicklaus with the claret jug after winning The Open in 1966. (Getty)

61. Officially, he won $5,690,863 on the PGA Tour.

62. The most money he won in any year on the PGA Tour was $316,911, in 1972.

63. The most money he won in any year on the senior tour was $538,800, in 1995.

64. The most tournaments he won in any year was seven, which he did in 1972 and '73.

65. His lowest stroke average in any year was 69.81, in 1973.

66. He held the outright lead after 54 holes in major eight times and won all eight.

67. In his 18 major championship wins, he held or shared the lead after 54 holes 10 times and came from behind to win eight times.

68. He is one of five players - along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan Gary Player and Tiger Woods - to have won the career Grand Slam.

69. He and Tiger Woods are the only players to have won the career Grand Slam three times over.

70. He is the oldest first-round leader in the Masters, having shared the lead with a 67 in 1993 at age 53.

Jack Nicklaus giving his victory speech after winning the 1986 Masters. (Getty)

71. In 163 rounds in the Masters, he averaged 71.98 strokes. That is a record for players with at least 100 rounds played.

62. He holds the record for most Masters wins, 6.

73. He shares the record for most U.S. Open wins (4) with Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan.

74. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

75. He shot a 59 during an unofficial event in 1973, the American Cancer Society's Palm Beach Golf Classic, played at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.

76. He holds the record for most runner-up finishes in majors, 19.

77. He holds the record for most majors won, 18.

Getty Images

M. Jutanugarn finally joins sister in LPGA winner's circle

By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 1:42 am

LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn won the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open by two shots for her first victory in six years on the LPGA Tour, joining sister Ariya as the second siblings to win on the tour.

The 23-year-old from Thailand shot a 3-under 68 for a 12-under 272 total Sunday at Wilshire Country Club in the tour's return to Los Angeles after a 13-year absence.

Jutanugarn won in her 156th start after three career runner-up finishes, including at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. She had 21 top-10 finishes before winning.

Seven-time winner Ariya tied for 24th after a 70. She joined the predominantly Asian crowd to follow her older sister's final holes, crying as Moriya two-putted to close out the win.

Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam were the first sisters to win on the LPGA Tour.

Hall of Famer Inbee Park shot a 68 to tie for second with Jin Young Ko (70).

Park had opportunities, but she wasn't able to put pressure on Jutanugarn playing in the final threesome. However, Park will return to No. 1 in the world when the rankings come out Monday, knocking off top-ranked Shenshen Fang, who tied for 12th.

Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open

Jutanugarn began the final round with a two-shot lead and never wavered in fulfilling the potential she first displayed as the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 2013. After a birdie at the second hole, she reeled off nine consecutive pars before sinking birdie putts at 12 and 13.

She overcame a tee shot that narrowly missed going out of bounds for another birdie at 15 to lead by three.

Jutanugarn ran into trouble on the par-4 16th. Her approach landed on the green and rolled off it, stopping inches from dropping into a bunker. Her chip shot ran well past the hole and her par putt just missed catching the edge of the cup. That left her with a short putt for bogey, her first in her previous 28 holes, trimming her lead to two shots.

Ko's tee shot on 18 landed about 4 feet from the hole, giving her a chance to cut Jutanugarn's lead to one shot with the Thai facing a long birdie attempt.

But Ko missed, leaving Jutanugarn room to maneuver. Her birdie putt came up a couple feet short, but she calmly parred the hole to win. Ariya rushed onto the green and joined others in emptying water bottles on her sister before they embraced.

So Yeon Ryu (68) finished fourth at 7 under. American Emma Talley (67) and Eun-Hee Ji (71) tied for fifth at 6 under, making Ji one of four South Koreans to place in the top five.

Getty Images

After Further Review: Tour players embracing new ideas

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 23, 2018, 1:26 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On players embracing new ideas on the PGA Tour ...

PGA Tour players are trying to tell commissioner Jay Monahan something: They like new.

In the second year of the two-man team format at the Zurich Classic, 10 of the top 14 players in the world have signed up, including all four reigning major champions. It’s the first time all four have been in the same field since the Tour Championship. If the laid-back event offered world-ranking points – it doesn’t, and that’s part of the appeal – the winner would have received 62 points. That’s the same as the Genesis Open.

Sure, some sponsor obligations are involved in boosting the field here, but there’s no other way to look at this: Today’s PGA Tour players are not only willing to play events that are a departure from the 72-hole, stroke-play norm. They’re encouraging it. - Ryan Lavner

On Moriya Jutanugarn's breakthrough win ...

As much love as there is between the Jutanugarn sisters, it couldn’t have been easy for Moriya, watching her baby sister, Ariya, soar past her as one of the LPGA’s dominant stars the last few years. Mo, though, never betrayed an inkling of frustration or envy.

That’s what made Mo’s breakthrough LPGA victory Sunday at the Hugel-JTBC LA Open especially meaningful for everyone who has admired Mo’s devotion to her sister. Mo was always a fixture, waiting in the wings to celebrate whenever Ariya hoisted a trophy.

So emotions were high late Sunday, with Ariya waiting in the wings this time, with Ariya sobbing in Mo’s arms after the victory was secured. It was heartwarming for more than Apple, the mother who raised these talented, loving sisters. As always, Apple was there, too, soaking both her daughters in tears of joy. – Randall Mell

On the tough scheduling decisions facing the PGA Tour ...

According to multiple sources, officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation on Monday.

While this is good news for the folks in Fort Worth, Texas, who were in danger of finding themselves on the wrong side of timing, there remain some tough decisions to be made in the next few weeks.

If the PGA Tour’s plan is to end its season before Labor Day beginning in 2019, something must give. Currently, the Houston Open, a staple on Tour since 1946, and The National are without sponsors. When the music stops in a few weeks and the circuit announces the ’19 schedule, there’s a good chance one, or both, of those events will be the victims of bad timing. – Rex Hoggard

Getty Images

Triplett hole-out wins Legends of Golf playoff

By Associated PressApril 23, 2018, 12:12 am

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Kirk Triplett holed out from a bunker for birdie on the first playoff hole Sunday in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf to lift himself and partner Paul Broadhurst past Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman.

''Well, you're trying to make it, but you know realistically it doesn't go in very often,'' Triplett said. ''You're trying to give your partner a free run at it. You don't want to hit it up there 20 feet past or do something silly. I'm just trying to hit it the right distance and get it on the right line.''

Langer and Lehman took it in stride.

''You kind of learn to expect it,'' Lehman said. ''These guys out here are so good and Kirk Triplett is a magician around the greens. The odds of making that shot are probably not good, but you certainly expect him to hit a great shot and he did and it went in.''

Lehman and Langer missed birdie putts after Triplett holed out.

''I kind of felt like we both hit pretty good putts, misread them, both of them,'' Lehman said. ''I hit mine probably too hard and Bernhard's was too soft, but you have to hand it to the guys who hit the shot when they have to hit it.''

Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

Broadhurst and Triplett closed with a 6-under 48 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to match Langer and Lehman at 24 under. Langer and Lehman had a 47, playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

The 56-year-old Triplett won his sixth PGA Tour Champions title.

''That's a big roller-coaster - three good shots and mine, right?'' Triplett said. ''I'm feeling a little dejected walking down that fairway there, a little sheepish. To knock it in it just reminds you, this game, you know, crazy stuff.''

Broadhurst claimed his third senior victory.

''I don't get too emotional, but that was something special,'' the 52-year-old Englishman said.

Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal had a 48 to tie for third with 2017 winners Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco. Singh and Franco, the third-round leaders, shot 50.

Mark Calcavecchia-Woody Austin (48), John Daly-Michael Allen (49), Steve Stricker-Jerry Kelly (50) and David Toms-Steve Flesch (52) tied for fifth at 20 under.

Getty Images

Mullinax (T-2) comes up short of maiden win

By Will GrayApril 23, 2018, 12:06 am

The Valero Texas Open saw an unheralded player break through to earn a maiden victory, but unfortunately for Trey Mullinax his day will have to wait.

Mullinax started the final round within a shot of the lead, having fired a course-record 62 during the final round. He trailed Andrew Landry by one shot for much of the final round while racking up six birdies over his first 11 holes, but a pair of late miscues meant the former Alabama standout had to settle for a share of second place, two shots behind Landry.

A final-round 69 marked a career-best finish for Mullinax, who is playing this season on conditional status and whose lone prior top-10 this season came after he Monday qualified for the Valspar Championship.

"I know my game's there, I'm playing really well," Mullinax told reporters. "Give all credit to Andrew, he played really well today, rocksteady. He was putting great, hitting great shots."

Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

Given time to reflect, the 26-year-old will likely look back on the final two holes where nerves appeared to get the best of him. Looking to put some pressure on Landry, Mullinax chunked his pitch on the short 17th hole into a greenside bunker, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on the course.

Then Mullinax was unable to convert a 9-foot birdie putt on the final green, which would have forced Landry to make his 8-foot par putt to avoid a playoff. Afforded the luxury of two putts for the win, Landry rolled in his par save to cement a two-shot win.

"Made a bad bogey on 17, but just you've got to hit some bad shots," Mullinax said. "Would have liked to have got the putt on 18 to fall to put a little bit of heat on him, but this experience that I'm gaining right now is just going to help me down the road."