Saturday, December 13, 2014




Left to right: Jack Nicklaus's son Jack II, grandson Jack III and, Jack himself
ORLANDO –– Scott Tolley, the long-time communications liaison for Jack Nicklaus, is a writer by trade, which meant he had drafted his lead introduction if he was on deadline writing a story in advance of the first round of the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
“What beats a pair of Jacks?” Tolley said. “Three of a kind.”
Jack, 74, is playing with son Jack II, 53, who has his son Jack III, 24, on the bag. It just may be the only time a three-jack is acceptable in golf. The Nicklaus triumvirate is one of the big draws at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, where 20 two-man teams will compete for the Willie Park belts.
“As much as I talk about how badly I will play, I do look forward to it every year,” the eldest Jack said.
Word is that while he may not play too often these days, Jack has been sneaking out and hitting balls in preparation for the 36-hole scramble-format event, and playing with his son and grandson.
 Jack joked he “feathered a 3-iron from 189 yards” at No. 17 and rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt in Friday’s pro-am, then retreated to the range for some fine-tuning.
“Every once in a while you say, ‘I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of my son,’ ” Jack explained.
It was good to see Jack II, also called Jackie, looking like a picture of health after being a late scratch last year, replaced by his brother, Gary, for what Jackie termed “a heart issue.”
“I’m ready to go,” said Jackie, a runner-up with his father in 2003.
 “I don’t know how many more chances I’m going to get to play with him in a competition like this so everyone is special. You know, I may get bumped for a guy that hits it a lot longer than I do.”
Jack III blushed at the thought. “I just can’t hit it straight,” Jack III said. “But the only time they (grandpa and his father) really play is when we (the grandkids) call him up to play.”
This week’s Nicklaus family affair dovetailed nicely with a college football awards show here in Orlando. Jack’s grandson Nick O’Leary, a tight end for the undefeated Florida State Seminoles, received the John Mackey award as the top tight end in the country. Nicklaus said he pulled a few strings to get an invite, agreeing to an interview by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi on the red carpet, but declining an interview on stage.
“It wasn’t my night,” Jack said.
But will it be the Jacks' week? The game plan is for Jackie to drive it long enough for Jack to attack the flags and then it will come down to putting. 
"They’re both so darn competitive," Jack III said.
“I want my son to play well,” Jack said. “We want to have fun. We want to win. We will have to make a lot of birdies, but we want to win.”

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google