Golf News

Jack Nicklaus on experience with Tiger Woods at 2000 PGA Championship

Tiger Woods-DUI-Jack Nicklaus

For Jack Nicklaus, the moment came in 2000 at Valhalla, the site of next week’s PGA Championship.

Nicklaus, then 60, was playing in what would be his final PGA Championship. He missed the cut at 4 over, not able to recover from an opening-round 77. And when he walked off the course it hit him.

“Man, you need to pass the baton,” Nicklaus said he was thinking. “You can’t compete in this anymore.”

And it was the man who he had just competed against who made Jack realize it was time to move on from competitive golf.

Nicklaus, who lives in North Palm Beach, played those two rounds with Tiger Woods, who now lives on Jupiter Island. Tiger opened with a 66-67 on the way to an 18-under 270 and his third consecutive major championship of the season.

Nicklaus, 84, spoke of that moment last week at the Legends Luncheon in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by the Memorial Tournament, which is scheduled for June 6-9 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Nicklaus is the founder and host of the Memorial.

“I knew that I was getting to where I couldn’t compete (and) it was brought to me very abruptly, in 2000 at Valhalla when I played with Tiger,” he said.

“I had realized that before, but that was … boom! Right in the face. Thirty-six holes of playing with him and seeing how well he played, how he just dominated what was going on, I did that earlier. But I don’t do it now.”

Jack knew who would be carrying that “baton,” as it turned out, for about the next quarter century, which is why that metaphorical handoff was to Tiger. That 2000 PGA Championship was Tiger’s fifth major. He would add 10 more, pulling him to within three of Nicklaus’ record.

And although Tiger, 48, isn’t through chasing majors – he will return to the site of that 2000 PGA Championship next week – it will be an international story even if he just contends in a major going forward.

Nicklaus never has denied Tiger’s extraordinary skill, several times saying his record of 18 majors would have fallen if injuries had not impacted Tiger’s career. He once again praised Tiger’s game, his swing and ability to hit shots that still very few human beings can replicate.

Tiger Woods-DUI-Jack Nicklaus

Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. (Golfweek File Photo)

But it’s the physical toll of multiple injuries, surgeries, and the 2021 car crash outside of Los Angeles in which Tiger nearly lost his right leg that Jack cites as the reason it would be very difficult for Tiger now to compete consistently on the…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…