Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jack Nicklaus Wins British Open

On July 9, 1995, golfer Jack Nicklaus wins Golf's British Open. Nicklaus becomes just the fourth golfer to win all four majors.

Nicklaus nicknamed "The Golden Bear", was an American professional golfer. He is widely regarded as the most accomplished professional golfer of all time, winning a total of 18 career major championships, while producing 19 second place and nine third place finishes in them, over a span of 25 years.

Nicklaus focused on the major championships (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship), and played a selective schedule of regular PGA Tour events, yet still finished with 73 victories, third on the all-time list.

After winning two U.S. Amateurs in 1959 and 1961, and challenging for the 1960 U.S. Open, Nicklaus turned professional toward the end of 1961. The 1962 U.S. Open was both Nicklaus' first major championship victory and his first professional win. This win over Arnold Palmer in 1962 began the on-course rivalry between the two.

In 1966, Nicklaus won the Masters Tournament for the second year in a row, becoming the first golfer to achieve this, and also won The Open Championship, completing his career slam of major championships.

At age 26, he became the youngest to do so at the time, since over taken by Tiger Woods.

In 1968 and 1969, Nicklaus did not win a major tournament. He then won another Open Championship in 1970.

Between 1971 and 1980, he would win nine major championships, overtaking Bobby Jones' record of 13 majors, and becoming the first player to complete double and triple career slams of golf's four professional major championships.

At the age of 46, Nicklaus claimed his eighteenth and final major championship at the 1986 Masters Tournament, becoming that championship's oldest winner.

Nicklaus joined the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the Champions Tour) in January 1990, when he became eligible, and by April 1996 had won 10 of the tour's tournaments, including eight of that tour's major championships, despite playing a very limited schedule.

He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, when he made his final appearances at The Open Championship and the Masters Tournament.

At the time of his retirement Nicklaus had 73 PGA Tour wins, 10 Senior Tour wins with 115 career wins between the PGA and Champions Tour. He had 18 Major Championship Wins including six Masters titles, including back-to-back titles in 1965-1966. He also won four U.S. Open titles, three British Open Titles and five PGA Championships.

Over the course of his career Nicklaus led the PGA Tour in money winning eight times, including three consecutive years from 1971-1973. He was the PGA Player of the Year five times, including back-to-back awards in 1972-1973 and 1975-1976.

In 1974 Nicklaus was named to the World Gold Hall of Fame. In 1975 he was awarded the Bob Jones award, which is the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association (USGA) in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. 
 In 2000 he was awarded the Payne Stewart award by the PGA Tour in honor of World Golf Hall of Famer Payne Stewart. It is given to a player who shows respect for the traditions of the game, commitment to uphold the game's heritage of charitable support and professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct. 
In 2008 he was awarded the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the PGA Tour over an extended period of time through their actions on and off the golf course. As of 2013 10 members have been given the Lifetime Achievement Award, including former president George H. W. Bush.

Since his retirement Nicklaus has also taken part in various off-course activities, including golf course design, charity work and book writing. Nicklaus helped design courses such as Harbour Town Golf Links, and his golf course design company is one of the largest in the world. 
Nicklaus also runs his own tournament on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament. Nicklaus' books vary from instructional to autobiographical, with his Golf My Way considered one of the best instructional golf books of all time; the video of the same name is the best selling golf instructional to date.