I you thought that you had seen the last Jack Nicklaus Hole in One of your life time, think again. I know I never expected to have a chance to see the feat live again on this earth. Today I was given that chance. I was working around the house and the TV was on in the background, ESPN's Sportscenter was on of course. It's like background music to me, only better. At noon on the west coast, coverage of the Masters par 3 contest began. I must admit that I have not been a devotee of this event in the past, but as I watch I have to wonder why. I truly believe it is one of the great events on the tour and all fans of golf should watch it if they can. If you have to work, then DVR it people. I know, this is coming to you too late to do it this year but try to remember for next year. Next year I will try to post a reminder on these pages to do just that.
I don't want to get off track though so back to the subject at hand. It was really setup perfectly. You had some intro type stuff, then they showed a few shots from around the course. Nice stuff. Then you had the interview with the big 3 to start the real coverage. When I say the big 3, I am referring to Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and replacing Arnold Palmer for this event was Ben Crenshaw. I say replacing because the big 3 are Gary, Arnold and Jack. Everyone knows that and it became a part of the interview conversation of course. Crenshaw did a great job playing the role of humble fill-in, and the choice was timely as this is set to be Crenshaw's last competitive Masters. After a few minutes of chat with Gary and Jack as well, Arnold came along and gave the three a little ribbing, telling them they were late for the tee. Arnold is sitting this one out because of a bad shoulder, but he had a great replacement role for himself. On the first hole of this great event, it has been something of a tradition in the past that Ben Hogan would sit right behind the golfers on the tee at the first hole and heckle just a bit. Jack stepped up first and hit a great tee shot, Player hooked it a bit, and then Crenshaw left it pretty short and off to the right. Arnold piped up as they were finishing the few obligatory claps with a wry, "Nice shot Ben." Everybody had a chuckle and the par 3 was officially on.
As I watched the rest of the coverage of the par 3 contest, I learned that there has never been a Jack Nicklaus hole in one at the Masters. I have been a Nicklaus fan since I was a child. To the right you see Jack at the British Open from 1978. I was a junior in High school at the time and there were amazing golfers playing the game. Trevino, Watson, Casper, Player, Palmer. I could go on but you see what I mean. Even in that era, with all those great players, he was head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion.
The coverage continued and there was some good coverage of Tiger talking about his motivations for participating in this event for the first time in over a decade. They cut in to see both Gary and Jack birdie the 3rd to go to -1 and they showed Crenshaw draining a long put. It was all classic stuff. The competitive juices were flowing and those covering the event were talking about just that. As Jack stepped up to the tee on the fourth hole it was a straight shot into the camera. He stroked it with that classic Nicklaus stroke and it rose to land past the hole with some backspin. As it came back down the slope, it had the right speed and it was on the right line. Everybody could feel it. The announcer was giving it some love, and sure enough it curled right in for a Jack Nicklaus Hole in One. Amazing stuff! I was sitting in my living room by this time, having given up on the idea of getting housework done, I was enthralled with the whole event. Thank goodness! As I sat there by myself, I couldn't stop myself from putting my hands together in applause. It was as classic a moment as a golf fan can ever hope to see and it took place on a Wednesday at Augusta. I will never forget it. I hope you had a chance to see it live, but if you didn't you can see it below.
Jack Nicklaus hits a hole-in-one at Masters Par-3 contest. https://t.co/W7LH4roM4B— KNBR (@KNBR) April 8, 2015
I know golf is not where I usually put my focus, but I am not simply a baseball fan. I am a Sports fan. Golf is one of the sports I love. I have played very little, but I have recorded an 84 for 18 holes, and I respect the talent required to play it, or any sport, at the highest levels. Jack Nicklaus is a man who over the years has provided many chances to see excellence in it's purest form. Today sports fans were given the chance to view it one more time. We were given the opportunity to see a Jack Nicklaus Hole in One. There are many times that we as fans will feel we have seen something special. Today definitely qualifies for me. Thank you Jack, for giving me one more memory of you doing something fantastic. I will share the story whenever I can. It's inspirational! Speaking of inspirational, please take the time to visit our homepage so you can see how we are trying to inspire the youth of today.
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