BOCA RATON, FLORIDA | At 11:47 a.m. Friday, golf saw something it hadn’t seen in almost two decades: The name “Nicklaus” alone atop a leader board.
But not Jack.
Gary Nicklaus, Jack’s third-oldest son, birdied four consecutive holes on the front nine to take the early Oasis Championship lead at 4-under.
With his dad quietly watching from outside the ropes, blending in as much as a GOAT can, Gary added a birdie at No. 11 on The Old Course at Broken Sound to regain the lead at 5-under.
Could the Golden Cub win his first PGA Tour Champions event?
OK, maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here.
Playing on a major tour for the first time since he walked away from the sport in 2003, Gary was even-par on his last seven holes and scored a first-round 67, four shots behind leader Jesper Parnevik.
A day after saying he was not nervous, Gary admitted he was “shaking like a leaf” on the first tee. His drive on the second hole was 40 yards right of the fairway.
“I was out of my element,” Nicklaus said. “But I was able to par 2, birdie 3 and I was off to the races.”
Gary’s lone career highlight had been a playoff loss to Phil Mickelson at the 2000 BellSouth Classic when the final round was rained out. The closest Gary came to victory was when he lipped out a putt on the final hole on Saturday.
It was his only top-10 showing in 122 career starts on the PGA Tour. Gary was tired of the grind and the scrutiny that began when he appeared on a Sports Illus...
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