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Original Issue

Stop Jack Measures

The only way to keep Jack Nicklaus from continuing to tear up the Senior tour is to gang up on him

All right, you guys, let's have a little quiet in here. Orville, Chi Chi, Lee, c'mon. We're trying to get this thing started. You guys can try chipping into the clam dip later.

O.K., O.K. So let me welcome you again to the Senior PGA Tour Players' Crisis Conference. As you all know, we are here with one thing on our minds and one thing only, and that's to figure out how to get Jack Nicklaus out of our hair.

Let's face it, boys. This guy is blowing through us like he's in a hurry and we're one big Wendy's drive-thru lane. Since he turned 50 last year he's played six of our tournaments and won four of them. He's only played 23 rounds with us, yet he's been the leader at the end of the day 13 times. It's a hobby with him. Thank god or Barbara or somebody he hasn't played more, or we would all be in a pro shop somewhere trying to sell matching bag towels to a nine-hole ladies' group.

The guy is toying with us. You know what his average paycheck is per tournament on our tour? Ninety thousand, eight hundred thirty-three bucks, that's what. We're just an automatic teller machine he taps out whenever he can fit us into his schedule. It's like when your dad used to let you borrow the car. You could drive it and wash it and gas it up, but no matter how much you pretended, you knew it was still his.

Well, we've got to put a stop to this. That's why we broke into committees last month. We'll hear those committee reports right now.

First off, the Scheduling Committee has come to the conclusion that one good way to keep Nicklaus from beating our skulls in is to stop scheduling tournaments so damn near his house. He won the PGA Seniors Championship on Sunday by six shots, and it turns out he wouldn't even have entered if we hadn't played the thing at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 10 minutes from his living room. Someone heard a rumor he was going home between nines for lunch. And, please, let's stop playing on courses he's designed. He's won The Tradition twice on his own Desert Mountain Cochise Course, for gosh sakes.

The Espionage Committee checked into his health and came back with bad news—it's only getting better. Last week he played his fourth tournament in five weeks, the first time he's done that since the early '70s. And get this: After he won on Sunday, he played 18 holes on 18 different courses on Monday for charity. Don't you see? He's 51, but he looks and feels like he's 41. He only plays the big events on the Senior tour, the ones that go four rounds instead of the usual three. While the rest of us are taking gas on Sunday, he's on cruise control. Turns out Barbara is fixing him this weird snack made with wheat germ, raisins, bananas, whole wheat and egg whites. I don't know if you know this, but it's really difficult to slip a Mickey into wheat germ.

The guys on the Press Committee came up with a beauty. They say Nicklaus might not be out here at all if a couple of loudmouths hadn't opened their big yaps. Last year, Nicklaus was quoted as saying he didn't see much point in playing on the Senior tour and beating the same "marginal" guys he had beaten for 30 years. So Dave Hill challenged him to come out and try us, and then Larry Ziegler was quoted as saying he thought Nicklaus would find the Senior tour "isn't going to be as easy as he might think." Well, boys, Nicklaus has shot in the 60s in 15 of his 23 rounds. Brilliant, you two, just brilliant. Next time a reporter comes up to you, do us all a favor and pretend you're bunker rakes, O.K.?

The Psychology guys think our best bet is Nicklaus's ego. Jack's dead set on becoming the first man to win on the Senior tour and the PGA Tour in the same year. The closest he's come to winning on the regular Tour this year is a tie for fifth at Doral. He figures he'll play five more regular Tour events this year. If he does pull it off, he might just collapse from total lifetime satisfaction and design courses in Bora Bora the rest of his days.

Personally, I'm for the trophy route. Did you see the trophy he won last week? It was about the size of a Jet Ski. It had to be four feet high and 200 pounds. Unfortunately, the Awards Committee reports that Nicklaus did not pull anything picking it up. But I say we keep working on it. Maybe we go to something even heavier, with sharp appendages. After all, with as many trophies as this guy is going to win from us, he's bound to get crushed under one of these puppies. Am I right?

Anyway, thanks for coming. Stay in touch. And don't forget to pick up your egg-white packets on the way out.



Nicklaus's haul on Sunday was heavy—but not heavy enough.