Sunday, May 02, 1999

Nicklaus aims for Memorial




BY JACK MURRAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Defending champion Fred Couples and tournament and two-time winner Jack Nicklaus are two of a list of 14 past winners to commit early to the 1990 Memorial Tournament June 3-6 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

        Couples jumped to third on the all-time Memorial money list behind Greg Norman (1995, '90) and Tom Watson (1992, '79). History is against Couples repeating, since the feat has yet to be accomplished in the 23-year history of the tournament.

        Nicklaus, who underwent total left hip replacement surgery in January, plans to make it 24 straight appearances in his own tournament. He has been on a three-month rehabilitation program that has him walking 18 holes on a daily basis.

        “If I'm not ready,” Senior Golfer magazine quoted Nicklaus, “I won't play. I've got to be able to be competitive before I'm going to give it a try.

        “I'm looking at possibly playing a couple of Senior Tour events because I can use a cart when I need it out there. I know I'm going to play some senior events later in the year.”

        Besides Nicklaus, Couples, Watson and Norman, other past Memorial winners committing: Vijay Singh (1997); Tom Lehman, who shot a Memorial record 20-under-par 268 in 1994; Paul Azinger, whose dramatic hole-out from a greenside bunker on the 72nd hole won the 1993 Memorial; David Edwards, who won here in a playoff in almost total darkness in 1992; Bob Tway (1989); Curtis Strange (1988); Don Pooley (1987); Hal Sutton (1986); Keith Fergus (1981); and the Memorial's first winner, Roger Maltbie (1976).

        Weekly patron badges for the 1999 Memorial are sold out.

        Anyone who would like to have their name placed on a waiting list may do so by calling the tournament ticket office (614) 889-6700, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Practice round tickets are available on a daily basis (Monday-Wednesday) for $15 and can be purchased at the gate.

       



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