US players give Nicklaus a poignant gift

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:49 IST

One tradition at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup is for the players to give their captain a gift before the matches begin.

US players give Nicklaus a poignant gift

Gainesville: One tradition at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup is for the players to give their captain a gift before the matches begin. US captain Jack Nicklaus received a gift that brought him to tears. The players, with help from the PGA Tour and Nicklaus' family, commissioned a large oil painting of Jake Nicklaus, his 17-month-old grandson, who drowned in a hot tub on March 1. Phil Mickelson presented the portrait to Nicklaus with a heartfelt speech. Nicklaus put the portrait in the team room, in a corner to the right of the main door. He wants to find a permanent home for it, possibly in the Nicklaus Children's Hospital near his home in south Florida. Jake was the son of Steve and Krista Nicklaus, the Golden Bear's second-oldest son. They were on their way to the Presidents Cup on Saturday - which would have been Jake's second birthday. Mickelson declined to talk about the present, but he did speak in general terms over his excitement of spending a week with Nicklaus as captain. "Having the greatest player in the game, just being around him and his wife Barbara, who exudes class, has been a lot of fun," Mickelson said. "But having him be our captain and developing an intimate relationship with them - you talk about family and friends - for me, who grew up idolizing him, who grew up watching him win major championships, to have a friendship with him is very special." (AP)

Topics : Golf
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