What a day of golf at the Insperity with Palmer, Nicklaus, Trevino, Player and Co.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – For a golf fan, it doesn’t get any better than it did Saturday at the Insperity Championship at The Woodlands Country Club.
Not to take anything away from the regular Champions Tour event at the Woodlands Tournament Course this weekend, but the big draw was a little wrinkle they added called the “Greats of Golf.” The names are right out of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Somehow, the Insperity folks convinced Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino to join Gene Littler, David Stockton, David Graham, Miller Barber and Don January to come play an exhibition three-person scramble for the fans after the regular competition.
This show didn’t disappoint. Fan turnout was tremendous, and the galleries and the players loved each other. Trevino never stopped talking, Palmer never stopped charming, Player was continually amazing, and Nicklaus is still the greatest. No offense to other players in the event – they all had great careers – but the Big Four, who have 40 major championships between them ?- was the main event.
In the end, the team of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player won by two shots at minus-11 after Palmer pleased the huge gallery by rolling in a 25-footer for birdie on the 18th hole. The other teams both shot 63, not bad for a group whose youngest player is 66 (Graham).
At every turn, the fans were there, more so than you would see in almost any PGA Tour event. They knew what these guys meant to the game, and they knew they would never have this chance to see them playing together again.
The magnitude of the event wasn’t lost on the Champions Tour players either. Co-leader Tom Lehman finished his round and caught the last couple of holes. Peter Jacobsen wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
“It’s unbelievable,” Jacobsen said. “These guys are the reason we do what we do. We’ve played the PGA Tour and now the Champions Tour because of these guys. I cut my teeth on these guys. They took me under their wings when I came out – all of us.”
And they can still play, Jacobsen observed. “They’ve got mad skills. It’s pretty cool.”
Indeed, a day I won’t forget, or as Golf Channel announcer Dave Marr Jr., said, “something we’ll be telling our grandchildren about years from now.”
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