DUBLIN, Ohio – Kids these days and their careless texting.
Except it was no kid who provided the most recent example of a messaging faux pas — it was 80-year-old Jack Nicklaus, who send a congratulatory text to Justin Thomas on Sunday for winning the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
One problem. Thomas didn’t win.
“I had a little bit of an ‘oops’ last week myself,” Nicklaus said Tuesday in a press conference ahead of Thursday’s start of the Memorial.
Nicklaus had just watched Thomas drain a 50-foot putt at No. 18 on the first playoff hole to seemingly get the win over Collin Morikawa, who faced a 24-footer to extend the playoff.
But the Golden Bear did not wait to see if Morikawa made his putt, instead boarding his jet from his home in Florida for the flight to Columbus, Ohio.
Morikawa followed Thomas’ putt by making a 25-footer of his own and went on to win with a par on the third playoff hole.
“We scheduled our flight to get up here because I wanted to see – congratulate the winner in the locker room at 6 p.m.,” Nicklaus explained. “So we were getting on an airplane at 2 p.m. and just as we were getting ready to take off, the first hole of the playoff, Justin holes that big long putt. We didn’t see Morikawa’s putt.”
“Barbara and I both texted Justin and said to him, ‘Wow, what a fantastic putt, unbelievable fantastic super putt. Can’t believe that you made that putt. Now you’ve got a chance to win two in a row,’” Nicklaus said. “Then we got in the air and we picked up WiFi after 10,000 fee and found out Morikawa won the tournament, so I had to send another text and say, ‘Oops, a little premature.’”
Thomas took the congratulatory text well, Nicklaus said.
“He was good about it. He texted back and said, ‘All’s good. It’s OK.’”