Jack Nicklaus explains the hilarious ‘oops’ text message he sent to Justin Thomas
Jack Nicklaus, the architect of Muirfield Village and the host of this week’s Memorial, said he didn’t catch a ton of the tournament, but he at least thought he saw the tournament’s fascinating finish. In a lighthearted moment during Nicklaus’ press conference on Tuesday, Nicklaus explained what he called an “oops” moment during the playoff.
Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, were getting on their flight at 2 p.m. Sunday so they could arrive at Muirfield Village to congratulate the winner around 6. But that never worked out since tee times were moved up the night before due to inclement weather coming in Sunday afternoon.
So when Jack and Barbara boarded their plane, Thomas and Morikawa were wrapping up the first hole of their playoff. Thomas was first to putt — and he drained it from 50 feet for birdie. Morikawa then matched him from 24 feet to extend the playoff, but the Nicklaus’ didn’t see that one.
“We were getting ready to take off, the first hole of the playoff, Justin Thomas holes that big long putt,” Nicklaus said. “Well, I saw the 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 the chance to win two in a row.’ And then we got up in the air, and we picked up WiFi after 10,000 feet, and we found out Morikawa won the tournament, and so I had to send him another text and say, ‘Oops, a little premature.'”
Nicklaus laughed about the mistake. He said Thomas was OK with it.
“He texted back and he said, ‘All’s good, it’s OK.’ He was good about it,” Nicklaus said.