Jack Nicklaus congratulated Justin Thomas before he went on to lose the playoff

Jack Nicklaus very rarely made a mistake on the golf course, but at 80-years of age, he pulled the trigger a little too early on a congratulatory text message to Justin Thomas.

Justin Thomas bungled the last few holes at last week’s PGA Tour Workday Charity Open and found himself in a playoff against Collin Morikawa.

At the first playoff hole, Thomas sunk a huge 50-foot putt for birdie that looked to have his hands on the trophy. However, a minute later, Morikawa matched in with a pretty decent 24-footer of his own and went on to win the tournament.

The thing is, Nicklaus only saw the monster putt from Thomas before he had to jump on a plane. So he sent off a text message to Thomas, congratulating him on the win.

Ahead of this week’s Memorial Tournament, Nicklaus chatted about the mistake to the press (starts around 15:40 in the video below) and Rob Oller reported via Golfweek:

“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.’”

Nicklaus had a few other things to say including addressing the fan-free PGA Tour through to the end of the year, and his determination to give a handshake to the winner per tradition, despite the current COVID pandemic.


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