News & ToursJune 18, 2009

An uncomfortable rain delay

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- The suspension in play Thursday during the first round of the U.S. Open was a reminder of one of the great stories on the topic, from John Huggan's Golf Digest Interview with Jack Newton in June 2008. Newton picks up the story:

"I remember sitting in a clubhouse when Nicklaus and Palmer had a bit of a blue [argument]. I played early with Arnold. We came into the locker room, and a storm started to brew.

"Anyway, the storm got worse, and the players were called in. Jack was something like eight over par playing the ninth hole. Arnold said, 'You know what's going to happen here, don't you? They're going to cancel the round because Jack is eight over.' And just as he said it, Jack walked in behind him and heard him say it.

"Jim Thorpe, when I first met him, said to me that we 'Frenchmen' had to stick together out there. He and I were on the bench as Jack walked in. I don't know if you've ever noticed, but when Jack gets nervous or angry, he has a little twitch he does with his chin, and he goes bright red. Well, he did both. And as he walked past, he said, 'Yeah, Arnold, just like they did for you all those times.'

"At that, Jim Thorpe turned to me and said, 'Newtie, this is no place for we Frenchmen. There's an argument going on between God and Jesus Christ, so we better get out of here!' [Laughs.]"

-- Mike O'Malley

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