June 25, 2007

The Big Three's farewell tour

Coming soon to an event in your area: Jack, Arnie and Gary, grouped for convenient viewing!

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, the original Big Three of golf, will be reunited in Northern Ireland at the 2001 Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard in association with the Northern Ireland Events Company, at the Royal County Down Golf Club from July 26-29. —PRESS RELEASE

It's no joke. That really was a press release that landed on my desk and other desks, somebody in Northern Ireland thinking it's a keen notion, extremely newsworthy, unaware that these three geezers are getting pretty sick of each other. And sicker still, I should think, of being grouped together every time they turn up in a tournament at the same time, like at Augusta, every sponsor believing he's come up with an original idea.

Evidently, there's no end in sight to this farewell tour. But it does inspire other press releases for the future ...

LAS VEGAS

The Las Vegas Invitational, a tournament so new that it was never won by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer or Gary Player—the original Big Three of golf—announced plans today to group Nicklaus, Palmer and Player together in the opening round this year, if, by some bizarre set of circumstances, they decide to enter.

PALM HARBOR, Fla.

The Tampa Bay Classic, a new tournament located in an area that's often been flown over by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player—golf's original Big Three—announced today that they will be grouped together in an unspecified round in case they are all forced to make an emergency landing during the week of this year's event.

HOLLYWOOD

Maxed Out Pictures announced today that it hopes to sign Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player—the original Big Three of golf—to play the leading roles in a forthcoming feature film, "The Big Three: The Story of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr."

The PGA Tour announced today that next year's Players Champion-ship will give special invitations to Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Commissioner Tim Finchem said, "I do not see how this championship can ever achieve major status without Nicklaus, Palmer and Player in the field. After all, they are the original Big Three of golf."

Finchem did not deny that the inclusion of Nicklaus, Palmer and Player in the field is part of an effort to lure the attention of America's sports fans away from the NCAA basketball tournament, which is always in progress at the same time.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.

Operators of the World Golf Village announced plans today for Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player—the original Big Three of golf—to combine their talents in the design of a new 18-hole course that will be added to the other popular layouts at the resort: The Slammer and The Squire; The Bantam and The Lord Byron; The Tempestuous Tom and The Jaunty Jimmy, and The Haig and The Silver Scot.

A World Golf Village spokesman said, "It is not as yet determined whether the course will be called The Jack, Arnie and Gary; The Arnie, Jack and Gary, or The Gary, Arnie and Jack."

HOLLYWOOD

No Gross Pictures announced today that it will soon begin filming "The Big Three: The Story of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, the Original Big Three of Golf." No stars have been signed, but a studio spokesman said, "Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. would have been ideal casting."

ATLANTA

Sponsors of the Tour Championship, in an effort to attract more media attention and fan support, announced today that the event will be canceled and replaced with the Big Three Invitational, an event with only three competitors: Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. A spokesman said, "We realize we're going to take some heat for not including Tiger Woods, but hey, we're not going to have Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones, either. And I would remind our critics that Nicklaus, Palmer and Player just happen to be the original Big Three of golf."

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