DUBLIN, Ohio -- In a sign of how things have changed on the PGA Tour, most players have little or no contact with tournament directors or hosts until they show up at the course. And few thank their hosts after an event.
"It's a different age and day," Jack Nicklaus said Tuesday at the Memorial Tournament, where he serves as host.
Nicklaus found out last Friday that top-ranked Tiger Woods would be skipping the tournament to recover from knee surgery.
"Mark Steinberg [Woods' agent] called me the day after he had his knee surgery [April 15] and said Tiger's goal was to be back for the Memorial Tournament," said Nicklaus. "He called two or three times last week and said Tiger's plans were to get here Friday. I mean, they sent a check for renting a house and everything else. He was ready to come.
"But then Mark called back and said he went out and tried to play Thursday and couldn't. He said he couldn't put the weight on his knee, couldn't turn it."
Nicklaus harbors no ill feelings.
"It's OK," he said. "I don't think I ever talked to Tiger on the telephone."
Nicklaus said one of the best things Arnold Palmer taught him was to send a sponsor a thank-you note after playing in a tournament.
"So every tournament I ever played in, I always dropped the sponsor a note," said Nicklaus.
How often does Nicklaus get notes from players after the Memorial?
"We get one or two," he said. "But not very many."
- --Mark Soltau*