Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin open the 2016 Ryder Cup - Nicklaus Companies

Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin open the 2016 Ryder Cup

Jack Nicklaus: Thank you very much. Before we begin, I know that I speak for everyone here, and everyone around the world, in mourning our dear friend, Arnold Palmer. Arnold touched every aspect of the golf world, including the Ryder Cup, where he was a dynamic player and captain. We all feel his loss and dedicate these games to his honor.
Tony Jacklin: Arnold was truly an inspiration for all of us and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his loved ones.
Jack Nicklaus: So, Tony, here we are, almost 50 years after The Concession. It’s terrific how big and exciting the Ryder Cup has become since then. You and I had pretty good Ryder Cup careers and you deserve great admiration for what you did to raise the status and fire up the European Team back in the 1980s as captain. Your actions were so important in making the matches as competitive as they are now with the two teams able to go head-to-head and shot-for-shot.
Tony Jacklin: Why, thank you, Jack. And as I recall, you were instrumental in creating Team Europe by campaigning in 1977 for players from the continent to join those of us from Great Britain and Ireland. That was the key to the amazing growth of the Ryder Cup, turning it into the worldwide spectacle that it is today. I remember it being a relatively quiet affair back in 1969 and I also remember that the Americans were pretty regularly doing their thrashing in those days. While we weren’t happy about that, we all resolved to come together as a team and do our best. And win or lose, we always managed to lift a few pints with you guys afterwards.
I know that like me, you’re very gratified and humbled that what so many people remember best about the Ryder Cup wasn’t a shot at all, but a stroke I didn’t make. “The Concession,” as people now refer to it, has become a symbol of everything that makes the Ryder Cup so special.
Jack Nicklaus: Tony, that decision was an easy one for me. You were a friend, a gentleman, a sportsman, and a hero to your countrymen. I never thought you would ever miss that putt, but I also didn’t want to give you the chance.
I remember when we walked off the 18th tee, I looked to you and I asked you, “Are you as nervous as I am?” You answered, “Bloody petrified.”
By the time we got to the 18th green, the true spirit of the Ryder Cup is what became most important—that two teams of men can engage in a spirited competition for three days but never forget what the game is really about: camaraderie and good sportsmanship. Remember, how you conduct yourselves as people is much more important than what we do as players.
Tony Jacklin: When we walked off that green, arms over each other’s shoulders, we were no longer competitors, but lifelong friends who understood and respected each other and all that we, and every man on both teams, had just gone through. It was thrilling and it was exhausting, but it was tremendous fun.
Jack Nicklaus: That’s how I felt about the Ryder Cup then, and I still do today. It is how the game should be played by every man at every level, and no man has exemplified it more than Arnold Palmer.
Tony Jacklin: And how appropriate was it when you and I collaborated to design a golf course in Florida and we named it “The Concession,” because that’s the spirit of Arnold Palmer and the true spirit of the Ryder Cup, and I’m incredibly proud of being part of that moment.
Jack Nicklaus: And I couldn’t be prouder to have shared it with you, Tony.
To watch Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin on Golf Channel, click here.

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