January 24, 2009, 10:12 AM
Well this will show my age but what the hell. I am an Australian who came to the USA two years ago and i live in Texas. Back in the 70s i lived in Ohio with my family as my dad was an exchange officer with the air force. The USAF sent a family to Australia and so we came to the USA. I was and still am a golf nut(actually i am a sports FREAK but really love golf).I went to the PGA Championship at Oakmont in Pennsylvania in 1978.
I was a wide eyed 16 year old who thought that Jack Nicklaus was the most awesome person on the planet. I followed his group around on the first day and afterwards lined up with about 100 other kids hoping to get his autograph. When he finally got to me i said gidday Mr Nicklaus and handed him my program. He said 'so whats an Australian doing all the way over here?" and so i told him about my dad and the Air Force etc.
He then began to ask me about my golf game my handicap. was i on the golf team at school(i was)and a whole bunch of other stuff.He spent nearly 15 minutes just talking to me and made me feel like the most important person ever. He spoke to me as an equal not as a superstar to some starstruck kid and he treated me with respect and dignity. It was one of the most amazing and memorable moments of my youth and obviously i have never forgotten it.
For someone of his stature to do that for a kid was the coolest thing ever and although my father is my true hero, Mr Nicklaus is right up there for me.
He was then as famous as Tiger is now and it left a long and lasting impression of what a true Champion he really was. I have met some pretty famous people since then as i had a sports radio program in Australia but Jack Nicklaus is the nicest one i have ever met.

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