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Even with its annual weather delays, the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, remains one of the most popular stops on the PGA Tour. Muirfield Village is a first-class track, the clubhouse milkshakes are second to none, and what player in his right mind can say no to Jack Nicklaus? Ever the good host, Jack was kind enough to share a handful of e-mails he received after the 2010 Memorial ended on Sunday.
Dear Mr. Nicklaus,
Thank you for a great week. I'll never forget the moment you handed me the Memorial Tournament trophy on Sunday evening on the 18th green.
I was very proud to prove you right. Remember when you bumped into me before the British Open two years ago at Royal Birkdale? I had finished second at your tournament the month before, so I reminded you how much I love your course and your event, and you said, "You'll win it one of these days." I took that comment to heart. That's why it was so funny when you told the writers on Sunday night that your line was something you use on everybody, to "keep them coming back." You were kidding about that, right?
At the trophy ceremony, you introduced me by saying the Memorial was my first victory in America. Then you added, "I guarantee you it isn't going to be his last." Coming from the greatest player of all time (I mean you, not that other guy who hasn't broken your record yet), it meant a lot to a 29-year-old English lad who had missed the cut in his first 21 starts after turning pro in 1998.
I used to be a slow starter, but not last week. I birdied five of the first seven holes on Thursday and shot 65 and finished it off with a bogey-free 66 to pip Rickie Fowler, the kid dressed like an orange Creamsicle; Ricky Barnes, who looks like a male model; Phil Mickelson, who may win the Grand Slam this year; and all the rest.
Let me share this: The best move I ever made was deciding to work with Sean Foley, a tremendous instructor. Don't worry, Mr. Nicklaus, I promise not to tell that guy who hasn't broken your record about Sean. But I must say—they'd make a good team.
My only regret was messing up my victory celebration. I started to throw an air punch, but halfway through I swung my arm down. I probably looked like a cobra with a cramp. If you can leave that bit out of the highlights video, Mr. Nicklaus, I'd appreciate it.
Justin Rose, 2010 Memorial Tournament champion