During the CBS telecast of the Memorial on Sunday, Jack Nicklaus indicated that together with his wife, they tested positive for the coronavirus at the onset of the pandemic. At the beginning of the year, Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, turned 80. He said he had a sore throat and a cough, but his wife had no COVID-19 symptoms. Nicklaus also said that from March 13 to about April 20, they were home in North Palm Beach, Florida, “until we were done with it.”
Nicklaus also confirmed that it didn’t last very long, and they were very, very fortunate, very lucky. He indicated that the two are both of the age, 80 years old, which is an at-risk age. He said their hearts go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families as they were just a couple of the lucky ones. Because of protocols in the PGA Tour’s return to golf amid the pandemic this week, the Memorial has no spectators, and Nicklaus sightings have been rare. When the Memorial was coming out of a weather delay in the final round, Nicklaus shared the news while wearing a mask and keeping his distance for the first time.
A five-time winner of the Memorial, Tiger Woods, indicated that he heard for some time that Nicklaus had tested positive. Woods said that the fact that they got through it and they were safe and are healthy, it’s all good news for all of them who are a part of golf and who looked up to Jack and (have) been around Barbara all these years. On Thursday, Nicklaus had a remote press conference where he indicated that as a tradition at the tournament he created, he would shake the hand of whoever wins the Memorial. On Tuesday, he indicated that if they don’t want to shake his hand, that’s fine, he will give them a fist bump or an elbow bump, but he was not going to give them COVID-19.
He also confirmed that he would shake hands if the winner wants to, but he would be fine if the winner doesn’t. On the other hand, Rahm said that he had been dreaming of that handshake many times, and it was a fist bump because of the situation. Nicklaus also added that by having the antibodies, “theoretically we can’t get it and can’t give it. That’s a nice position to be in.” In a June 30 update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that with a positive test for antibodies, “you still should take preventive measures to protect yourself and others.” And they do not know if people who recover from COVID-19 can get infected again.