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Nicklaus Withdraws From Senior Players

July 11, 2002|Associated Press

Jack Nicklaus has withdrawn from this week's Senior Players Championship at Dearborn, Mich., because of muscle spasms.

"It's always frustrating when you can't play," Nicklaus said Wednesday after pain forced him to stop an afternoon practice session after hitting about 15 balls.

Nicklaus, who has not won a Senior Tour event since 1996, said he enjoyed nine holes of golf on Tuesday in Ohio with family and friends. However, he was in pain Wednesday morning and it lingered until he withdrew from the pro-am after nine holes later in the day.

"I just don't like to be in the position of keeping somebody out of the tournament," Nicklaus said. "Would I like to play? You're darn right I'd like to play. I thought after playing yesterday, 'Boy, I am ready to play. I am ready to go.' I woke up this morning and I couldn't stand on my right side to save my life.

"I'm 62 years old. I'd rather do what I did yesterday than be worried about what I was trying to do out here."

Nicklaus, who has played only three competitive tournaments this year, did not play in the U.S. Senior Open last month because of a recurring back problem, which also forced him to withdraw from the Senior PGA Championship earlier in June.

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PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the Senior Tour has reached an agreement in principle with The Golf Channel to provide live coverage of three rounds of at least 10 events in 2003.

The Golf Channel will also provide live coverage of the Friday round of every tournament as PAX, which will not be part of the broadcast package beyond this year, does now.

CNBC will continue to be a part of the tour's television deal by carrying the tournaments the Golf Channel does not, most live. NBC will continue to carry the same major tournaments it does now.

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