Weiskopf's Great Story About ... PGA Tour Death Threats?

Did you know that there was a time in the 1970s when multiple PGA Tour tournaments were affected by death threats against golfers? Or by bomb threats called in anonymously? Thankfully, nothing ever came of the threats, but they caused real consternation and worry — and real police presences — at multiple events back then.

I was looking through some old issues of Golf Digest recently and ran across a 2006 issue that included a Q&A with Tom Weiskopf, a 16-time PGA Tour winner and 1973 British Open champ. Weiskopf, from Ohio, went way back with Jack Nicklaus. And Weiskopf shared this great story about that death-threat era and a round with Nicklaus:

"There was a period in the late 1970s when there were some death threats on tour. Hubert Green won the U.S. Open under a death threat in 1977. Somewhere in that time, I found myself paired with Jack Nicklaus for the last round at Augusta. We were five or six strokes behind, not totally out of contention, but not really threatening, either.

"After I finished warming up, I saw Jack coming off the range, and damned if we weren't dressed exactly the same. Immediately I asked my wife, Jeanne, to go to the pro shop and buy me a different color shirt, because it's weird when you're dressed exactly like the guy next to you. Now at about the same moment, this big guy comes over to me and says, 'Tom, I don't want to upset you, but it's my responsibility to tell you that Jack has received a death threat today. We have to consider it as being serious. There's going to be some FBI guys and some security in the gallery, and I'm going to be with you, very close but outside the ropes. I just wanted you to know.'

"I get to the tee and Jack's looking at me and I'm looking at him, because we're wearing the same shirt. Jeanne finally shows up with the new shirt, and I take the shirt I'm wearing off right there on the first tee. I have a very hairy chest, and people started whistling and carrying on; it was pretty funny. Jack strolled over and said, 'What in the hell are you doing?' I said, "I just want to make sure they don't shoot the wrong guy.'

"He laughed like hell. We both played terrible."

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