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Jack Nicklaus vows to shake Memorial winner’s hand

It’s his tournament, so he will greet the champion on the 18th green Sunday as he always has: with a handshake, despite the PGA Tour’s rules against physical contact amid the risk of coronavirus

Confirmed: By Jack Nicklaus, host of this week’s Memorial Tournament, that he will shake the winner’s hand, despite a directive from the PGA Tour that no handshakes are to be conducted in an effort to minimize the potential to transmit coronavirus. Asked during his media address Tuesday at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, how he will handle the anticipated victory celebration Sunday on the 18th green, Nicklaus said, “I’m going to shake their hand. I’m going to walk right out there and shake their hand. If they don’t want to shake my hand, that’s fine. I’ll give them a fist bump or an elbow bump, but I’m not going to give them COVID-19. I wouldn’t want to put anybody in that position. I wouldn’t do that, and if I was in danger of doing that, I wouldn’t shake the hands. Incidentally, I like shaking their hand, too. I think it’s a great tradition, but it’s as much fun for me as I hope it is for them.” Under the PGA Tour’s “Health and Safety” guidelines, which were adopted before play resumed last month after a three-month suspension, players are prohibited from shaking hands and making physical contact. Nicklaus, 80, an 18-time major champion, opened Muirfield Village in 1974 near his boyhood home of Columbus and has hosted the PGA Tour annually since 1976. The name pays homage to Muirfield, Scotland, where Nicklaus won the 1966 British Open, the first of his three Claret Jugs.

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