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Jack Nicklaus sued by Nicklaus Companies for breach of contract amid reported Saudi offer

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Jack Nicklaus is being sued by his own company.

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Earlier this month, the Nicklaus Companies filed a lawsuit against the Golf Hall of Famer, alleging that Nicklaus actively worked directly against the company on several occasions after securing an exclusive $145 million deal with it. .

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Nicklaus was founded in 1970 and is focused on golf course design, apparel, eyewear, art and more. currently managed by executive chairman Howard Milstein. Nicklaus’ son, Jack Nicklaus II, is the vice chairman of the company. Milstein is also behind, Golf Magazine and more.

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According to the report, Nicklaus Companies paid Nicklaus $145 million in 2007 to provide exclusive services and property. The suit alleges that, over time, Nicklaus was unable to complete this deal or worked against the company.

According to the report, the complaint cites three specific examples, including when Nicklaus received a cash payment to promote this year’s DP World Tour event, helped with a video game being developed by The Masters and the PGA Tour, and misconduct regarding negotiations with PIF. Saudi investment fund. This foundation is behind the controversial new LIV Golf Invitational series, which though it has abandoned them.

According to the lawsuit, it was the Nicklaus Companies that prevented Nicklaus from accepting this deal.

“The company effectively saved Mr. Nicklaus from himself by pulling him out of a controversial project that could not only tarnish his legacy and reputation, but also seriously damage the name, brands and business of the Nicklaus companies,” the lawsuit says. . “Thanks to the intervention of the Nicklaus Companies, the company was able to minimize the impact of the situation and protect the reputation and good name of both the company and Mr. Nicklaus.

“The potential irreparable damage the Nicklaus companies would face if Mr. Nicklaus’ unauthorized activities were not stopped was highlighted by the continuous statements made by the PGA Tour and various top Tour players, as well as significant negative news coverage criticizing Phil Mickelson’s involvement in as a paid endorser of the Saudi Arabian-backed golf league. Had it not been for the efforts of the Nicklaus Companies, the media could have condemned Mr. Nicklaus for accepting payment for what could be described as a betrayal of the PGA Tour.”

Greg Norman eventually became the face of the new Saudi-backed league, though he faced a lot of criticism and backlash in doing so — as did Mickelson, who hasn’t played competitive golf in months.

“We have great admiration and great respect for Jack and his legacy and have done everything we can to avoid this step,” the Nicklaus Companies said in a statement. . “We ask the court to understand the legal responsibility of the parties so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding in the future.

“We are saddened that we find ourselves in a situation that now requires the intervention of the court, but we have a responsibility to Nicklaus Companies and its employees, as well as to our customers and partners, so that nothing interferes with the ongoing activities of the company. We are confident that by working together we can resolve this issue quickly and amicably.”

Nicklaus is by far one of the best golfers in the history of the sport. He has won 73 times in his career and has a record 18 major championship wins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Nicklaus, 82, denied the allegations against him in a brief statement.

“Howard Milstein’s claims are not true,” he said. . “Our relationship has been difficult at best. I have little doubt about the outcome, but I’m not going to make it a public spectacle if it can be avoided.”

Honorary Starter and Masters Champion Jack Nicklaus.
Nicklaus Companies claims it “saved Mr. Nicklaus from himself” by preventing him from taking money from the Saudi-backed golf league. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


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