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Jack Nicklaus First Member of Victory Club

June 16, 2020 Liberty Corner, N.J. By Joey Geske, USGA
Four-time U.S. Open champion Jack Nicklaus is the first member of the U.S. Open Victory Club. (USGA/John Mummert)

Four-time champion Jack Nicklaus has been named the first member of the U.S. Open Victory Club. The Victory Club launched Monday as the official home for U.S. Open fans to celebrate the championship with the latest updates, exclusive content and special offers.

“Jack Nicklaus is the quintessential U.S. Open competitor and champion. We are thrilled and honored to welcome him as the first member of the U.S. Open Victory Club,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Jack means so much to the championship, the USGA and to golf. We are so grateful for his unwavering support of the U.S. Open and the game.”

The Victory Club is the first dedicated U.S. Open fan club, offering fans a chance to get closer to the action from their homes and on-site at America’s iconic championship venues. Through virtual fan experiences, limited-edition merchandise, exclusive ticket offers and contests, fans can experience a year-round connection to the U.S. Open Championship. Nicklaus invited fellow U.S. Open champions to join him in the Victory Club in a video message to the community of fans.

“Being an American, playing and winning the U.S. Open always meant so much to me. And today, I’m a big fan of the championship, so to be the first member of the Victory Club is truly an honor,” said Nicklaus. “I hope my fellow U.S. Open champions will join me in the Victory Club and we can’t wait to see fans cheering for players from home and at the course sometime soon.”

Nicklaus has enjoyed many special U.S. Open moments over his brilliant career, including his four memorable victories. He earned his first major title in the 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, defeating Arnold Palmer in a playoff. Nicklaus won two U.S. Open titles at Baltusrol Golf Club, in 1967 and 1980, and added one in between at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 1972. The 18-time major winner competed in 44 consecutive U.S. Open Championships between 1957 and 2000. Nicklaus played in three U.S. Opens at this year’s venue, Winged Foot Golf Club, with his best finish a tie for 10th in 1974.

As part of this week’s activities to celebrate and relive iconic U.S. Open moments, Nicklaus joined senior writer Michael Bamberger on Monday, the 40th anniversary of his final U.S. Open win, for a 1980 U.S. Open Virtual Watch Party. The streaming session, powered by Cisco Webex, included insights and commentary from Nicklaus on the final-round broadcast of his memorable duel with Isao Aoki that resulted in a historic U.S. Open victory at Baltusrol.

Nicklaus has a celebrated history with the USGA. In addition to his record-tying four U.S. Open titles, he won two U.S. Amateur Championships and two U.S. Senior Opens. His eight USGA championships are one behind Bob Jones and Tiger Woods for most all time. In 2012, the gold medal that the U.S. Open champion receives was named the Jack Nicklaus Medal. Many artifacts and memorabilia from Nicklaus’ life and career are featured in the USGA Golf Museum’s Jack Nicklaus Room, which opened in 2015 in Liberty Corner, N.J.  

Fox Sports will air a one-hour film, “U.S. Open 1980: The Day Jack Came Back,” celebrating Nicklaus’ fourth U.S. Open title on Sunday, June 21 at 10 a.m. EDT on FS1, the start of 4½ hours of U.S. Open programming on FS1.