Nicklaus says he was ill with COVID-19 earlier this year

Nicklaus says he was ill with COVID-19 earlier this year

July 20, 2020

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, 80, reveals he and his wife Barbara both tested positive for coronavirus in March and had to isolate at home for a month

  • Golf legend Jack Nicklaus has revealed that he was ill with COVID-19 this year
  • Nicklaus and his wife Barbara, both 80, both tested positive for the virus 
  • The couple self-isolated at their south Florida home from March 13 to April 20 
  • Nicklaus had a sore throat and a cough, while  Barbara was asymptomatic
  • Their symptoms were relatively mild, considering that their age puts both in the higher risk category for being seriously ill
  • Both have since tested positive for the coronavirus antibody 

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus revealed on Sunday that he was ill with COVID-19 earlier this year and his wife Barbara had also tested positive for the virus.

At 80 years old, both are in the higher risk category for being seriously ill with the disease, which has killed more than 140,000 people in the United States. 

The 18-time golf major winner said he counted himself lucky to have come through with a relatively mild case.

Speaking during a weather delay in final round play of the Memorial Tournament that he hosts, Nicklaus said that while he had symptoms of the illness, his wife was asymptomatic. 

‘Barbara was asymptomatic, I had a sore throat and a cough, it didn’t last very long,’ said Nicklaus in an interview with CBS. ‘We were very, very fortunate, we were lucky’ 

The couple self-isolated at their home in south Florida from March 13 to April 20.

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Golf legend Jack Nicklaus said on Sunday that he was ill with COVID-19 in March, and his wife Barbara had also tested positive

Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara watch during the final round of the Memorial golf tournament. Both tested positive for coronavirus in March

‘Barbara and I are both of the age, both of us 80-years-old, that it’s an at risk age,’ he said. ‘Our hearts do go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families, we were just a couple of the lucky ones.’

Nicklaus said that he had tested positive four times and his wife Barbara three. Both have since tested positive for the coronavirus antibody.

The Memorial has no spectators, and Nicklaus sightings have been rare this week because of protocols in the PGA Tour’s return to golf amid the pandemic.

Nicklaus shared the news when the Memorial was coming out of a weather delay in the final round. The few times he has been seen, he was wearing a mask and keeping his distance.

The golf legend spoke during a weather delay in final round play of the Memorial Tournament that he hosts

Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara watch the action during the Nationwide Challenge nine-hole skins match Benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital prior to The Memorial Tournament

Tiger Woods, a five-time winner of the Memorial, said he had known for some time Nicklaus had tested positive.

‘The fact that they got through it and they´re safe and here and healthy, it´s all good news for all of us who are a part of golf and who looked up to Jack and (have) been around Barbara all these years,’ Woods said.

Nicklaus had a remote press conference on Tuesday and said he would shake the hand of whoever wins the Memorial, a tradition at the tournament he created.

The 18-time golf major winner, pictured at the 2015 Masters Tournament, was in the higher risk category for being seriously ill with the disease

Nicklaus is pictured during the 112th Open Championship on 14 July 1983

‘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, so that´s … I wouldn´t put anybody in that position,’ he said Tuesday.

He said again on CBS that he’ll shake hands if the winner wants to, but he would be fine if the winner doesn’t.

‘We’ve got the antibodies, and theoretically we can’t get it and can’t give it,’ he ssaid. ‘That’s a nice position to be in.’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a June 30 update, said it does not know if people who recover from COVID-19 can get infected again. It also said even with a positive test for antibodies, ‘you still should take preventive measures to protect yourself and others.’

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