SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – There are plenty of marquee names at the Sanford International, but no tee-time had more star power than today’s exhibition match.
“I just enjoy being part of the Senior tour a little bit again or the Champions tour as you call it. These are a lot of guys that I’ve played with,” Jack Nicklaus said.
While Nicklaus, Irwin, Stockton and North all wanted to win the match, Saturday’s exhibition was bigger than that.
“You make an impact, you make a difference, and for us to come in and do this exhibition, we may be old but we’re extremely competitive,” Dave Stockton said.
This year’s match raised $95,000 for the Sanford Health Foundation, with 22 thousand of it coming from today’s match.
“If we can take some of the kids, the young people, the youth that are interested in the game and show them that golf is a way to enhance their lives through golf, I’m very much in favor of that,” Hale Irwin said.
The match got off to a fast start, with Nicklaus and North grabbing the early lead on hole 10, but Irwin and Stockton would win the next three holes to take a commanding lead.
“There is still the competitive fire if you wish, maybe just a little bit of a flame now instead of the bon fire the way it used to be but it’s still the pilot light, there’s still something there,” Irwin said.
After Nicklaus drained a 25 foot birdie on 15 to cut the deficit to one, he and North would even the match up on 16, and for the second straight year the match would be decided on 18.
“It’s really, really special to get these three guys here with us. It’s a joy, they’re three of the greatest players who have ever played and that says an awful lot at the fact that they came to Sioux Falls which is really special,” Andy North said.
After the Golden Bear narrowly missed birdie on 18, Stockton would sink a five-foot par putt, and seal victory in the 2019 Legends Series.