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Jack Nicklaus leads "Play Yellow" campaign to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network

Posted March 14, 2019 02:03 pm
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Jack Nicklaus leads "Play Yellow" campaign to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network

  • Article Photos
    Jack Nicklaus celebrates as he watches his putt drop for a birdie on the 17th hole at the Augusta National on April 13, 1986. The shot gave him the lead and ultimately his 6th Masters title.
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    Jack Nicklaus celebrates as he watches his putt drop for a birdie on the 17th hole at the Augusta National on April 13, 1986. The shot gave him the lead and ultimately his 6th Masters title. (File/Staff)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Jack Nicklaus, the only three-time winner of The Players Championship, visited the TPC Sawgrass with a lot of friends in yellow shirts. He is helping to lead the "Play Yellow for Children's Hospitals" campaign with the Children's Miracle Network, which wants to raise $100 million in five years.

"More than 10 million children visit Children's Miracle Network hospitals each year, and every year with 'Play Yellow,' together we can help save and improve the lives of so many more children," Nicklaus said.

The PGA Tour, The Players Championship and the Memorial are part of the program, along with equipment companies and other corporate partners, who through their own charitable proceeds or involving customers are pledging to help reach the fund's goal.

Behind the yellow is the shirt Nicklaus used to wear.

Craig Smith was the son of the minister of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus in Columbus, Ohio, who was diagnosed at age 11 of Ewing's sarcoma. Nicklaus called him and they began a relationship. The boy once told Nicklaus he won a tournament because Craig was wearing his lucky yellow shirt. That's when Nicklaus began wearing yellow on Sunday.

He died in 1971.

"And then 15 years later we're in Augusta, Georgia, Sunday morning of the last round of the Masters, and Jack's kind of rummaging around in his suitcase looking for a shirt to wear," Barbara Nicklaus said. "And he picks up a yellow shirt and he just holds it and he looks at me, and I just look at him and I said, 'That's it. That's perfect. You have to wear that shirt today for Craig in his honor and in his memory."

Nicklaus shot 65 and won his sixth Masters in 1986.

"I guess you can understand why this is such a personal campaign and Jack and I are so passionate about the 'Play Yellow' campaign," she said.