Jack Nicklaus is suing Nicklaus Companies for breach of contract amid a reported Saudi bid

Jack Nicklaus is suing Nicklaus Companies for breach of contract amid a reported Saudi bid

Jack Nicklaus is being sued by his own company.

Nicklaus Companies sued the Golf Hall of Famer earlier this month, claiming Nicklaus actively worked directly against the company on multiple occasions after it reached an exclusive $145 million deal with the company, according to Sports Illustrated.

Initially founded in 1970, Nicklaus Companies designs golf courses, apparel, eyewear, art, and more. Nicklaus Companies is currently managed by CEO Howard Milstein. Nicklaus’ son, Jack Nicklaus II, is the company’s vice president. Milstein is also behind Golf.com, Golf Magazine, and more.

According to the report, Nicklaus Companies paid Nicklaus $145 million in 2007 to provide exclusive services and property. The lawsuit said that over time Niklaus failed to honor the deal or acted against the company.

The complaint provided three specific examples, according to the report, including when Nicklaus received a cash payment to promote this year’s DP World Tour event, aided in a video game developed by The Masters and the PGA Tour, and illicit conduct in connection with negotiations with the Saudi investment fund PIF. That fund was behind the controversial new LIV Golf Invitational series, which Nicklaus said offered him more than $100 million to help with the run – though he turned it down.

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

“The company essentially saved Mr Nicklaus from himself by ridding him of a controversial project that could not only taint his legacy and reputation, but severely damage Nicklaus’ corporate name, brands and business,” the lawsuit said via Sports Illustrated. “Thanks to the Nicklaus Companies’ intervention, the Company has been able to reduce the fallout from the situation and protect the goodwill and goodwill of both the Company and Mr Nicklaus.

“The potential irreparable harm that Nicklaus companies would have faced had they not relinquished Mr Nicklaus’s unauthorized activities was highlighted by persistent statements by the PGA Tour and many of the Tour’s leading players and substantially negative news coverage critical of Phil Mickelson’s involvement. As a paid supporter of the Saudi-backed Golf League, had it not been for the Nicklaus Companies’ efforts, Mr. Nicklaus would have been slandered in the news media for accepting payment for what could be described as PGA Tour betrayal.”

Greg Norman eventually became the face of the new Saudi-backed league, although he faced plenty of criticism and repercussions in doing so – as did Mickelson, who had not played golf competitively in months.

“We have great admiration and respect for Jack and his legacy and have tried everything to avoid taking this step,” Nicklaus Companies said in a statement via Sports Illustrated. “We are asking the court to determine the legal responsibilities of the parties so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding in the future.

“We are saddened that we are facing a situation that now requires court intervention, but we have a responsibility to Nicklaus companies and their employees, as well as our customers and partners, to ensure that nothing is disrupted for the ongoing business of the company. We are confident that working together we can resolve this quickly and amicably.”

Niklaus, of course, is one of the best golfers in the history of the sport. He’s won 73 times in his career and has 18 major championship wins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Niklaus, 82, denied the charges in a short statement.

“The allegations made by Howard Milstein are untrue,” he said via Sports Illustrated. “Our relationship has been difficult, at best. I have a little doubt about the outcome, but I have no intention of making this a public spectacle, if it can be avoided.”

Nicklaus Companies claim that they “saved Mr Nicklaus from himself” by preventing him from taking money from the Saudi-backed golf league. (Gregory Schamus/Getty Images)

2022-05-22 19:43:27

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