Jack Nicklaus Mourns the Passing of a Dear Friend: ‘Just 11 Days Shy of His 98th Birthday’

Published 12/15/2021, 8:46 AM EST


Throughout our lives, we encounter some people who leave a lasting impression on us. Whoever they may be, what is of significance is that from the very beginning, they stood by our side and never let go. Jack Nicklaus found such a person in Kaye Kessler, who, unfortunately, passed away recently.

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Nicklaus took up golf at the age of 10, in his hometown of Columbus. Even then, it was obvious that the young boy would grow up to do wonders, as he won five consecutive Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12 and broke 70 by the age of 13. However, his talent did not go unrecognized.

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Kaye Kessler was a sportswriter who worked for the Columbus Citizen (now known as the Columbus Citizen Journal). In addition, he takes the credits for being the first in the media to cover Nicklaus, the budding golfer.

He was the recipient of the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2001 and the Memorial Golf Tournament’s Journalism Award in 2002. Among other honors, he was inducted into the Columbus and Ohio Golf Hall of Fame.

However, as the news of his death became public, the golf community took to social media to remember him and expressed their sadness over the loss of one of the oldest gems. Among them was, of course, a grief-stricken Nicklaus.

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Jack Nicklaus pays a tribute to the first man who covered him

Kessler, just shy of 98, had an extraordinary journey that spanned over almost eight decades. He has covered more than 50 Masters Tournaments and 120 Majors. However, here is what the Golden Bear has to say about him-

He wrote, “We often talk about someone who was there “Day One” in our career and life. Well, Kaye Kessler truly was. Kaye, who we sadly lost just 11 days shy of his 98th birthday, was the first sports writer to cover me when I picked up the game at age 10.”

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“He went on to cover me throughout my career, becoming a trusted writer and a trusted friend to Barbara, me and our family. Kaye loved his craft, but I believe he loved the people in the game and around him even more…We will always cherish the memory of Kaye Kessler,” he added.

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Legends like Kessler never die, though. They continue to live amongst us through the legacy they leave behind.

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Ishita Bhargava

376 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a Golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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