Jack Nicklaus

Mardy Fish, Praised By Jack Nicklaus, To Host Foundation Golf Fundraiser In Vero Beach, Florida January 14, 2019

Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, along with several former star pro athletes, highlight the field of celebrities who will play in the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Charity Golf Fundraiser to be played Monday, January 14 at The Windsor Club in Vero Beach, Florida

The event is headlined by Fish, the former Top 10 tennis star, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and long-time member of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Also participating in the event will be former standout Major League Baseball pitcher and celebrity golf tour standout Rick Rhoden of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees and famous knuckle-ball pitcher Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox. From tennis circles former top tennis professionals Mikael Pernfors, the 1986 French Open finalist and Vero Beach resident, will again compete along with Cliff Richey, the two-time U.S. Open semifinalist and himself a founder of the Celebrity Golf Tour in the 1980s.

Fish was recently described by six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus as “the best non-professional golfer that I have ever seen play.” Said Nicklaus to Steve Flink of Tennis.com after playing nine holes in December with Fish, “I have never seen anybody with as nice a golf swing and as good a golf game that doesn’t play it professionally, or as a top amateur. I was flabbergasted how good Mardy was.”

While Fish ended his professional ATP tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, he has excelled playing competitive golf since his retirement. He has won two tournaments on the celebrity golf tour at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando, Florida in 2016 and 2018 and will try to win the event for the third time in four later just days after his appearance in Vero Beach at Windsor.

Golfers interested in participating in the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Golf Fundraiser should email Mardy Fish’s father, Tom, the President of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, at [email protected] Paid positions for a tax deductible contribution of $500 are available as well as course signage for $300. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 am with an 8:45 am shot-gun start, followed by a 1 pm luncheon and awards presentation. PNC Bank, a long-time supporter of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, is the presenting sponsor of the event.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org) was founded in 2007 and currently supports over 2,200 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and two after school centers in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 18-hole links style course at Windsor is a masterpiece in traditional golf course architecture. The par 72 course features an undulating panorama of native trees that border gentle rolling fairways, unobstructed by houses.

“WINNING” Documentary Featuring Martina Navratilova, Jack Nicklaus Now Available In Digital Formats

WINNING, the compelling and inspiring story of the journeys of nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova, Paralympic tennis legend  Esther Vergeer, golf great Jack Nicklaus, Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci and track and field star Edwin Moses and how they achieved and maintained greatness at the highest level of sport is now available for rent and purchase in digital formats.

The film, that was named by INC Magazine as one of its nine “must watch” documentaries, features candid interviews and archival footage of each athlete’s most exciting championship moments, as well as unique “behind-the-scenes” access to their lives on and off the field of play. The film portrays through the words of these all-time greats what kind of mind-set, passion and dedication are needed to become a champion and to remain on top for decades.

WINNING is available on iTunes, Amazon Video and Google Play here: http://bit.ly/WINstore

The film is produced and directed by Jacqueline Joseph, the former head of The Arthur Ashe Foundation and Executive Producer for IBM’s first-ever Official Grand Slam tennis tournament websites at the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open. A trailer for the film can be seen here: http://bit.ly/WINNINGFILM

“WINNING is a film that shines a spotlight on five of the greatest athletes in sports history,” said Joseph. “The revealing stories that these athletes share in WINNING speak to everyone, young and old, on the court and outside the lines… because as they say, ‘Sports is a metaphor for life.’”

In WINNING, these iconic athletes reminisce about the highs and lows of their careers and share a unique and intimate window into their lives. The film features rare archival footage of the athletes’ childhoods, as well as some of their most memorable and historic moments at the Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters, US Open, British Open and The Paralympics.

The film also features interviews with the athletes’ families, coaches, agents and competitors including Olympic Gold Medalists Bart Conner and Derrick Adkins, track and field Olympians Benn Fields and Herb Douglas, tennis star Pam Shriver, legendary coaches Sven Groeneveld and Robert Lansdorp, Duke University Professor of Sports Psychology Greg Dale, Barbara Nicklaus, Jana Navratilova and former Olympic gymnastics coach Paul Ziert.

Navratilova is the most prolific winner of tennis titles in the professional era of tennis. She holds the records for the most singles (167) and doubles titles (177) won by a professional tennis player. She won 18 major singles titles, a record 31 major women’s doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles, including her final title at the age of 49 at the U.S. Open. She ranked as the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 332 weeks in singles and a record 237 weeks in doubles. The 2017 U.S. Open marks the 30th anniversary of her becoming the last player to sweep the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at a major championship.

Vergeer has been described as the most dominant athlete in professional sports, losing only 25 matches in her 17-year career in wheelchair tennis. She won 42 Grand Slam tournaments, 22 year-end championships and seven Paralympic gold medals, including four in singles. She was the No. 1 player in the world from 1999 to her retirement in 2013, not losing a match in 10 years, winning the last 470 matches she played.

Nicklaus is regarded as the greatest golfer to ever play the game, winning a record 18 professional major titles, including a record six Masters titles, a record-tying four U.S. Open titles and a record-tying five PGA Championships. Equally as impressive is that Nicklaus finished as the runner-up at 19 other major championships while winning 73 career PGA Tour titles.

Comaneci was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 during her famous performance at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. She earned a total of seven perfect 10s in Montreal en route to winning three gold medals for Romania. At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, she won two more gold medals, concluding her career with nine total Olympic medals and four World Championship medals.

Moses won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals and 122 consecutive races, setting the world record in the event four times.

More information on the film can be found at www.thewinningfilm.com and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewinningfilm and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thewinningfilm and Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewinningfilm

Martina Navratilova, Esther Vergeer Featured In Upcoming Film WINNING To Premiere Sept. 8 In New York

NEW YORK – Nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova and four-time Paralympic tennis singles Gold Medalist Esther Vergeer are two of the five legendary athletes featured in the upcoming documentary movie WINNING that will have its World Theatrical Premiere in New York City on Friday, September 8.

WINNING is the compelling and inspiring story of the journeys of Navratilova and Vergeer, golf great Jack Nicklaus, Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci and track and field star Edwin Moses and how they achieved and maintained greatness at the highest level of sport. The film features candid interviews and archival footage of each athlete’s most exciting championship moments, as well as unique “behind-the-scenes” access to their lives on and off the field of play. The film portrays through the words of these all-time greats what kind of mind-set, passion and dedication are needed to become a champion and to remain on top for decades.

The movie will premiere on Friday, September 8 at the Cinepolis Chelsea at 260 West 23rd St. in New York City where it will have a limited run for the following week with four to five screenings per day. Tickets can be purchased in advance here: http://bit.ly/WINSept8

The film is produced and directed by Jacqueline Joseph, the former head of The Arthur Ashe Foundation and Executive Producer for IBM’s first-ever  Official Grand Slam tennis tournament websites at the US Open, Wimbledon, French Open and Australian Open. A trailer for the film can be seen here: http://bit.ly/WINFILMTrailer)

“WINNING is a film that shines a spotlight on five of the greatest athletes in sports history,” said Joseph. “The revealing stories that these athletes share in WINNING speak to everyone, young and old, on the court and outside the lines… because as they say, ‘sports is a metaphor for life.’”

In WINNING, these iconic athletes reminisce about the highs and lows of their careers and share a unique and intimate window into their lives. The film features rare archival footage of the athletes’ childhoods, as well as some of their most memorable and historic moments at the Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters, US Open, British Open and The Paralympics.

The film also features interviews with the athletes’ families, coaches, agents and competitors including Olympic Gold Medalists Bart Conner and Derrick Adkins, track and field Olympians Benn Fields and Herb Douglas, tennis star Pam Shriver, legendary coaches Sven Groeneveld and Robert Lansdorp, Duke University Professor of Sports Psychology Greg Dale, Barbara Nicklaus, Jana Navratilova and former Olympic gymnastics coach Paul Ziert.

Navratilova is the most prolific winner of tennis titles in the professional era of tennis. She holds the records for the most singles (167) and doubles titles (177) won by a professional tennis player. She won 18 major singles titles, a record 31 major women’s doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles, including her final title at the age of 49 at the U.S. Open. She ranked as the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 332 weeks in singles and a record 237 weeks in doubles. The 2017 U.S. Open marks the 30th anniversary of her becoming the last player to sweep the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at a major championship.

Vergeer has been described as the most dominant athlete in professional sports, losing only 25 matches in her 17-year career in wheelchair tennis. She won 42 Grand Slam tournaments, 22 year-end championships and seven Paralympic gold medals, including four in singles. She was the No. 1 player in the world from 1999 to her retirement in 2013, not losing a match in 10 years, winning the last 470 matches she played.

Nicklaus is regarded as the greatest golfer to ever play the game, winning a record 18 professional major titles, including a record six Masters titles, a record-tying four U.S. Open titles and a record-tying five PGA Championships. Equally as impressive is that Nicklaus finished as the runner-up at 19 other major championships while winning 73 career PGA Tour titles.

Comaneci was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 during her famous performance at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. She earned a total of seven perfect 10s in Montreal en route to winning three gold medals for Romania. At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, she won two more gold medals, concluding her career with nine total Olympic medals and four World Championship medals.

Moses won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal and at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals and 122 consecutive races, setting the world record in the event four times.

More information on the film can be found at www.thewinningfilm.com and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewinningfilm and Twitter at www.twitter.com/thewinningfilm and Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewinningfilm.

SUNNY SUNSHINE IN MELLOW MIAMI

The Sony Ericsson Open isn’t just about tennis. With the great weather in Florida and the sea nearby, the place is also about having fun. And that’s what these players were having. And lots of it.

STAR SIGHTINGS: Golf-great Jack Nicklaus stopped by the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday. The rain prevented him from seeing the stellar lineup, but NFL star Terrell Owens got a quick bite to eat in the players’ lounge while catching up with his good friend Andy Roddick. Owens was able to watch a great match between Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva, followed by Roddick and Igor Andreev.

MIAMI DOLPHIN CHEERLEADERS: Miami Dolphin cheerleaders Fabiola Romero and Samantha Ruiz came to the Sony Ericsson Experience to teach Spain’s David Ferrer a few steps from their kick line. The bashful Ferrer poised for a couple of pictures with the dancing beauties before racing off to practice. The Dolphin cheerleaders hung around and signed autographs for the fans.

SONY ERICSSON OPEN PARTY TOUR: Making its second stop of the tournament, the Sony Ericsson Open Party Tour unloaded at Sunset Place this evening. Fans packed the popular hangout to get autographs from Nicolas Almagro. Sony Ericsson models were present taking photos of tennis fans as they enjoyed interactive games, danced to the hottest tunes spun by Power96 and watched highlights from last year’s Sony Ericsson Open. The final stop of the tour will be on Sunday, March 28 at the University of Miami for the second annual Sony Ericsson Open Pool Party. The event is only opened to UM students.

Photocredits Sony Ericsson Open 2010.

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14 Majors For Federer, Sampras and…Woods

Roger Federer won his 14th career major championship at the 2009 French Open, which not only tied him with one Pete Sampras, but another “rival” in professional sports, Tiger Woods. Ironically, on the same day that Federer won at Roland Garros, Woods won his 67th career PGA Tour event at The Memorial as he heads into the home stretch to try and win his 15th career major golf title at the US Open at Bethpage Black in New York. The following excerpt from the book THE ROGER FEDERER STORY: QUEST FOR PERFECTION by Rene Stauffer (www.RogerFedererBook.com, $24.95, New Chapter Press) details Federer’s relationship with both Sampras and Woods.

When Tiger Woods achieved the “Tiger Slam” in 2000 and 2001-winning all four of golf’s major championships in a row-Roger Federer was not yet 20 years old. The way that Woods dominated golf and reignited interest in the sport certainly caught the attention of the young Federer. However, he never thought that he would ever be compared to someone as dominant as Woods. “His story is completely different from mine,” he said in the spring of 2006. “Even as a kid his goal was to break the record for winning the most majors. I was just dreaming of just once meeting Boris Becker or being able to play at Wimbledon some time.”

Despite their different developments and the differences between their sports, the commonalities between Woods and Federer became unmistakable through the years. Like the four-time Masters champion, Federer is in full pursuit of sports history. While Woods is pursuing Jack Nicklaus and his 18 major championships, Federer is chasing Pete Sampras and his 14 Grand Slam singles titles. Both Woods and Federer are amazing because of their mental resilience, which is evident from the fact that they manage to make the most terrific shots under the greatest of difficulties.

Unlike his parents, Roger Federer is not a passionate golfer, but he follows Woods’ career with great interest. “It would be interesting to meet him and to see what he’s like in person,” Federer said in Key Biscayne in 2006.

Both Federer and Woods are clients of the International Management Group (IMG) and Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, is friends with Mark Steinberg, the agent of Woods. In the summer of 2006, Federer asked Godsick if he could arrange a meeting with Woods. “The next thing I heard was that Woods would be delighted to come to the US Open final,” Federer recollected. “At that time the tournament hadn’t even started. I would have preferred meeting him in a more relaxed atmosphere than on the day of the US Open final-and I still had to get there first.”

The public had no idea that a spectacular meeting was in the making behind the scenes at the US Open. After Federer defeated the Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the semifinals, he was informed that Woods was going to make good on his promise. He flew to New York from Florida on his private jet with his wife, Elin, to watch the US Open final in person. To everyone’s surprise, Woods took a seat in Federer’s guest box-which was quite noteworthy given the fact that Federer faced an American, Andy Roddick, in the final. “The fact that Tiger was sitting there put me under extra pressure,” Federer later admitted. “It was just like when I was younger when my parents or Marc Rosset watched me play in person. You want to play especially well.”

Woods’ timing was perfect. He watched and cheered as Federer won his third straight US Open title, defeating the resurgent Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. For the third year in a row, Federer won both Wimbledon and the US Open-a record that he didn’t have to share with anyone.

While Federer briefly met Woods before the final, the two spent well over an hour together in the locker room following the match, drinking Champagne and gazing at the US Open trophy that Federer just won. Woods even talked on the phone to Federer’s parents who were at home in bed as it was nearly three in the morning in Switzerland.

“I was impressed by how much we had in common,” Federer explained when Woods was on his way back to Florida. “He knew exactly what I was going through and I see what he has to go through. I’ve never spoken with anybody who was so familiar with the feeling of being invincible.”

“It was terrific for me to see him go into my player’s box, shake his fist, and enjoy himself,” he recollected a few weeks later. “He was the loudest one in my box. I was surprised how loose he was about it. He was happy as a kid to be able to watch the final. I think we’ll do things together more often.”

The appearance of Woods at the 2006 US Open final sparked more comparisons-and debates-between the two “athletes of the century” as to who was greater and more dominant. With all due respect to Woods, James Blake came out in favor of Federer. “In tennis, it’s a tournament where you have one bad day and you’re out,” said Blake. “That’s what we do every single week. Roger is winning every Grand Slam except for the French, winning every Masters Series tournament. That means he can’t have one bad day-that’s incredible. Not to mention he has to be out here for four hours running as opposed to walking while carrying one club-again not taking anything away from golf. Tiger’s proven himself every Sunday every time he has a lead. But look at Roger’s record in Grand Slam finals, too. In Grand Slam finals, he’s 8-1. That’s unheard of.”

The Woods camp and golf fans pointed out that the American, in contrast to Federer, already won all four major tournaments in his sport and instead of only having to defeat seven opponents at the biggest tournaments, Woods had to fight off around 150 contenders. Tennis aficionados emphasized that Grand Slam tournaments lasted two weeks and not just four days and that in tennis, having an off day is enough to get knocked out whereas in golf, players could always save the day in such a situation.

Still others highlighted the commonalities between the two. “Despite their total dominance, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer show a modest self-discipline that would have impressed the most chivalrous medieval knight,” The Daily Telegraph of Britain wrote. The Calgary Sun stated unequivocally which of the two super athletes it favored-“(Federer) is infinitely more human than Tiger Woods, more precise, more likable, more honest, less robotic, seemingly enjoying his place as a tennis player for the ages.” The Daily News of Los Angeles, by contrast, questioned all of these comparisons. “You say the Swiss dude is definitely the greatest tennis player of all time? Good, then we can switch back to the Bengals-Chiefs. Equating Roger Federer to Tiger Woods isn’t a backhanded compliment, it’s a forehanded insult. An athlete of Federer’s all-around refinement deserves better than to be defined in terms of another athlete.”

After his US Open victory, Federer returned home to Switzerland when he received a surprise phone call. Pete Sampras, whose legacy and records were now one of Federer’s biggest rivals, called to offer congratulations. “He had already text messaged me three days ago and now he was calling me to congratulate me personally,” said Federer shortly after the US Open. “He asked if I had gotten the message. I said I was just about to reply. It was almost embarrassing. Perhaps I should have replied quicker.” Sampras told Federer how much he liked to watch him play and emphasized that he now was more clearly dominant than he was during his prime. “To hear something like this from him was incredible,” Federer said. “It’s never happened to me before that my earlier idol called me to compliment me.”

Sampras and Federer continued their text message relationship, with Sampras offering more good wishes over the following few months. Before the tournament in Indian Wells in March of 2007, Federer then took the initiative and called Sampras, who meanwhile announced he was returning to competitive tennis on the Champions circuit run by his contemporary Jim Courier. Federer asked Sampras if he would like to hit some balls and train together. “I wanted to see how well he could still play because, after all, he was one of my favorite players growing up,” Federer explained. With a wink in his eye and devilish grin, he then said, “beating him in his backyard in Wimbledon was so special to me, so I wanted to try and beat him in his house.”

Federer and Sampras only played once during their careers-the memorable round of 16 match at Wimbledon in 2001. Late in Pete’s career, the two had one brief practice session together in Hamburg. “It started to rain,” Federer recollected. “I was so disappointed, but he was happy to get off.”

After their training session together in Los Angeles in the spring of 2007, Federer expressed his surprise at how well Sampras could still keep up during their practice session. “We played some great sets and tie-breaks. I’m glad to see that he’s actually still enjoying tennis.” The scores of these practice matches? “They’re secret,” Federer said. “Surprisingly, he was very good, but not good enough to beat me!”

Federer found that he and Sampras shared many commonalities and could talk in great detail of their respective lives and pressures on the tour, as well as common experiences, experiences at particular tournaments and even about players who they both played against. With Woods, this was not the case. “Pete and I played the same tournaments and even played against the same opponents,” Federer said. “I have much more in common with Pete than I have with Tiger off court.”

“When I was new on the tour, I hardly ever spoke to Pete,” he continued. “First of all, he was never around at the courts, and when he would come into the locker room, everything was quiet because he was respected so much by all the other players.” Several years later, Federer finally got a chance to find out what made Sampras so unique and what brought him so close to perfection.

Mark McCormack To Be Inducted In International Tennis Hall Of Fame

On Saturday, July 12, the International Tennis Hall of Fame will induct its Class of 2008 – Michael Chang, Mark McCormack and Gene Scott – in ceremonies at the home of the Hall of Fame, The Casino in Newport, Rhode Island. Hall of Fame journalist Bud Collins profiles all three inductees in his just-off-the-press book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, click here for 39 percent discount). Today, we present to you the profile of Mark McCormack, the founder of the International Management Group.

Mark McCormack

United States (1930-2003)

Hall of Fame-2008-Contributor

By founding IMG (International Management Group) as a young man of 29, Mark Hume McCormack would revolutionize sports agentry and marketing on a world-wide level, much of it to the benefit and growth of tennis.

McCormack, a lawyer and an exceptional golfer who quali­fied for the U.S. Open and British Amateur, first turned his atten­tion to that sport. Tremendously imaginative, a business genius, he sensed new opportunity on the links. It was in the forms of three men who would become all-time greats: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Through their play and his man­agement they became wealthy and kindled increasing interest in golf.

When tennis became “open” in 1968, blending amateurs with the previously outlawed professionals, McCormack was quick to act, realizing that this game should attain far broader popularity, and that he could be a positive force in its rise.

Immediately, he signed on to represent the world’s foremost player, Australian Rod Laver, also to represent the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (aka Wimbledon), a relationship that continues to this day.

Laver was the first of a long line of tennis players to select McCormack’s IMG as their agent. Among them other Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Bjorn Borg, Jim Cou­rier, Pete Sampras.

Mark’s thoughts and ideas flowed in all directions in sport, and beyond. IMG became the world’s largest independent pro­ducer of TV sports programming. His system has spread and promoted economic advances for players, tournaments, ten­nis institutions and the game’s industry as a whole. In 1992, the Times of London named him one of “A Thousand People Who Most Influenced The 20th Century.”

Born Nov. 6, 1930, in Chicago, he grew up there, graduated from William and Mary College (’51) and Yale Law School (’54), and served a year in the U.S. Army in 1956. He was inducted into William and Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame for golfing prow­ess in 1958.

IMG acquired the Nick Bollettieri Sports Academy in 1987, continuing Nick’s successful tennis “boot camp” that trains out­standing players from across the globe.

As an author, he somehow found time to write Things They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, a best seller in 1984 published in 82 countries.

Mark’s second marriage was to a standout American tennis player, Betsy Nagelsen in 1986, eight years after she was the final­ist at the Australian Open. A 2008 inductee to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, he died May 16, 2003, in New York