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I get emotional inside - Nicklaus thrilled as grandson prepares for Bills playoff game

Jack Nicklaus' grandson Nick O'Leary is to play for the Buffalo Bills, the golf legend changing allegiance to support him.

06 Jan 2018, 20:08 IST
Jack Nicklaus and grandson Nick O'Leary

With the new PGA Tour season under way, it would be fair to assume Jack Nicklaus, the record holder for major victories and six-time winner off the green jacket, may be casting his eye over the likely contenders for the Masters.

But instead Nicklaus' attention will not be on the Tournament of Champions in Maui, but rather on north-eastern Florida and the NFL Wild Card round playoff clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills.

And, Nicklaus, a proud supporter of the Miami Dolphins, will have his colours firmly nailed to the mast of the Bills, with their tight end and his grandson Nick O'Leary attempting to help Buffalo, in the playoffs for the first time since 1999, keep their Super Bowl hopes alive.

The Bills beat the Dolphins last weekend to seal, with the help of the Cincinnati Bengals' win over the Baltimore Ravens, a place in the postseason, and the 18-time major champion was in attendance and changed his allegiance for the day.

"I've been a Miami Dolphins season ticket-holder since day one, 1966. For me to go to a Miami game in a Buffalo Bills hat and a jacket in their team blue, I felt a little funny," Nicklaus told golf.com.

"But hey, I'm getting to see my grandson play and watch his Bills, with a chance at the playoffs. You don't go against your grandson."

After the Bengals' victory confirmed the Bills' wild card berth, Nicklaus went down to the locker room to greet O'Leary and the jubilant Bills players.


#billsmafia #playoffs

A post shared by Nick O'Leary (@nickoleary35) on

Nicklaus added: "We made sure to speak to and congratulate other players, but as for Nick, you have to remember, he's my grandson, so we talk about a variety of things not related to the football game. 

"We tried not to make a big deal of it, but we were really pleased."

The Jaguars are favourites to emerge victorious and eliminate the Bills on Sunday, but Nicklaus sees reason for confidence.

"I can't think of a team I'd rather them play, because I think they match up well with the Jaguars and, like the Bills, Jacksonville's fan base has been waiting a long time for a return to the playoffs," he said.

"Nick is playing at the highest level of his sport. I was fortunate to play at the highest level of my sport.

"To have that happen with a grandson, and to have the opportunity to watch him compete and succeed, it's really exciting for me. I get emotional inside. I'm emotional just talking about it right now."

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