Jack Nicklaus turns 80: Among his greatest achievements is his family

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For years, numbers have always shadowed Jack Nicklaus and provided quick reminders to his greatness between the gallery ropes.

Six green jackets, 18 major championships, 19 runner-up finishes in the game’s four most prestigious events. Those digits are all records, monumental punctuation marks to a career well played.

They are bench marks for those who try to follow in his footsteps, for the Golden Bear has been the gold standard in golf’s record books for decades. Along with the 18 utopian major titles he’s been tracking for years, one other number always jumped out for Tiger Woods – Nicklaus’ record 73 top-10 finishes in majors. Tom Watson and Sam Snead are next with 46, the same number of top-3 finishes Nicklaus accumulated in majors. Also, 73 is the number of PGA Tour titles Nicklaus amassed, third all time.

One could go on and on and on.

But for Nicklaus, who turns 80 on Tuesday, two numbers rank ahead of all others, the ones that stand atop his numerical mountain. Those would be 5 and 22 – the number of his children and grandchildren.

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