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Jack Nicklaus reportedly being sued by Nicklaus Companies

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Arguably the greatest golfer to ever play the game is being sued.

According to a report by Sports Illustrated, the Ohio State legend is being sued by New York businessman Howard Milstein, executive chairman of the Nicklaus Companies who also oversees Golf Magazine and Golf.com. A complaint was filed on May 13 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The complaint alleges that Nicklaus failed to deliver on the terms of a deal he had in place with the company. It also accuses the 82-year old Nicklaus of working directly against the company at times. The suit alleges tortious interference, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.

According to Golfweek Magazine, the complaint claims that “Nicklaus was paid $145 million in 2007 to provide exclusive services and property to the Nicklaus Companies, a conglomerate founded in 1970 as the Golden Bear International Inc. The company includes golf course design, licensed apparel, eyewear, artwork and other goods and services.”

For his part, Nicklaus refutes the claims.

“The claims made by Howard Milstein are untrue,” Nicklaus said in the statement released by his organization. “Our relationship has been a difficult one, at best. I have little doubt about the outcome, but I don’t intend to make this a public spectacle, if it can be avoided.”

But following the report by SI, the Nicklaus Companies continued to stick to their guns, addressing the situation with the following statement.

“We have great admiration and tremendous respect for Jack and his legacy and have tried everything to avoid taking this step. We are asking the court to sort out the legal responsibilities of the parties so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding going forward,” the statement said. “We are saddened to be put in a situation that now requires intervention from a court, but we have a responsibility to Nicklaus Companies and its employees, as well as to our customers and partners, to ensure that nothing disrupts the ongoing business of the company. We are confident that working together we can resolve this quickly and amicably.”

We’ll continue to keep an eye on how this all plays out, but anything going through the legal system can take some time. Hopefully, this can all be sorted out without things getting ugly.

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