Golf legend crosses fingers on Senate

Chris Condon/PGA Tour

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus isn’t getting overly excited about the possibility of getting a Congressional Gold Medal from Congress.

After all, he’s been down this road before, and still doesn’t have the honor first bestowed on George Washington.

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The House on Monday by a 371-10 margin voted to give one of the nation’s highest honors to Nicklaus, who won 18 majors in his career.

But two years ago, in an even stronger 373-4 vote, the House did the same thing. Nicklaus doesn’t have his medal because the Senate never took action that time.

“That was voted through [the House] two years ago, and never went through the Senate — they didn’t even bring it up in the Senate,” Nicklaus said Wednesday at a National Golf Day event. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”

Nicklaus is known for backing Republicans. He campaigned in his home state of Ohio for Mitt Romney in 2012, and held a fundraiser for GOP Gov. Rick Scott (Florida) earlier this year in Palm Beach.

But it was 10 Republicans who voted against giving him the Congressional Gold Medal. Most of those voting no say the award shouldn’t be handed out to celebrities.

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) moved to pass the bill in recognition of Nicklaus’s “service to the nation in promoting excellence, good sportsmanship and philanthropy.”