2005: Argea, Nicklaus a 20-year partnership

Angelo Argea, who spent two decades as Jack Nicklaus’ caddie and became an iconic figure known for his shock of silver hair, died Oct. 10 of liver cancer. He was 75.

“He had friends everywhere,” Nicklaus said. “In many ways, Angelo was part of our family, and Barbara and I will miss him greatly.”

Argea went to the Palm Springs Classic in 1963 to caddie for a Las Vegas hotel executive when he was told more caddies were needed for the pros. He signed up to caddie for Nicklaus, believing the reigning U.S. Open champion would not show up because of a hip injury.

Nicklaus showed, won the tournament, and he won in Las Vegas later in the year with Argea at his side.

“Angelo lived in Las Vegas and was driving a taxi at the time,” Nicklaus said. “I asked him if he wanted to caddie for me in the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, and we ended up winning that one, too. In fact, we won five of the first six tournaments Angelo caddied for me.

“It was the start of a long partnership and relationship that lasted over 20 years.”

They went on to win about 40 tournaments together, including the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

– Staff and wire reports

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