Jack Nicklaus Reveals He and Wife Barbara Tested Positive for Coronavirus in March

The legendary golfer said he had a sore throat and a cough, while his wife Barbara was asymptomatic

Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty

Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara were diagnosed with coronavirus in mid-March and have since recovered, the golf legend revealed this weekend.

Nicklaus, 80, said on a CBS telecast of the Memorial Tournament that Barbara had no symptoms, while he had a sore throat and a cough.

The couple stayed in their home in North Palm Beach, Florida, from March 13 through about April 20, when they were “done with” the virus.

“It didn’t last very long, and we were very, very fortunate, very lucky,” he said. “Barbara and I are both of the age, both of us 80 years old, that is an at-risk age. Our hearts go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families. We were just a couple of the lucky ones.”

Eight out of 10 virus-related deaths in the United States have been adults 65 years or older, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age.

Nicklaus said he tested positive four different times, and Barbara three times, and both recently tested positive for antibodies.

Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Nicklaus founded the Memorial Tournament in the ‘70s, and though this year had no spectators because of the virus, the retired athlete was reportedly spotted several times over the week wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

When Jon Rahm of Spain won the tournament, he received a congratulatory fist bump from Nicklaus as opposed to a handshake, according to the Associated Press.

Tiger Woods, a five-time Memorial winner, told the outlet he was aware of Nicklaus’ positive test, and was grateful he’d made it through.

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“The fact that they got through it and they’re safe and here and healthy, it’s all good news for all of us who are a part of golf and who looked up to Jack and [have] been around Barbara all these years,” Woods, 44, said.

While Nicklaus said that having antibodies was “a nice position to be in,” it remains unclear whether people can get infected again, according to the CDC.

Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. Darron Cummings/AP/Shutterstock

Before announcing their personal connection to the virus, Nicklaus and his wife launched the Wear the Bear. Show You Care. campaign in support of the COVID-19 Relief Fund at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, which provides personal protective equipment and other essential items.

The campaign has raised more than $250,000, according to the Palm Beach Post.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been at least 3.7 million cases and 140,373 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to The New York Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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