The Pope met with his Cardinals in the Vatican to discuss a proposal from Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel.
“Your Holiness”, said one of his Cardinals, Mr. Netanyahu wants to challenge you to a game of golf to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit that is shared by the Jewish and Catholic faiths.”
The Pope thought it over, and considered that this was a good idea. However, there was a problem, but he had never held a golf club in his hand.
“Don’t we have a Cardinal who can represent me?” the Pope asked his Cardinals.
“None that plays very well,” a Cardinal replied. “But,” he added, “there is a man named Jack Nicklaus. He is an American golfer who is a devout Catholic. We can offer to make him a Cardinal, then ask him to play Mr. Netanyahu as your personal representative. In addition to showing our spirit of cooperation, we will also win the match.”
Well, His Holiness the Pope and his Cardinals thought this over, and everyone agreed it was a good idea.
So, the call was made to the Israeli government to arrange the tournament.
Of course, Jack Nicklaus was honored to be appointed a Cardinal, and agreed to play.
The day after the match, Jack Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of the result.
“I have some good news and some bad news, your Holiness”, he said to the Pope.
“Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus,” said the Pope.
“Well, your Holiness, I don’t like to brag, but even though I’ve played some pretty terrific rounds of golf in my life, this was the best I have ever played, by far. I must have been inspired from above. My drives were long and true, my irons were accurate and purposeful, and my putting was perfect. With all due respect, my play was truly miraculous”.
“There is bad news?”, the Pope asked.
“Yes”, Nicklaus sighed. “I lost to Rabbi Tiger Woods by three strokes.”
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