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Will the Gold Bear’s legacy be tarnished by Nicklaus Companies’ lawsuit against him?

Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Nicklaus said Tiger Woods can still beat his record total of 18 major championships provided he gets control of his mental game. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)

The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, 82, is being sued by Nicklaus Companies which accuses the golf legend of alleged a breach of contract, tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duty.

The complaint was filed by Nicklaus Companies in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Jack Nicklaus II is vice Chairman of the Nicklaus Companies according to the complaint, Nicklaus was paid $145 million in 2007 to provide exclusive services and property to the Nicklaus Companies, which the CEO says he failed to do.

Also, Nicklaus is accused of wrongful conduct regarding negotiations with the PIF Saudi Investment Fund where Nicklaus was reportedly offered $100 million to join the startup LIV Golf Invitational Series.

“Thanks to the intervention of Nicklaus Companies, the Company was able to minimize fallout from the situation and protect the goodwill and good name of both the Company and Mr. Nicklaus. The potential irreparable harm that Nicklaus Companies faced had Mr. Nicklaus’s unauthorized activities not been abandoned has been highlighted by the continued statements made by the PGA Tour and various leading Tour players and the substantial negative news coverage criticizing Phil Mickelson’s involvement as a paid endorser of the Saudi-backed golf league. If not for the efforts of Nicklaus Companies, Mr. Nicklaus could have been pilloried in the news media for accepting payment for what could be characterized as betraying the PGA Tour.”

Nicklaus released a statement through his organization.

“The claims made by Howard Milstein are untrue,” Nicklaus said in the statement. “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.”

Nicklaus has less than a month to respond to the complaint.

As a golfer, Nicklaus is one of the best.  He competed in 164 major tournaments, more than any other player, and finished with 73 PGA Tour victories, third behind Sam Snead (82) and Woods (82).