"It's not exactly the fight over Ted Williams' head, but it's as close as it gets in golf."

jones2.jpgCatching up on my reading here and finally got around to Jim Moriarty's Golf World piece on the Jones brother spat. Some fun new anecdotes about these two hotheads wonderfully talented salesman architects:

The worst-kept secret in golf is that Bobby, 67, doesn't like Rees, and Rees, 65, doesn't like Bobby. The brothers even had separate receiving lines following their father's memorial service in Florida after he passed away in 2000 at 93. Their noogie fight over the legacy of their famous father took a particularly ugly turn and became a matter of public record when Rees filed suit against his brother in December 2005.

The lawsuit, which is currently in mediation, alleges that Bobby owes Rees $98,869 to fulfill a liability remaining from the estate of their mother, Ione, who died in 1987, and that Bobby also owes Rees one-half of all royalties (guaranteed at a minimum of $75,000) from an agreement Bobby made licensing the name Robert Trent Jones to Gear For Sports for a clothing line. In a countersuit Bobby seeks to have the court enjoin Rees from using the nickname "Open Doctor," which Bobby maintains rightly belonged to their father--who infamously turned Oakland Hills CC into Ben Hogan's "monster"--and, thus, to him since he claims ownership of all post-mortem rights pertaining to the identity of the senior Jones. It's not exactly the fight over Ted Williams' head, but it's as close as it gets in golf.

This is touching...

Five years ago, on Rees' 60th birthday, Bobby boxed an olive branch, enclosed one of his poems written for the occasion and sent it to his brother. It came back unopened. Rees refused to be interviewed for this story but made one comment during a brief telephone conversation. "There's no connection between the two of us right now," he said. "He [Bobby] has his business, and I've got mine." On the other hand, when Bobby was asked if the estrangement from his brother is complete, he replied, "No."