The Pope thought it was a good idea, but he had never held a golf club in his hand.
“Have we not,” he asked, “a cardinal who can represent me against the leader of Israel?”
“None that plays golf very well,” a cardinal said. “But there is a man named Jack Nicklaus, an American golfer who is a devout Catholic. We can offer to make him a cardinal, then ask him to play Benjamin Netanyahu as your personal representative. In addition to showing our spirit of cooperation, we’ll also win the match!” Everyone agreed it was a good idea. The call was made. Of course, Nicklaus was honored and agreed to play.
The day after the match, Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of the match. “I have some good news and some bad news, Your Holiness,” said the golfer.
“Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus,” said the Pope.
“Well, Your Holiness, I don’t like to brag, but though I’ve played some pretty terrific rounds of golf in my life, this was the best I’ve 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.”
“What’s the bad news?” the Pope asked.
Nicklaus sighed. “I lost to Rabbi Tiger Woods by three strokes.”