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April 13, 2005

Jack Nicklaus

Gary Player

JAMES CRAMER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is James Cramer. I'm the director of public relations for the PGA TOUR, and I'd like to thank you for coming out and helping us have this great Captains Day here at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in advance of the 2005 Presidents Cup. Before we begin, I'd like to introduce a number of dignitaries that are joining us here today. From Prince William County, we have Chairman Sean Connaughton; county executive Craig Gerhart from Prince William County, and the mayor from the City of Manassas, the Honourable Douglas Waldron. I'd like to turn the ceremonies over to Mike Bodney, the senior vice president of PGA TOUR Championship Management to say a few words about the Presidents Cup and introduce the captains. Mike?

MIKE BODNEY: Thank you, James. Basically what I would like to do is just thank you all for being here today and welcome you. We've got 160 days before the Presidents Cup. We are very excited about what's going to happen. A little bit of unfinished business from 2003 that I'm sure the captains will talk to you a little bit about. And the club, everybody that's been involved with the Presidents Cup since 2003 is just really excited about what's going to happen here in September, and hopefully all of you all will have the opportunity to come and join us. With that said, these are the gentlemen you want to talk to, and I'd like to introduce Captain Player to make a few remarks at this time.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, thanks for coming along today. I'd just like to say, having captained the Presidents Cup, and on behalf of the Rest of the World last year was an honor and a great experience for me, one of the three greatest experiences of my life. I suppose being played in South Africa, where a lot of people weren't quite aware of just the degree, just what it could do for a country. It had a significant bearing in South Africa. Our President, who came along and wasn't sure what he was going to be subjected to, ended up enjoying it immensely. It was a very touching experience to have President Bush, Sr., there and other dignitaries, Nelson Mandela, and so it was a great event. Also, at the time, to have the two leading players, both black, I thought it was quite a significant thing, because obviously, we have a majority of a black population. And for these young kids to see a Tiger Woods and a Vijay Singh, No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, is a great encouragement for them and gives them a great dream to be fulfilled in the future. The matches were just extraordinary. For a match of that significance to end up a tie is great amazing. The odds are a thousand to one or more that it would happen, particularly at the closing stages how close they were; and Jack's team were up and mine were up and to end up a tie was just, I thought, appropriate. We were both compatible as we've always been, having been friends for so long. I think the great thing about the Presidents Cup, unlike the Ryder Cup, if I may be so bold as to say, it's played in different parts of the world. And so, it boosts golf, a game that both Jack and I are so grateful for that we've had the opportunity to compete for so long; 53 years I've been a professional. And it's played in different countries and it boosts the golf all over the world, which we like to see. And it's also an opportunity for us as old cooks now to still be able to compete against each other, and I think the other fact of it that is very prom meant in my thoughts is that charity is a great benefactor. You think of the number of countries, the number of cities that have derived the proceeds is fantastic. I know it helped junior golf in South Africa. We have a development fund for young and upcoming young golfers who can't afford it to be able to have the money to develop their games and possibly become another Tiger Woods or a Vijay Singh. We had a look at the golf course this morning. We say thank you to the sponsors, and the golf course looked really beautiful, and I think this is going to be, as Jack and I have said, unfinished business. We've both got good teams, and we have asked our players from the beginning and we said it here is to play in the spirit of the game. I was a little disappointed with some of the Ryder Cup Matches with the wives and aunties and cousins running on the greens before the other man putts out, and players saying they hate this guy and TV announcers saying they hate this guy. None of that occurs in any of the Presidents Cups, and we hope it will continue to be played in the true spirit of the game to be great role models for the millions of young people that are playing. This is a wonderful place to be played near the White House, which I've heard a rumor we might even be invited over for dinner, which would be a great honor, and so we look forward to the event in anticipation. Thank you.

MIKE BODNEY: Thank you, Captain Player. (Applause) Captain Nicklaus?

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: Ditto (laughter). As usual, Gary said everything. I endorse Gary's remarks. I think what he said was absolutely very accurate. I've said many times that the matches we played in 2003 in South Africa, it was the most enjoyable, most fulfilling event that I've ever been involved with. Between all of the individual events I've ever played in, all of the other ones, that was absolutely the best event I've ever been in. And it was not for the reason of the golf; it was for the reason of what it meant and what it did for the country of South Africa, what it did for the game of golf, what it did for international relations. And to have the two teams tie and have them walk away, have them watching the people walk away from the playoff holes arm-in-arm, singing; and the presentation with the President who was overcome by what was going on; to see what had happened in his country; it was something that I've never been involved with before and probably never will be involved with again. It was pretty special. And of course, the matches, as Gary said, they were played in the right spirit, and I'm sure that they will be played in the same spirit again this time, which is the spirit of sportsmanship, goodwill and hopefully we might have a winner this time. Frankly I could care less if we even have a tie again; that would be fine, too. Really wouldn't bother me one way or the other. Let's see, what else do we have here? I think Gary basically covered everything. He covered charity, which obviously at this point I think you've had 10.5 million has been generated. Money goes to nine different countries and 75 cities benefitted the previous Presidents Cups. You're going to have a pretty good media turnout here, over 700 media who have been credentialed at RTJ and it will be broadcast in more than 140 countries. So we have currently, we have the top 60 players in the world, 45 of them are vying for spots on both teams. I think if we were in South Africa, last time we had something like 22 of the top 25 players in the world competed in the Presidents Cup the last time. So the top players in the world, I think most of them sit on this side right now. (Laughter). But we've got a few good ones ourselves. I think we're going have some great matches. We're going to have great fun. Gary and I, I know we enjoyed last time being captains, and to be captain again, this is my third time to be captain of the Presidents Cup team, and it's been a great honor on both occasions, my first time in this country. Did it in Australia, did it in South Africa, and I'm really looking forward to September and it will be a special event. Thank you. (Applause.)

Q. At the Ryder Cup last year, there was some second guessing about the pairings, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. I guess I'm just curious from your own perspective whether or not -

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: Are you talking to me or are you talking to Gary or both of us?

Q. I would be curious what you think about pairing Woods and Mickelson, but more generally than that, I guess I am curious as you put teams together, whether you feel as captains that you are obligated to sort of take into account players' friendships and rivalries, or if you feel like that should be something that players could work through on their own?

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I think that -- I'm not going to speak for Gary. Gary may have a totally different feeling than I have, so I'll let him speak to himself. But my feeling is when I went down to the Presidents Cup, as I have done in the Ryder Cup, I've asked the players. I said, "Guys, very quietly, if you want to, come to me and tell me if there's somebody you want to play with or somebody you don't want to play with." And going down on the airplane, Charles Howell and Tiger Woods came to me, when they both came to me right immediately when we got there and they said, "We would like to play together." Solved that problem. I don't think that anybody should play with anybody they don't want to play with. I don't think anybody should -- and I don't necessarily -- and I certainly reserve the right, if I don't feel the two guys should play together, I wouldn't put them together, even if they want to play together. You know, our job is to try to put the best matching teams together that we think will do well as a team. Frankly when I was down there, everybody on our team said, "We'll play with anybody." My guess is that when Tiger and Phil played at Oakland Hills, when they probably said, "Anybody here doesn't want to play with anybody," and probably nobody said a word and Hal put the two of them together. I have no idea, I've never talked to Hal about it, but that might be my guess. But I don't think it's -- don't give the captains too much credit of what we do. I mean, the players really tell you who they want to play with, and they are all good players, so it really wasn't going to make much difference.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: Well, I think that one of the advantages, in my opinion, the Presidents Cup versus Ryder Cup, Ryder Cup you have to submit your team in an envelope, if I'm correct. I've never been associated with it, but you submit your teams in an envelope, which for you guys is not very exciting for or the public. But Jack and I now have to sit at a table and try to the best of our ability outwit each other in putting our team in selecting who we feel will beat his team. He has to put a name up and then I have to put a name up and then I put one up and then he puts one up. It's exciting because a lot of you guys are present and you see this taking place, and it adds great interest. I think that if you look at what happened in the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, Tiger played -- I can't remember who he played against, but it was a foregone conclusion in my opinion that he was going to win, which he did, handsomely. Whereas, if you had Tiger against one of their really best match players, would have been very, very exciting. It was anticlimactic as far as I was concerned. I think also in the case of which we have to do, we have to submit if there is a tie who we will have represent our respective teams. Jack put in Tiger Woods, obviously. Vijay Singh at the time was ahead of Ernie, I don't remember whether he was 1 in the world at that stage, but he was ahead of Ernie and I didn't put Vijay Singh's name in the hat. I put Ernie Els and I went to Vijay and I said, "Vijay, if we were playing anywhere else, I would put you ahead of Ernie." But I said, "Playing in South Africa in front of his own people on his own golf course, I hope you understand the reason why I put him in." And he was so nice about it. I think it's a matter in these matches of trusting instinct, even though it rendered no reason.

Q. This may be one of the first team match-play events in which the Americans will not be favored, and I really want to ask not you whether you think that you should be favored or not favored, but is there any advantage to being the underdog, psychological?

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I think let me answer that if I may first. I think Gary, if you look at the list of players today in the world, Gary has got probably 20 of the best players in the world today to choose 12 players from. Frankly, I think that the international game and the international players are getting stronger all the time. And so if there is to be a favorite, you know, I certainly think that Gary, the international players would be. I think they are more seasoned, more experienced and they frankly have to be able to travel all over the world to be able to play. The American players are playing here, and the only advantage we have is that they are playing here and they are playing on American soil which will help even them a bit. But Gary's got quite a list of good players I think this year, don't you?

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: Yes, I do, Jack. Except it's just played over one week; it's not played over a year, and so anything can happen.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: Anything can happen.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: That's the game of golf. Anything can happen. I think -- it's a very good question I think that you've posed there. It's a very strange thing to hear you say that the International Team might be favored. The Ryder Cup, you've lost four out of the last five and they still make the U.S. favorites. (Laughter) I don't understand. A man gets beat four out of five times; he's the favorite. I think that's a disadvantage for the Ryder Cup. Quite honestly they should be saying they are not favorites. And you're right, it makes a big difference psychologically. Listen, these guys, we're not favored anymore, which we've been for 50 years. We're going to show them. I just think that's a great question.

Q. Sort of same thing to you, Jack. Along those lines, do you think it might actually help your guys that they won't be the favorite? Every year it seems there is so much pressure on the Ryder Cup and they have to necessarily perform in this event where the teams have been much more evenly matched.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I'm not sure what I think really. I sort of feel that there is so much pressure has been put on both teams to be the best, and maybe a lot of pressure has been put on the American team, because as you're talking about, they have been called favorites. And frankly, they are probably not going to be favorites for the Presidents Cup, even though it is on this soil. But my feeling is, one of the jobs I try to do is let the guys have fun. I don't want to put any pressure on them. If they want to play a practice round, go play. If you don't want to play a practice round, don't go play a practice round. Just show up on Thursday and be ready to play. Basically I like to -- I think it's very difficult for a Vijay Singh, for an Ernie Els, for a Retief Goosen, for a Tiger Woods, for a Phil Mickelson who are probably the top five players in the world today whose whole years are based around playing in major championships. They have got pressure put on them for all of those events; then to get to at the end of the season, when they haven't prepared to totally play their best golf, they are asked to come up and do it again. Now, I think it's difficult for those, probably those five particularly to play. I know it was always difficult for me in the Ryder Cup to do that to get ready to play. But we have the rest of the guys who haven't been making teams who aren't there every year who I feel are really eager to play and really eager to get in the game. So if the job is to get the Tigers and the Ernies and the Mickelsons interested in the matches, because their year has really been over; but to calm down the guys and get them, show their abilities for the other guys. So you've got a little bit of a balance there to play and I think that's one of the biggest jobs a captain can do is how do you really work with your guys and not try to make it be such a big deal that they can't play; or make it a big enough deal that they do play. So you've got to handle different guys in different ways.

Q. So the blood-and-guts captaincy doesn't really work in your --

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I think -- I think it really -- these guys play. They didn't get on this team by being motivated by somebody else. They got on this team because of the record they have of where they played around the world and how well they have played. I don't think it makes much difference what I can say to them to get them pumped up. What I think I say to them is basically be their friend, accommodate them, make sure I have plenty of tees, extra spikes, fresh towels, sunscreen. That's basically what I do. (Laughter). I think that's probably -- frankly, I think the American teams have a tendency to get uptight and whereas Europeans in the Ryder Cup being the underdogs, yet they were perceived the underdogs, and maybe they got a little upset they were perceived underdogs and the Americans got drummed out three out of the last four years and four out of the last five. I think it's a little bit of a game you play.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: I'd like to first of all convince myself that they are not favorites for that week. So I've got to psychologically get that into their heads. And, you know, they are playing on American soil and it's going to be tougher, obviously, to beat the Americans in their home backyard. But I wholeheartedly agree with that. I don't believe in that blood and guts the way you put it. These are all professional men who are the best in the world. You don't have to start brainwashing them and telling them things. They understand it. They know what they are in for. They are trained soldiers.

Q. In recent events, especially Ryder Cups, U.S. teams have struggled in the team matches. Do you have an explanation for that? And also, with the International Team having so many top players, do you think you might suffer from that same problem?

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: I think that's how things have worked out. I don't know whether it's a coincidence or not. Maybe in the Ryder Cup that's what you say. In the Ryder Cup the Europeans play completely differently to the Americans. They play a lot of practice rounds with each other. They are not traveling with, you know, you see Tiger coming in a G5 and Phil Mickelson with another G4 or something, and then you see ten small planes come in with the caddies. It's a different atmosphere. (Laughter). They come in by Greyhound bus and they all have the banjos out and they are singing together. This kind of comparison, and they are used to each other, they play practice rounds with each other. Whereas one guy said -- I've got a great kick out of it when he played. He said, "I've seen more of Tiger Woods this week than I've seen of him all year," which really was interesting for me to hear that. I don't know whether it's a coincidence that that happens, but maybe the fact that they are together more, that works out. It's hard to work out when you're talking about professional sports.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I can answer but I can't remember what the question was. (Laughter). No, no, I knew the question. (Laughter). I don't know how to answer it. I've got to think that the persons have done better in individual competitions that than they have in the team competitions. That's absolutely right. But why, who knows? I don't know.

Q. What kind of plane did you fly? (Laughter)

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: I'll tell you a real great story. I was playing in Fort Worth, Texas, and I really didn't have much money. In fact, I couldn't even bring my wife over with me. I said, well if you do, you can come over. I was standing next to the clubhouse. I can remember this as well as can be, and I was pondering, how do I get to Houston? Do I go by Greyhound bus, do I ask one of the players, and most of them have left already. So I thought, well, I'll probably have to fly, although that's going to hurt my back pocket. And a guy called Wild Bill Melhorn, none of you in this room have heard of him. He was a wonderful golfer, really good, but he couldn't hole a putt. He really couldn't hole a putt from here. I felt this pat on my shoulder. He said,

Son you're playing in a tournament?" He says, "How are you going to Houston?"

I said, "Well, I'm sitting here wondering how." He said, "I'll give you a ride." He had his putter in his hands. He said, "I give you the car, you drive." And I don't have a license and I don't drive on this side of the road. He said, "Drive! Drive! Faster! Faster!" Man, 70 miles an hour with no license on the right-hand side of the road, with this big fat in his hand and he's got his putter, he put it -- and he said, you sucker, you son of a -- (laughter). (Inaudible.)

Q. That's a tough one to follow. The lasting image of the '03 Presidents Cup will be will you guys settling things on the final green. How much does that settlement reflect your relationship? I guess the other question is: Would that have happened with two other people who didn't know each other or respect each other so well?

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: Gary and I have been friends from the first day we met. We've respected each other's opinions. Our families have spent time together. We both felt the same way about the Presidents Cup and the sportsmanship in which we played. Not many teams have you seen the two captains walking down the fairway together in a playoff, which is what Gary and I did. I think neither one of us felt that those matches should have gone to extra holes. However, that was the Captains Agreement. When we kept going, neither one of us wanted to see the other one lose. We both felt that walking down. We both said, "Neither team deserves to lose. They have played so well and they have really worked hard at it." We walked down and they tied the first hole and then they tied the second hole and it was starting to get a little bit dark. Gary and both looked at each other and said, well, if they tie this hole because if it goes beyond here, we can't play. We sort of -- we sort of together thought that what happened is what should happen because we both felt so strongly about what it was. And whether I could have done that with somebody else or Gary could have done that with somebody else, I don't know. But I think Gary and I both had the same feeling for the game of golf, I think the same feeling for what that could have meant for South Africa and what that meant for the game of golf around the world. And thank goodness that we did, because we think that the decision was the right decision and I assume that if we had not thought that was the right decision, I don't think Tim would have changed the structure of the matches to change that decision for the future, which he did. So maybe Gary and I were just both in the right place at the right time together.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: I think besides our mutual respect for each other over the years and our friendship, I think circumstances did prevail. To be playing in that life and I know the greens very well because I designed it, and I tell you, it was a tough green. When Tiger Woods holed that 20-footer, it will go down in my mind as one of the greatest putts I've ever seen, really. I didn't give him a chance. And Ernie Els' 8-footer straight uphill, I thought we had won, and Tiger nailed it right in the middle. Of course, Ernie then had a putt; that the hole must have looked the size of a Bayer Aspirin, and it was getting dark and he drove it right in the middle. How do you go on after that? I think it's just appropriate that that happened.

Q. You mentioned that you've been friends since you've met. Can you talk about when you met and what that was about? I know you stayed at Jack's house once during the PGA.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: Well, we met at Augusta probably first time. I saw Jack play at Cherry Hills when he was an amateur, very -- should have won the tournament but got friendly with Jack when he was at Augusta and sitting outside the clubhouse and I went up to him. I just said, "Well, I'm so impressed with the way you play and you're going to win this many times." Little did I know he would win it six times. I think that's how we started. And then I did stay with him at his house when we were in the PGA, and we were tied going into the last round. Every time Barbara served me bacon and eggs, I quickly took the plates and swapped them around just in case they put Exlax or something in my food. (Laughter).

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: You enjoyed the prune cake. (Laughter).

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: But, you know, I always remember the great American football coach Bear Bryant or somebody similar saying, show me a good loser, show me a man who loses well and I'll show you a non-winner. That's not applied to us, we've won and we've beaten each other and we've lost and still have great affection for each other.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I first saw Gary play before he knew me in 1958 at Southern Hills. I kid him about it all the time. He used to be a vision in white then, remember that? He had this white outfit on and he had this club at the top of the swing right here just like this. The back of the swing, I says, "Well, we don't have to worry about him. He'll never make it." (Laughter). He has no chance from there. Of course he finished second in the Open and you were like, what, 19 at the time or 20? You were pretty young. I know you weren't that young, 22, because it was 1958.

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: Oh, I can't remember.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I was 18. So you're four years older than I am, right? Anyway, you were 22. He was that way when he finished second and the next time I saw Gary Player, he had gone from here to there on his backswing. I says, "That young man is going to be a very good player." Here is a guy that finishes second in the U.S. Open, takes his whole game which is really hard to play from there and moved it right to there. You know, here is a guy that's willing to take chances and change his game to try to improve to be a better player, and I knew he was going to be a great player, when I started seeing that kind of stuff out of Gary Player. As I say, we've competed, we've traveled together, families have spent tons of time together and we've had -- we've had great times. And I think that the Presidents Cup was probably, you know, one of the greatest times we had a couple of years ago.

JAMES CRAMER: Ladies and gentlemen, our captains are on a very tight schedule, so we have time for one more in the back.

Q. For both captains, the so-called "Big Five" will be here in September. Will you talk about the level of play over last few years of the Big Five and some have mentioned how do they compare with the big three that you guys were a part of back in your day?

CAPTAIN GARY PLAYER: Well, I think anybody, if I may reduce it to say two big ones, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, I'm emphatic about this, and I've given it a lot of thought because it's a question that's posed. Anybody who tries to compare Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus doesn't know anything about golf. It's not possible. The one man plays with a metal head with tremendous spring effect, trampoline effect which makes the ball go almost twice as straight; a lightweight shaft which is 70 grams lighter, and longer or shorter, whichever you choose; and a golf ball that goes 50 to 60 yards further; and a right to the perfection, machines that cut greens and fairways to perfections, and playing for all of this kind of prize money and conveniences, you can't compare them. You can only compare people in that era. I mean, Jack played in Sun City, South Africa in this big tournament that we have every year, and nobody has ever reached a green with an iron, and Jack hit a driver and a 1-iron. These guys today hit a driver and a 7-iron, and some of the guys hit a 7-iron definitely did not hit the ball as Jack. So you can't compare. You've got to compare apples with apples to orange and apples together so you compare at the time. How about Ben Hogan? You read according to the statistics put out that Tiger Woods was averaging five fairways a day last year when he was playing. This was the TV announcers are telling us. Ben Hogan didn't miss five fairways a month. So, you know, that's playing with inferior equipment. So you can only compare during the time, I believe. It's impossible to compare. I mean, I can imagine Jack playing, hitting the ball in his time, it was so prestigious to see the distances he was hitting. Can I imagine him hitting it 60 yards further? Wow, what would he have scored? What would Ben Hogan have scored in this marvelous golfing machine? What would we have scored on perfect greens and the equipment he has today? I don't believe there's a man playing golf today that can come close to Hogan from tee-to-greens. Hard to imagine. I know they didn't. There's nobody that comes close, not even close to Hogan, from green -- from tee-to-green. And that's using inferior stuff, even more inferior than we used. Every time we played a round of golf, we had a ring in our belly, and every day we took that ball and tried to putt it through a ring; if it didn't go through the ring, we would put it into our shag bag. Young guys, all they know about a ring is marriage. You can't compare.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I know that I've had -- the golf ball I played when we were growing up, you know, I've had the USGA come to me and they said Jack, I don't know how you played with that golf ball. They said we tested it with our machine one ball, go out this way, next ball, 20 yards this way. You're talking about Hogan, I played with Hogan 1960 U.S. Open and we played -- previous day he had hit 18 greens in a row and he came out in the U.S. Open, the next 34 greens in a row, before he missed one little pitch shot at 17. I don't think he missed a fairway either. But that's playing the U.S. Open. You know, guys today don't do that. The game has changed so much. You're trying to compare Arnold and Gary and myself to the five guys you were talking, to really go back to your original question, I think Gary's right; two different eras, two different pieces of equipment, two different times. If the game today is power, then the game today is power. The game that we played, power was a great advantage and I had that great advantage because I did have the power. But I felt like 80 to 90 percent of the golf I played was playing the game of golf that Gary or Hogan played. Put the ball in play. You know, when I used my power, I had an advantage and that gave me a little advantage over the guys. Today it really doesn't make a whole lot of difference. So those Top-5 guys that you mentioned, I assume it was those Top-5, statistics had, whoever the five top winning money winners were last year, not a one of them was in the Top 120 in driving accuracy. You know, I think that the game has to have a balance, and the game has to have a balance of varieties of skills to where somebody of Gary Player's stature has the ability to compete against somebody of Ernie Els' stature. That's what the game has always had -- that was the beauty of the game. Ben Hogan was not a big man. Cary Middlecoff, who was about 6'3, I guess Doc was. A small man could play, but you don't see it in sports anymore really. You don't see -- well, I don't know, I can't really compare baseball because they are all big now. (Laughter). Well, never mind because I don't know anything about that. (Laughter). What I'm saying is you used have athletes in all sports who really were -- could play, and were little people, or were a variety of sizes. Most sports have become, tennis has become basically, you know, for the men, basically, Federer just murders everybody, Roddick murders everybody. Basically, what does he do? He does it with a serve. Federer is a fantastic all-around player no question about that. But Gary Player as a fantastic all-around golfer. I do think that the guys today that are in those Top-5, give them the same circumstances we had, they would probably be the same best five players. They would learn to adapt to whatever the conditions were. Given the conditions that we have today versus Arnold and I to Gary and I going to that level and do that, I don't think the same three would prevail that way. I think it would be too difficult a game -- I think it would be too difficult a game for player to compete in a game of power. So I think there should be more balance within the game. You know, I don't want to get into it, but I guess the USGA has had a release, what's that, today they had that, or yesterday, Monday, about things they are trying to do with the golf ball and talking about doing experimenting. Hopefully they are thinking that direction where they can bring the big man and the little man closer together in playing togethers.

GARY PLAYER: The spike marks, it's interesting, you live with something, you don't see the wood through the trees. Now, when we played, everybody, there were no soft spikes, and every green was just inundated with hundreds of spike marks, and that's why everybody seemed to putt with a bit of a pop. They didn't have this beautiful slow streak. And Vijay saw the spike marks that he saw at Augusta, and it was one man who was responsible for it so far as could I understand, and I wasn't in the locker room when it happened. And I thought well, gee, here's few spike marks. But we putted down every single green with hundreds on it, and that's a very significant thing. When you're putting and you've got all those spike marks, so those things make a very big difference to scoring.

CAPTAIN JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know whether we answered your question. It's pretty difficult to really compare eras. I mean, when I try to compare the Jones era the Snead and Hogan era, Snead and Hogan era to our era is actually closer because equipment had not changed much. But the equipment today is so different, it's pretty difficult to compare those, and whether we could compete in their era and they could compete in our era. I think all champions would have competed well in all eras, but certainly the conditions make it difficult for certain guys to compete in certain eras.

JAMES CRAMER: Captain Nicklaus, Captain Player, thank you very much for taking part in our Captains Day. I'd like to thank the media also for coming out and taking part in Captains Day.

End of FastScripts�.

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