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July 25, 2017

Jack Nicklaus

Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Q. You're a global icon but you've also made a big contribution to Canada. Wanted to get your thoughts on what does it mean to you to be in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and to inspire Canadians to pick up the game?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, it's always nice to be in any Hall of Fame. I don't remember what year I was inducted but it's a while back. I think all Hall of Fames are worthwhile organizations. A couple people back in the day are very worthy of that situation, and as I got inducted, the sun broke out.

Q. When is the last time you were here?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know. Probably, I don't know, ten, 15 years ago, 20 years ago. Been a while. I don't know. I don't remember the last time I played. Probably, hasn’t been probably 20 years.

Q. You've got a connection to Glen Abbey. What is your personal feelings towards the course?
JACK NICKLAUS: It was my first golf course I did alone. I did it not as a second Muirfield was the first golf course I did, but from a gallery standpoint and that was the first golf course that was done from a gallery standpoint, and I think Glen Abbey was even more from a gallery standpoint.

It was done for the Canadian Open. I came up with the concept of the spoke of the wheel, and how you sort of inner circle, middle circle, outer circle and you have different ways to watch it, walk it. Never let us cut any of the trees on the ridge, but the ridge was supposed to be another walking place, be able to walk up and down the original without ever going into the valley but they never allowed that to happen, which is probably okay.

But I'm very proud of Glen Abbey. It's hosted what number is this, 29th Canadian Open, is that what it is? That's a couple. A lot of you aren't that old. So anyway, that's been good. I think it's contributed a lot to the game of golf in Canada.

Shows you that a location does help grow the game.

I think if you look at Augusta and what's happened at Augusta and have one location that's helped grow it; I think the other tournaments struggle a little bit from time to time moving from site to site. I can understand your National Championship, wanting to move from site to site, but if you really want to grow something into something significant, I think probably the best you can do is be at one place.

Q. You know the golf industry better than anybody else. Have you heard about a sale and golf courses under pressure from real estate, etc., and what's your thoughts about that?
JACK NICKLAUS: It is what it is. Glen Abbey is under pressure from that standpoint. I'd hate to see it torn down but progress moves on. If we got this golf course 41 years ago, I think we can do something better today. I think I've gotten better.

Q. What made a business relationship turn into a friendship with Dick Grimm?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, it was more of a personal relationship, not a business relationship. Never was a business relationship. Dick and I were friends for a long time, from the time I started playing in the Canadian Open, and when he thought about doing Glen Abbey, they called me and said, "I'd like to have you do it." That's why I was here.

Q. In reference to the real estate element, have you ever had one of your courses that have disappeared because of real estate?
JACK NICKLAUS: Probably but I'm not sure where. I would bet that, yes, but I don't know. I can't recall one but got to be one somewhere that somebody didn't like what I did (laughter).

Q. Was there a part of this course that you really enjoyed sort of building most or designing most?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I just enjoyed the concept of what we tried to do. The concept of creating the gallery situation and creating the spoke of the wheel and creating a place for people to enjoy the game of golf. And to find that it's still, after 40 some years, it still is viable to what's going on.

Q. I imagine it's special as a player to come up 18 and see that crowd, but being the guy that signed that, coming up as a player, what was that like for you?
JACK NICKLAUS: Playing as a player, just don't hook it, don't hit it fat. As a player, you're not worried about what people are looking at. You're trying to figure out how you play it, and that green is actually designed more to throw a ball in left to right than it is right to left. There's a million balls, including my own, that went over that green to the left. It's bail out.

Q. Wanted to get your thoughts on Jordan's win and how great a champion he can be moving forward.
JACK NICKLAUS: That was pretty good. I watched most of it. When he did what he did at 13, if he missed the putt at 13, I don't think he would have won the tournament. But he showed so much determination and grit and his skill came out, and he just sort of went right after it. Matt Kuchar didn't lose the tournament. Jordan won it.

Q. How great can he be?
JACK NICKLAUS: Up to him. He can be pretty good. He's already pretty good.

Q. What about him as you watched him kind of jumps out at you as a competitor?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, the things that he's done at a very young age; seeing how he's he seems to at times not even hit the ball particularly straight but still figures out a way to manage his way around a golf course, which is maturity at a very young age. Something that's pretty special. It's hard to teach and you have to learn and you have to sort of the discipline of making yourself be able to do that, it's not easy.

Q. Have you had a chance to bump into Matt Kuchar, what would you say to him?
JACK NICKLAUS: I was with Matt this morning and talked to him a little bit. We talked about how I thought he played an awfully good tournament, did awfully well, and just he ran into a buzzsaw on the last few holes. That's what it amounted to. If you look at it, what did he lose by, three shots as it turned out, and Jordan holed putts as 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. If he misses three of them, it's a tie. If he misses four of them, Matt wins. If he misses all of them which Kuchar seemed to miss all of them, he didn't make any of them well he made one at 17, and Kuchar would have been the winner, and that's generally what happens.

But Spieth was so good coming down the stretch, he was not to be denied there.

Going back to real estate for a second I understand you might be visiting some proper ties while you're in town, and wonder if you have any official role in the process of finding a permanent home to the Canadian Open; have you agreed to design a course.

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I think I'll let the RCGA answer that question. We're working on it. How's that? It's a work in progress.

Q. I'll take what I can get.
JACK NICKLAUS: It's a work in progress, and we are looking at property, yeah. I've been up here before looking at property and trying to settle on something that may work out. Nothing's been officially signed or anything else. But I think that we're certainly trying to figure out what we're going to do.

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