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May 29, 2018
MARK WILLIAMS: Let's get started. We would like to welcome Mr. Nicklaus, the tournament founder, host, and two-time winner of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Nicklaus. It's always a pleasure.
Just once again, it's a fabulous field, one of the best of the season, if you could just make some comments on the quality players we have in this field, and a lot of them you interact with regularly on a regular basis down at the Bear's Club.
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, we virtually have the who's who of players and virtually everybody's here and I think we have probably done pretty well. I think the -- I don't think there's anybody here or anybody that, more than you could ask for, but we're delighted. Probably as good a field as we have ever had probably.
MARK WILLIAMS: It's such a significant tournament from a charity perspective with Nicklaus Children's Healthcare Foundation and the Nationwide Children's Hospital being major beneficiaries. If you could just speak to that and this is the 33rd playing and every year this tournament has contributed to charity and that's a really significant thing.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, the children's hospital has been our beneficiary since day one and then it became Nationwide and then of course, our foundation is a pass-through, basically, we're just here so we can help facilitate anything that goes on and anything else around the country. But not a dime leaves Columbus Ohio, and certainly we don't take anything down to where we go. But it's gotten bigger and better every year from a charity standpoint. We had the spring luncheon, the legends luncheon in April which started out as sort of an afterthought, and that into the -- not really an afterthought, but just sort of something to try and that's grown into a million and quarter this year. And I don't know what number we passed to charity, but it's certainly become a significant number and we're very proud of it.
MARK WILLIAMS: Before we take some questions, just your thoughts on the golf course and the way it's shaping up for this week's event.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well I've got our superintendent, Chad Mark right there in the back and I think you could probably ask Chad some questions, he can give you some technical answers and you won't understand a word of it, but it's quite all right. But I think the golf course is the best it's ever been. I don't know what tomorrow's going to do to it with that little tropical depression coming up, but it will get us a little wet, probably. But the golf course, some things that Chad did here that we haven't done in the past is he's used a poa annua seed retardant on the plant. And if you look at the greens there are no seed heads out there. And I said I didn't know they had that. But he knows they have it. So the greens are fantastic. Our fairways are as good as I've ever seen them. The whole golf course is good, we didn't make any changes from last year that I can recall. And the golf course is there for the guys to play and enjoy. I think they will have a good week.
MARK WILLIAMS: Terrific. We'll take some questions, please.
Q. You talked about bigger and better for the charity. Are you amazed how far the TOUR has come since this event began? I mean when it first began it was like the fifth Major talk and now there's the WGC, there's all these things. Just can you expand a little bit about where things have come from?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, our tournament has always been a significant tournament, I think, and of course I guess most of the players do or they wouldn't be here. But we always felt like when you put on a golf tournament -- when you put on a golf tournament and you try to put your best foot forward, try to put the best golf course you can in the best condition. You try to make sure that you take care of the golf professionals and make sure that they have the things they need that facilitates their week to become a pleasant and enjoyable and fun week for them. Make sure that what you can do for the fans and the people that come in, so that they can enjoy and see the best golf. This is the first golf course that was ever done for gallery. And they talk about stadium golf, well stadium golf was invented here. It wasn't called stadium golf, I called them amphitheaters. But it was invented here and Augusta, Augusta had gallery golf but they added it and they added in the mounds and so forth to get that. We did it from the inception -- you know, you've been here -- so we tried to make sure from the fan experience that it was the best. We didn't design this -- we designed it a little bit after Augusta, and that's why we called it a tournament. The Masters is a tournament. It's not a championship. And we did that on purpose. I think that the game of golf has three major championships and the Masters tournament has become in that vein too. I don't think they need any more championships or majors. Our goal was to do -- much as what Augusta did -- I mean, their whole thing in the original years was to be a service to the game of golf. And our goal here is to be able to put our best foot forward to do the best we can for the game of golf.
Now as the TOUR has gone on and grown, charity has become a very significant part of the TOUR. I think that the TOUR has focused largely on that fact, because basically the volunteers and the people that you have in all the communities, they're going to turn around and say, boy, we worked hard this week, but look what we raised for whatever charity it might be. And most of them really revolve around kids to a large degree, as we do.
But then -- and as a player, you look at it and you say, gee, that's nice for charity, but you didn't think a whole lot about it until you get on the other side of the fence. And I'm on the other side of the fence now and seeing these kids and seeing what's, and what the benefit that happens from what good happens from golf and what happens. And you just, you just need a few kids to see and see what happens to them and say, wow, that's a lot more important than a four-foot putt. And those four-foot putts actually allow that to happen.
So it's kind of a neat deal and I think the TOUR, as we all know, raises more money every year than all the other major sports combined and that's a pretty significant accurate fact. So we're very proud of that. I know the TOUR's very proud of that. But it's all part of also putting on the best show we can put on. Columbus, Ohio is not the biggest city in the country. It's a good size -- I don't know where Columbus ranks as far as the numbers. Anybody know what size Columbus is ranked?
JACK NICKLAUS: 14?
JACK NICKLAUS: 14th largest. Well that's bigger than I thought it was. Certainly when I grew up it wasn't that big. There were a couple hundred thousand people when I was here. But Columbus has always been a great supporter of Ohio State athletics. When we started the Memorial Tournament, outside of six Ohio State football games and a little bit of basketball, which wasn't that big a deal at the time, there wasn't anything. So when we started the Memorial Tournament, we didn't, there wasn't any competition for Columbus, Ohio. We were, Ohio State football and us, we were the ones the city seemed to support. And so the city supported us greatly and Dublin supported us, the whole, all, central Ohio and the Midwest.
And now we're really, we're the -- after this year with Firestone's dropping out, we're the only actually TOUR tournament in the state of Ohio. So that's a pretty significant thing, too, because there's been a lot of good tournaments in the state of Ohio. But we're going to be here for a long time.
Q. A follow-up. PGA next year is -- you're going to be between that and the U.S. Open. What are your thoughts on that? Is that a good thing for this tournament?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think so. Yeah, I think that having -- first of all, the couple of players that were missing this year are requirements to play in the Italian Open, which is a Ryder Cup qualifying event. And guys, some good players they're there. That's being changed next year. The week before the Memorial Tournament next year, which was the PGA Championship that they had, it's getting moved to fall. There's going to be two lesser events in Europe next year. So there will be no reason why we won't have, even though we have the best field this year, no reason why we won't have a better one next year. And sitting two weeks before the PGA Championship or the PGA and two weeks before the U.S. Open, I can't imagine anybody who really is serious about wanting to win the U.S. Open not being here. I mean they're going to have to play golf some time and I don't think, of course that's just me, I never liked to play the week before or the week after. So the Memorial Tournament sits in a great spot. We're still in the same place we were, and the TOUR's respected our wishes and worked with us on the scheduling. I don't know what's going to happen in May in Oak Hill in Rochester, but I wish them well. I hope the weather is good. It's going to be, that's going to a tough time. But I think that rescheduling of the TOUR is okay. I think that the PLAYERS championship going to March, I think is probably back to a good thing. THE PLAYERS Championship is really become -- in May, has become a thing of good weather and not much excitement happens. I want to see what it's like to see a little bit of weather in a golf tournament. Now with the PLAYERS in March we'll have weather. Masters always has some weather, you never know what's going to happen there. Now the PGA will have some, maybe a lot. We always have had a little bit of weather, which is one of the reasons why we wanted to schedule at this time of year because I really, I wanted that uncertainty of what the wind and other things can happen. The U.S. Open has always had weather because they always schedule in June and they have always had an issue with that. British Open always has weather. The PGA event in August never had weather. It was always pretty benign. Maybe had thunder storms and so forth, but that's not the kind of weather when we talk about weather because you don't play in that.
So all the tournaments next year that are significant tournaments will have a little element of weather to them and I think that's probably good for the game, it's good for the players, it's good to have the variety. Some guys will play well in weather, some guys will play -- have a good week and they will play better in that. Some guys will play better in bad weather. Look what Tom Watson did back here, I don't know what it was, 1979 or something like that. I remember, um --
Q. 13 degrees.
JACK NICKLAUS: What?
Q. It was 13 degrees with the wind chill.
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, it was cold. And I remember the day Tom shot 69 here that day. I hit all 18 greens that day, on that day, and shot 73. And I go back and look and I said one of the best rounds I ever played and Watson just dusted me. He just blew me away. But Watson was always a good, you know, a rough weather player and he always played great in the British Open. And that was a week -- and I like that kind of thing.
Q. Mr. Nicklaus, are you surprised that Jason Day hasn't had better results at this tournament, given his talent and the fact that he lives here and is a member here?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, a little, I suppose. But sometimes some fellows are really good at playing at home, some guys maybe aren't quite as good playing at home, they have more things. I really believe that Jason will play well here one of these years, pretty soon and will probably have a run of quite a few years of playing well. He's a very good player. He obviously knows the golf course as well as anybody and he's playing well right now. So we'll see. I would love to see Jason play well here. He's very well liked with the membership. The people like him very much. He handles himself very well. Always very anxious to help out with anything that goes on. So, yeah, we would love to see him play well.
Q. This is the first time Tiger's back since 2015 and that year in the third round he shot 85. And given all the success he's had here over the years and never missed a cut and won five times, how surprising was that to you that he struggled so badly that day?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't remember it. He played a bad round. We all play bad rounds. I think that he, as would we, like to forget it. So I wouldn't dwell on that. Tiger's, I think he's -- I've said it before, I said it, we were talking about it. I like what he's done with his golf swing. I think Tiger's swing right now is probably better than it was. It was, he went down so deep in with his right side down into the ball and the elevation change with his head so bad that he was destined to hit some balls off line. But he hit a lot of balls off line, but he won all those tournaments hitting balls off line. It didn't take his long game -- he didn't win his tournaments with his long game. He won his tournaments because he could figure out how to get it out of trouble, get it somewhere around the green, and his short game has always been fantastic and it's still fantastic. So I think that if Tiger can just play reasonably well tee to green, with his short game, he will be in contention. I mean the thing that's happened with Tiger is that he's been away from the game and while he was away from the game all these young kids have come along and learned how to play and learned how to win. And had the experience of winning and believe they can play. So he's got, he doesn't have the fear factor that he had when he was playing, because those kids, look, oh, here comes Tiger, and they all folded up their tents and went home. Well they don't fold up their tents anymore because they have all learned how to win and learned how to play.
So even though Tiger, I think, will play very well, he's got a lot of competition. Delighted to have him, delighted to see Phil back. I said to Phil a couple years ago, I says, Phil, you know, you're resume's not complete until you get the Memorial tournament. He goes, I know it, I'll be there, I'll see you there. And he's been here every year. So pleased to have Phil back. And one of these years he may pop right through here too.
So we have got some of the older folks, you might say, with Tiger and Phil now. Because Tiger, referring to him as an older folk, but he is, he is an experienced guy and I expect him to play well. I expect Phil to play well. And we've got a lot of young guys that are really playing well right now. Turn around, and I think I know most all of them, and all of a sudden I see the tournament coming in and there's -- here's a new two or three guys that I never seen before, never heard of. And I look at their swings and I say, wow, what great golf swings they have.
First time I ever met Xander Schauffele until this week. I had seen him play quite a bit on television, because I sat down and talked to him a little bit, I guess maybe it was maybe yesterday morning or maybe Sunday morning, I can't remember. Maybe it was Sunday, actually. And what a beautiful golf swing he's got. And how well he's done to start with. And there's a lot of those guys that are really, have beautiful golf swings and they've got good games and are learning how to play the game and they're learning how to win.
So getting back to that, I would love to see Tiger play well, I really would. But I see all these other guys and it's going to be a good tournament. And I think the whole year's going to be interesting because they've got the same thing every week.
Q. Just on Tiger. I know you talked about this a little bit before but how surprised are you that we're coming up on 10 years since he won a Major?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, time flies when you're having fun or sometimes when you're not having fun, too. I don't think Tiger's had a lot of fun the last 10 years. I would hate to have been through what he's been through, because he's been through a lot. But I think that he is a tough competitor, he's a hard worker, and he's still driven. So that's why I never counted him out. Nobody's ever said, how is your record, Jack, I said, you know, I said if Tiger comes back and plays I still think he's got a shot at breaking my record. But whether he does or he doesn't, even with 10 years passing, it doesn't make any difference. I think he's still, he's still a great athlete and a great golfer.
Q. I noticed by the putting green yesterday you were talking with Jordan. Looked like you had putter in hand. He's going through a rough time maybe with the putter right now. What kind of advice can you give him to get through that?
JACK NICKLAUS: We weren't talking about the putter. He just happened to have one in his hand. We were talking about a bunch of other things that we talked about. So.
Q. What kind of advice can you give him with the putter to try to get back on the string he's capable of with his putting game?
JACK NICKLAUS: Putter?
JACK NICKLAUS: I haven't really watched him putt, to be very honest with you. I can't answer that question because I don't know. Has he not been putting well? I asked him yesterday I said, I said your short game's always good, I says you always putt well, and he says yup, yup, yup. So he wasn't saying he was -- we weren't talking about putting, he wasn't worried about it, he was -- and he's driven the ball better this year than he did last year. He thinks he's playing very well right now, so that would be, that was his assessment. We were just talking, I hadn't talked to him for awhile, we talked about charities and we talked about his foundation, our foundation, and some things to do with that. We talked about a variety of things. I just, when somebody's got a club in their hand I always got to grab it and play with it.
Q. Mr. Nicklaus, back in 2012 when Tiger holed that chip on 16 I think it was, you called it the greatest shot you've ever seen, considering the circumstances. Is that still true or is there another shot that's kind of --
JACK NICKLAUS: That was a pretty good one. I haven't seen too many of them that have beaten that. There's been some good ones. I don't know whether there's any other ones, but that one, the shot he played from where he played it, the chances of what was going to happen -- I can't remember, did he hole that shot?
JACK NICKLAUS: It went in? And, but he had probably about that much room to land the ball in (Indicating) and we didn't know what kind of lie he had, so you couldn't tell how he played it and what he did and how he, how the ball reacted when it hit. And what it did was just exactly what it had to do to end up in result he had. Because he could have ended up five just as easily as two. So it was a pretty good shot. Did he win that year? Did he? And so I guess, from the result, I think it made it an even more important shot, didn't it.
Q. When you mentioned that Tiger being away for chunks of time and allowed these other players to come through and learn how to win, etcetera. Would that have happened anyway, do you think, with just age and --
JACK NICKLAUS: Well as Tiger had --
Q. -- or was it just sort of the process?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think a lot of Tiger's success was during the years when he didn't have a lot of guys pushing him. But a lot of Tiger's success with guys pushing him was because he was always there and he pushed them out. So part of winning is winning breeds winning. And if you're not used to winning or you're not used to be in a position to win, then -- and you don't ever have the experience of it -- you don't ever learn how to get it done. So with Tiger having his problems, all these other young guys had the opportunity to learn how to win. And so when he comes back, all of a sudden he's got 10 guys that learned how to win while he was gone and have learned how to win repeatedly. So all of a sudden that becomes a new competition. Before, when you look back and look at when he was winning, when he was in his late 20's, I think there was only one other guy, one -- at one point there was only one other guy below 30 that had even won a tournament. And certainly none of them that had won multiple tournaments. How many do you have under 30 that have won multiple tournaments now? A whole bunch. Seven or eight guys?
MARK WILLIAMS: At least.
JACK NICKLAUS: And so these guys are all, these guys are seasoned veterans, which you can't become a seasoned veteran until you learn how to do it. And that's what they did. That's what I'm talking about.
Q. Well, as silly as this might sound, does Tiger need to learn how to win again?
JACK NICKLAUS: Sure, absolutely. We all have to learn how to win again. I remember in '86 Masters I hadn't won for a couple years and I got to the last round and I got into the back nine and I kept struggling, I couldn't get really going the front nine. And finally I made a putt at 9 and finally I remembered how to play. But I had, I struggled with getting learning how to play. And I holed a couple of putts and all of a sudden you remember, particularly if you've been a champion at one time, you'll remember and you have that to draw on. That's what I had to draw on. Tiger has it to draw on. But he has got to get through the barrier of not having done it for awhile. When you haven't won that always happens and that's human nature. But when you got a guy that's as good as he is and as competitive as he is, he'll break through that barrier. I mean, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Tiger win this week, not at all. I mean I think he's playing well, I think he loves the golf course, he's always played well here, and his remembrance of what he's done here will come back into his head. That will help him play better.
Q. From a mental standpoint there's a lot with golf, swing thoughts, just mental positive thoughts, so much going through, how do you keep the positive thoughts in your head and try to tune everything else, any additional extra weight out of that?
JACK NICKLAUS: Never bothered. I never bothered to do that. I just went ahead and whatever thoughts I had and whatever thoughts I wanted to use -- I didn't mind negative thoughts. I mean, to me, if you're standing on the 12th tee at Muirfield Village and you're not worried about the water, you're going to play a positive thought and you're just going to hit it in there, I don't think you're very smart. You got to know that there's problems out there. It's the same as the 12th at Augusta, you got to know that there's problems out there. And I was always aware of -- everybody says tune out the -- I never tuned out anything. I mean, I never knew where I might hit it, so I wanted to make sure, if I knew where it was going to go someplace bad, I wanted to make sure I had that awareness there. So I never played golf that way. I always played golf trying to do what I wanted to do but also aware of what was around me, so I didn't tune out anything. And I don't think any of these guys tune out anything. If they tune it out, pretty soon it's going to get tuned in on them.
Q. You got to know Rickie Fowler a little bit over the years down in Florida. Obviously one of the nicest, most well-liked guys out here. Is there such a thing as being too nice when it comes to winning a major championship or can you be the friendliest, most mild-mannered guy on the course and still beat everybody?
JACK NICKLAUS: I always look at -- if you give yourself enough exposures and he has, he's given himself a lot of exposures to having a chance to win, pretty soon it will fall in for him. I remember my first year on TOUR I got frustrated early on, I had three seconds and I had, I a couple of thirds and fourths early on in the year, in my first year on TOUR. And I was getting frustrated at not winning. I mean, that's sort of ridiculous as a 22 year old, but it was. And I remember Joe Black, who was then running the TOUR and Joe came to me and he said, Jack, he says, don't push it. You don't have to, you don't need to push it. He says, just be patient. He says, pretty soon you'll be, instead of shooting 36 the last nine holes you'll shoot and you'll win. He said, just let it happen, Just keep doing what you do, keep yourself your nose at the grind stone, pretty soon, all of a sudden, you'll make a couple of putts that you, that you're not really just sort of trying to force into the hole, that just happen because you're really playing well and it happens. And pretty soon all of a sudden, hey, look what I got? You know. I think it will happen to Rickie. I think Rickie, you're right, he's a really, really nice guy. I wouldn't talk, I wouldn't call him too nice a guy, because he's -- I think he's great competitor. And I don't mean that, not too nice a guy, that's not right way to say it. To say it, that he's too nice to win? No. Rickie's a tough competitor and you can watch him coming down the stretch and he, you know, he'll get it up-and-down from anywhere under pressure. And he does that and he's shown he can do that and he's done that to win other tournaments and he'll do that eventually during a week that's a Major. He'll do that.
Q. What was it about your experience at Muirfield that made you name this course after it?
JACK NICKLAUS: Are you serious? You are serious. Okay. What did I do at Muirfield?
Q. I know you won there.
JACK NICKLAUS: Very good.
Q. You won a lot of places though.
JACK NICKLAUS: What? Yeah, I know, but Muirfield was a place where the fairways were very narrow, the rough was way deep right off the edge of the fairway, and that's the week where if you hit your ball in the rough and you put your bag down to go find the ball, you might not find your bag. And I also said if you had a short caddie you would lose him too. And it was a golf course that I wasn't supposed to win on. Everybody said, oh, don't have to worry about Nicklaus this week, he hits it high and the wind will get him and so forth and so on.
So I was so proud of what I did that week and what I did and the discipline that I had to win that golf tournament that that was just something so very special to me. So when we came to name this place I said, I'm so proud of what happened at Muirfield -- and I didn't want to name it Muirfield, I wanted to -- the name is Muirfield Village Golf Club. So we added the village. We had Muirfield Village Golf Club, rather than calling it Muirfield. And it gets shortened to Muirfield, obviously, but it is, it is Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Q. And what happened in '72 didn't taint your feelings about the place at all?
JACK NICKLAUS: What happened in '72?
Q. You, you were going for the Grand Slam and Trevino pulled it out of his hat.
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, that did happen. Then I lost.
You know, I don't remember many of the current ones I lost. I try not to remember those. But, no, in '66 or '72, I had won the first two tournaments and of course I still had the PGA Championship too at that time, so I held three of the championships at the same time. And I got to Muirfield and I hurt my neck on Sunday before the tournament. And my neck was never good, it wasn't good until probably about -- I think we played -- I played 18 holes the last day then, and as I said, it wasn't good until about Saturday. And I was, what I was I? I can't remember what I was. But I was four shots out of the lead maybe going into the last round. Something like that. I can't remember. As I say, I lost, I can't remember all this stuff. And I shot 30 the front nine. And I moved into a tie for the lead. And then I moved, I birdied 11 and moved to one shot, I moved one shot ahead of Jacklin and Trevino. And, but they both played well too right behind me.
And then I bogeyed 12.
And then I stood on the 16th tee and I stood there in '66 and I said, okay, you finish there 3, 4, 4, which is par, birdie, par you're going to win the golf tournament. I finished 3, 4, 4, and I won the golf tournament.
I stood there on the 16th tee and I said to myself, okay, you finish 3, 4, 4 you're going to win the golf tournament. I finished 4, 5, 4, lost the golf tournament by one shot. So I had my destiny right in my own hands and I didn't do it. It didn't make any difference if Trevino chipped it in at 17 or what, I still had it in my hands to do the thing.
But still I love Muirfield. And we played Muirfield in '66 with the big ball and we played it in '72 with, or, I mean, with the small ball and in '72 we played with the big ball. So it was a totally different way to play. I played 17 in the last round with a small ball, I played with a 3-iron off the tee and a 5-iron into the green. And the wind was the other direction, but it was a driver, 3-wood and about a 7-iron. So it was a little different. But did that deter me? No, no. I still like Muirfield a lot.
Q. You mentioned Tiger playing well again and I think we can all agree. How close do you think he is to winning another Major?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, the U.S. Open is in a couple weeks. Shinnecock should be a pretty good golf course for him. I would think he would be -- I think Tiger will be in contention for quite awhile. I think that he'll win when he believes it himself between his ears. When he really starts to believe that -- and maybe winning here would be one thing that would, he would start to believe that he could do that. So wherever it might be. But I think he'll win and I -- do I think he'll win majors again? Yeah, I think he'll win majors again.
Q. Do you remember your first U.S. Open at Shinnecock?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah. 86? Yeah.
Q. Do you remember how it went?
JACK NICKLAUS: I lost.
Q. I was just curious, I think you opened with a 77, not to linger on the negative here.
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't remember what I opened with but my ball at the 10th hole I hit it in the right rough and never found my ball. And I don't know whether somebody stepped on it and pushed it into the ground or somebody picked it up, which, a kid, little kid or somebody, not knowing any different. I think somebody picked the ball up, I really do. And they didn't know any different. I don't think anybody did that intentionally or on purpose. But we never found the ball and it was pouring down rain and I just didn't get off to a good start. I don't remember where I finished.
Q. I'm not sure either. It just made me wonder when I saw that, whatever the number was, on the few occasions where you started a major with a big round, how you proceed from there?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think there was many good scores that day. I think the wind was blowing hard and it was raining like the devil. So it was, how do you, what do you do with that?
Q. How do you approach the rest of the week?
JACK NICKLAUS: You try not to fold your tent, you try to do the best you can. I started at, I remember starting one year at Sandwich with 83. I shot 66 the next day. At least I made the cut. Jackie and I -- never forget, we played that tournament, we finished early on Sunday and I never played Sunningdale so we drove back to London on Sunday afternoon after I played and we played Sunningdale in the afternoon.
Q. After The Open?
JACK NICKLAUS: After The Open, yeah.
Q. Inverness in Toledo, just underwent a highly regarded restoration, which has kind of created some chatter about them maybe hosting another major. What were your memories and thoughts of the course?
JACK NICKLAUS: Inverness? Well I understand they -- Chad, you would know better than I did, did they go back a lot to where they were before, did I hear?
CHAD MARK: Yes, they went back to the Ross design.
JACK NICKLAUS: The original Ross routing? Well the original Ross routing, I started off on the first hole there, played with Freddie Wampler and Tommy Jacobs and I was 17 years old, I hit a 3-wood and a 7-iron on the green 35 feet and holed it for a birdie. Parred the second hole, parred the third hole which then was the little par-3 and then my name went up on the board. And I managed to make double bogey on the fourth hole, the long par-4 and never to be seen again.
And I remember, what did I shoot? A pair of --
Q. 80, 80.
JACK NICKLAUS: A pair of 80s, a pair of 77s or?
Q. Pair of 80s.
JACK NICKLAUS: A pair of 80s? Is that what it was. I keep trying to lower it down, but I can't get it there. But Inverness, I always liked Inverness, I think it's, I think Inverness is a nice golf course. It was not the longest golf course that we played, kind of table top greens, very severe. But a nice golf course. It's a little, it's a little golf course that you had to think your way around. By today's standards, probably a little short. I don't know whether they had have the ability to be able to get the length that they need.
Q. It's like 7,700 now.
JACK NICKLAUS: It's what?
JACK NICKLAUS: 7,700?
Q. Something like that.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well they didn't go back to Donald Ross then. Because I don't think it was 7,000 before. Probably 67 or 6,800 yards.
But I don't know what they did. I have zero idea what they did. But it was little tiny greens and there was -- I always enjoyed playing Inverness. I played Inverness a lot. I used to, not only did I go up there and play the U.S. Open, but there used to be an American Cancer Society event there every year that I played for years at Inverness. My first 10 years on the TOUR I probably went up there.
MARK WILLIAMS: All right, Mr. Nicklaus, thank you for your time and all the best for the tournament this week.
JACK NICKLAUS: Thank you.
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