March 21, 2003
STEVE LOWERY: I was getting worried we were not going to play, but I was able to get back and finish it off.
Q. How different was it?
STEVE LOWERY: Today was a lot softer. Yesterday was unbelievable. Today it was softer, and when we went back out it was even softer.
Q. Can you just talk about your game and how you played, and with the delay, what hindrance that might have been?
STEVE LOWERY: I played well. I putted really well and I made a couple of great saves. You know, the delay was not too bad for us, we had a few holes to play, but it's going to mess up the rest of the field trying to finish. It will drag it out tomorrow maybe even get out early and finish.
Q. Is it different this week, the first thing you think about isn't necessarily making birdies and winning?
STEVE LOWERY: You know, I would not say I think about making birdies and winning. I try to go out and execute the shots and hit my targets and basically deal with what comes.
Q. But this week, with everything that's going on, are you thinking about other things, too?
STEVE LOWERY: Obviously, yeah, guys in the locker room are watching the telecast and it's been almost like a movie or a dream, watching that. Your heart goes out to those guys over there.
Q. Tell us about the week and everybody wants to know about the Masters.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, the week didn't go too well. That's pretty obvious. Although I made some -- wanted to play golf and that's what I did and didn't play well. But a lot of the things I did were quite good. I didn't score very well, I scored horribly but I like some of the things I did.
Well, until I go to Augusta, I can't answer the question on Augusta. I'll go up there shortly.
Q. Is what were your first thoughts this morning, was it on golf or the world situation with IRAQ?
JACK NICKLAUS: First thing I rolled over this morning I turned on the television and watched it like a lot of people did. Then we came back in between the rounds and that's when they went in and Saddam's palace, and what a show that was, my gosh all mighty. That was something else. And the boys are doing a heck of a job over there. We should all be proud of them.
Q. How different was the course from yesterday to this morning to this afternoon when you finished?
JACK NICKLAUS: The course was slow all day. You still had a few greens were a little bouncy early this morning but not much. The greens, it's pretty difficult to get the ball to the hole. After we went back out, it was pretty slow.
Q. Will you go to Augusta in the next week or so?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, I will.
Q. Are you going make up your mind then?
JACK NICKLAUS: Probably. I think if I was going to -- I told them I said I need to go play the golf course and then I'll make up my mind, not two days before the golf tournament. I'll make up my mind after I go see the golf course, and see if I can play it. If I think I can, I'll go play. If this is any indication here, I can't play anything.
Q. Besides the fact that you know if you want to play, the protest, is that going to factor in your decision?
JACK NICKLAUS: No. That has no factor whatsoever.
Q. After Augusta, what is your tournament schedule?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I really haven't made too much of a decision. I'm going to probably play -- more than likely I will play at Texas. Then I'll play a Nationwide event with the boys in May. I'll play the senior majors. I'm planning ongoing to the British Senior. That's about it. I can't imagine me doing much else. I think I probably wore my welcome out on this tour, playing for a couple of weeks and that's probably enough of that.
But, you know, I feel pretty good. I feel like I want to play. I still don't have a very good golf swing yet. Played a lot of good shots, did a lot of good things and made a lot of good changes but I still have a lot of shots that are going left, particularly with the long clubs. I've had that from the start of the year and I'm getting closer to figuring it out, but I have not quite got it out yet. Hopefully if I can get it out then -- left is what I've always eliminated playing golf, and left is what has crept in this year. Only reason it's crept in is because I haven't played for so long and I haven't felt good for so long, I haven't made a swing. All of a sudden I can hit it and I've got to figure out how to eliminate the left side of the golf course then, that's my problem.
Q. When was the last time that happened?
JACK NICKLAUS: I haven't had a left problem for -- since I was a kid, really. I always was able to work out of it. I don't know whether I'm not strong enough to work out of it yet or I'm not moving quick enough, I'm not -- it's all flipped back in the back. I know that I don't have the shoulder turn that I used to but I ought to be able to compensate for that. I'll figure it out.
Q. You said you liked some of the things you did, what were some of the things that you liked?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I really quieted my body a lot on my short game. I made an awful lot of good pitches this week. My half-wedges were all good this week, little 60-, 70-yard shots, 80-yard shots, I hit those all over the place. I've been hitting one out of five on the green and those started coming around which is something you need to do if you're going to play any place.
I changed putters this week. I've moved my eyes back away from the ball. I had them out over the ball and put them back -- even though I 3-putted three or four times yesterday I still felt like the ball was coming off the putter quite nicely, much better than I have been. I've got my body, my hips back -- so not so lateral. That put me in a much better position and quieted down my up-and-down with my head. It kept my -- it actually allowed me to have a more open rotation and stay more level through the ball. There's a lot of things that I did that put good thoughts in my mind and thoughts that I need to have to be able to hit good golf shots. I didn't hit any this week and the last three or four weeks, I've been hitting one out of every six or seven iron shots and hit it halfway to the green, hitting them so fat. I do a lot of things a lot better. I'm not scoring yet but I'm doing a lot of things better.
Q. When you go to Augusta, will it be a matter of changing your mind, a preconceived idea?
JACK NICKLAUS: If I'm able to play the golf course the way it is now with a golf swing. I went up twice last year, with the way I was swinging it last year there was no real reason for me ever to go to Augusta. I hit seven or eight woods on the par 4s into the greens and I'm no going to do that now. I'll hit the same basic clubs I used to, except for the length they have added to the golf course.
But we're all talking about something ridiculous, me playing Augusta, what difference does it make? I'm not going to win Augusta. But you're interested and I appreciate that. That's very nice. But I want to go up and play because I'd like to be there. Whether I can compete or not, I just don't want to be there if I can't.
Q. Do you think the way that the membership issue has unfolded has tarnished Masters?
JACK NICKLAUS: I'm not going to comment on that.
Q. Because you don't know?
JACK NICKLAUS: I just don't have a comment on it.
NICLAS FASTH: It was playing slightly softer than yesterday afternoon and slightly less wind. Obviously after the rain in the middle of the day, it got a lot softer again. Overall, easier than yesterday and especially now toward the end with very little wind and softest greens.
Q. Did you know starting today because of the rain last night and today that you had to put a good number up on there today to take advantage of the conditions?
NICLAS FASTH: Yeah, well, usually you have to, to put a good round in there when you have the morning start. On any type of course with firm greens, the morning is the time to do it, and it was difficult yesterday afternoon. I was really hoping to make a better score today and I was doing it.
Q. What did you do during three hours?
NICLAS FASTH: Just sat very still. It was really boring. You sort of expect, oh, we'll get going soon, we'll get going soon. After a while we started going out practicing and get going again and then we were off.
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