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June 3, 2005

Jack Nicklaus


Q. Opening statement? Fire away.

JACK NICKLAUS: Wasn't much to open up with. My golf game wasn't much to open up with, that's for sure. You know, each time that I've felt like I was going to play halfway decent, I turned around and made a couple of bogeys in a row, but I guess that's pretty much what my golf game is anymore.

I don't think too many people cared about what my golf game was today, except for me, I suppose. I may be the only one. You know, it probably closes out my golf in the United States and regular tournament golf, more than likely. I may come back here. I certainly wouldn't plan on it.

Q. Did you come to that earlier than today?

JACK NICKLAUS: I came to that a long time ago. I wanted to finish out with some decent golf. My scoring average for the year now is 76.25 (laughing), so I was only three quarters of a shot over that.

Q. Getting your handicap up?

JACK NICKLAUS: I'm a solid 4 now (laughter).

Q. Extremely warm welcome and you reciprocated in kind as you left there. The love affair will never end?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, you know, Muirfield is a pretty special place to me.

Q. The feelings as you were walking up 18? What was going through your mind?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I felt all day I got on the 1st hole, I thought, well, this will probably be the last time I hit it off here. I don't really do that very much. You know, I just once I got into the round, I wanted to play golf. That's just the way I am. I wanted to shoot as good a score as I could.

My putter was bulky, I three putted twice the front nine, missed a couple other short putts, missed a very short putt at 10, missed another very short putt at 11, missed another one at 12. I actually holed a long four footer at 13. I said, "oh, my gosh I actually made a putt." Of course 14 is very nice. I played three nice shots at 14 to make birdie. I thought if I birdie three of the last four holes I think I can still make the cut. I hit a perfect drive at 15, managed to slide it out into the water, and then I didn't do much after that.

Q. As focused as you are, was there nostalgia?

JACK NICKLAUS: I've got a lot of nostalgia and I'm very sentimental and I'm very much that way but I try not to be that way. I try when I'm out there to try to go play golf. That's what I'm out there for. That's what these people came in here to see. They came in to see Jack Nicklaus play golf as well as they came in to see 104 other guys play golf, and I wanted them to see me, not what I did today.

Q. Ernie said he thought he saw a tear in your eye on 18. Were you more emotional there than normal?

JACK NICKLAUS: I had tears in my eyes all day. The wind was blowing (laughter). I don't know whether there was or not. I'm bad that way.

Q. I'm sure you're not proud of the 6 at 15, but it was a pretty scrambling good 6 when you get right down to it.

JACK NICKLAUS: It was a 6 (laughter).

Q. The hard way.

JACK NICKLAUS: One good shot, then a bad shot, then a bad shot, then a bad shot, then a good shot. Oddly enough, they asked me if I wanted to put the pin in. I said, "no." Sometimes you do those things, and I did it there.

Q. That pretty much defines you. You weren't going to let it go away if you could help it.

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't ever let it go away if I can help it. Following that, I watched David Toms play 4 iron at 16, and I hit a 4 iron, too, and I hit it as good as I can hit it, and I didn't even get halfway through the bunker and David hit it over the green. I says, "am I that weak?" Then I hit a 4 iron at the next hole and hit four inches behind it. I hit it so bad I didn't get to the creek. Then I hit 4 iron at the last hole. I wore out my 4 iron today (laughter).

Anyway, it is what it is.

Q. Is your sister okay? Was there something that happened to your sister?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think so. Not that I know of. Somebody asked if I had some Advil in the golf bag, and I had some Advil, and I said "who is it for," and they said my sister. She must have had a headache or something. That's all I know.

I guess it's not very exciting when you've got somebody shooting 152, so I'll get off the stage and wait for a golfer to come along.

End of FastScripts.

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