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May 30, 2003

Jack Nicklaus


Q. (Inaudible)?

JACK NICKLAUS: It looks like the cut will be 3 over. I had a lot of opportunities on the back nine. I wanted to make birdie. I never got it close enough to make a putt. I played all right. I didn't do anything yesterday and then I got off to a lousy start on 3 and 4 today, I played 2 bad shots and I played 3-over-par and I played 3-under-par the last 14 holes. I told him over here I think you could learn how to handle playing golf that way. That was much better. That is playing under par, hitting the ball solidly and doing the things you're supposed to do. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow me to be able to play the next two days.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: The golf course is fine, the golf course is good. The golf course today, it certainly had a little fire in it, a little bit of wind. Just enough to make it careful to what you are doing. Yesterday, it was still too wet. If we had a day of wind prior to the tournament yesterday would be the same as today. I don't know what the average score is. It's gone up, but I think it's a couple of shots any way. That's the way it is.

Q. Were you walking up 18 any different for any reason?

JACK NICKLAUS: Did I walk up any different? I walked one foot in front of the other.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know. It's about the same. When you know that -- Jonathan Byrd said, do you want to birdie the next hole? I said I need to do 2. Make the 2. 3 is not going to do me a whole lot of good. I made birdie anyway. When you walk up to the last green and you know you are not making the cut, it's basically saying thanks to the people for two days because that's all I'm going to see them.

Q. Will they see you next year?

JACK NICKLAUS: Sure, if I'm still playing golf.

Q. Gary finished strong today and made the cut.

JACK NICKLAUS: Yes, I know. He hacked it all over the place, I understand, early. He had been 5-over and came back and shot 3-under. But anyway, he hasn't been playing much. When you have been struggling, it always makes it tough.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: I haven't had anybody say they didn't like it. I'm sure there are other holes of the golf course they like more. That wasn't the intention. It was to build one they like, build a good, solid golf course and we built a good, solid golf course.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: It's a golf ball. All of the balls do that. It is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. I know John can hit it. More power to John. Take advantage of what you got. And if you don't, you're crazy. I watched him at the bunkers at 18 two years ago, so he would drive the ball over and how many drove it over yesterday, a half dozen. That was without wind. Today, up to a dozen guys drove it over the bunkers at 18 today. How do you make a golf course defend that? It takes all of the strategy out of play. It takes everything that you've done to prepare out of play. I don't think that's right for the game of golf.

Do I think it's something hitting over the 14th green, I think that's a hell of a shot. That's besides the point. That's not what the game should be all about.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: John can hit it, there is no question about that. But even John has got a golf ball going 30 yards more.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I knew they would do that. That's why I did the hole the way I did it. I gave them the opportunity. I gave them 22 yards there. If you want to challenge it, challenge it. If you don't hit that in the neck, you got 2 bunkers on each side that you're not going to get the ball on the green from. I gave them the opportunity to go do it. But you better hit it in there. I almost thought -- that's the way I wanted the hole to play. You have to have at least 160, 170 yards to the green, not 100 yards or 90 yards or something.

Q. Jack, the last couple of days, do you look at some of the other holes?

JACK NICKLAUS: I'm not going to fiddle around with the golf course. If I fiddle around with the golf course,(Inaudible). You look at this golf course. At Augusta they were ahead of the curve. Then they go behind the curve. One year you are behind the curve and ahead of it. You are the only golf course ahead of it. It's discouraging to do golf courses all over the world like I do and have them be obsolete the week after you open. Because of equipment -- not equipment, just the golf ball. And the way they test golf balls, they monitor tests at 110 miles an hour. I swing at 110 miles an hour. I can't make the golf ball go anyplace. If you swing at 110 to 130 miles an hour, it's like the difference between a category 2 and category 3 hurricane. It's not a little bit. It's just explodes. Our Captain's Club, we had a meeting on Tuesday night and that was our big topic of discussion. They as a group, that's a pretty strong group, I have several captains of the RNA, several captains of the USGA, several PGA presence. They wanted to as a group write a letter saying that something has got to be done now about the golf ball to be taken back. That group is a pretty strong group. They have all been in that position. Everyone would be a hundred percent and agreed that needed to be done. I'm not the only guy on the bandwagon, I'm just the guy that has to write the letter.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: It's the biggest issue I have seen in golf, yes.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: The point of it is, it has nothing though do with an eight thousand yard golf course because the average golfer hits better. The average golfer can't play a 65 hundred yard golf course. I don't know a problem building a new golf course bringing the tees back. But you still have to make the golf course for the people. And when you make the golf course for the people, they are going to play it every day. The strategy it has to fit those people every day. And putting the tee back 100 yards, how do you set the standards to that. You can't use a progression in the game anymore of design to make it fit. I don't know how fast some of them swing, but some of them get 130, 135 miles an hour.

Q. Daly is 130.

JACK NICKLAUS: Daly is 130 range. If somebody swings between 120 and 130, it's an explosion compared to anyone hitting it 110. Not just 10 or 20 yards. It's an explosion. The governing bodies do not want to have 2 golf balls. I understand they want everybody to play the same ball. It ain't working guys. Enough from my soap box. I'll get down off the soap box.

Q. Any plans for the weekend?

JACK NICKLAUS: Any good place to fish around here?

Q. You would know.

JACK NICKLAUS: I haven't fished around here much.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: I'll be around. I'll do a little television.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: I heard Byrd and Janzen putt it. I said, do you guys want to putt or do you want to wait for me? Because I knew when I made that putt it was going to be hard for them to putt.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: 1962 I finished third. I went back some time in the '70's and played an exhibition, I think. The late 60's. I don't remember. It's been a long time since I played.

Q. (Inaudible)

JACK NICKLAUS: I think it's about the same. Probably harder at Augusta. The U.S. Open a lot of guys chipped better than I do. I prepared well forever the U.S. Open I have been in.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know. It was all back this morning or yesterday when I finished.

End of FastScripts....

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