May 22, 2002
Q. What went in your decision to say yes?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, there wasn't anything that went into it. I just didn't know how I would feel today. And I felt pretty good. I felt better than I did yesterday and I felt better every day. I just don't know what my golf game will be. But I hit a lot of decent shots today. I wasn't all that upset with it. I felt like I'm here, I want to play and I, but I didn't want to take up a place if I didn't think I could play. And I think I can play. At least as I am right now and hopefully I'll feel that way tomorrow morning.
Q. When you said yesterday were you hurting. Nobody really asked you to be specific?
JACK NICKLAUS: I've been hurting for a year. I hurt all the time. Everybody hurts all the time.
Q. It's just the lower back?
JACK NICKLAUS: It's my butt. The base of my rear end on both sides. That's what I've hurt for a long time. Which means I can't take it back and get through. I'm doing all right now. And I'm pleased with that and that's what I'm going to do. I want to feel like I can go play.
Q. You said last Friday you brought that little machine with you, have you used it this week or not?
JACK NICKLAUS: No. No. I haven't used it. I haven't had time to use it.
Q. What's it take five minutes?
JACK NICKLAUS: 15 minutes. I haven't had 15 minutes. I haven't found that yet.
Q. Will the fact that the course, given that we have hopefully won't get any rain or anything, the fact that the course might get dryer, help you?
JACK NICKLAUS: I'm not worried about that. I didn't want to go out and not be able to reach a par-4. But it's, I'm still going to hit long irons to par-4's. And, but that's all right. I've had a lot of practice at chipping and putting lately. So I'll be fine. Not worried about that. I had a nice day today. We played Gary and I played with Jeff Julian, which was a nice day. I was delighted to be able to get that done and play with him. He is a pretty darn good player. In case anybody would happen to ask you. Hits the ball very nicely. He's, he wants to play well. He wants to try to do his very best, obviously. And it was nice. Gary is probably just finishing up with them now. I played nine holes and they went back out and played the front nine. I played the back nine. And golf course is starting to quicken a little bit. Greens are not very fast. I don't know what Mike's going to do because I haven't talked to him. But the greens are fine. Greens weren't more than about 11. And I know that they will at least be 12 tomorrow. Maybe they will be a little faster, I don't know. But I really haven't talked to him and so I don't know what the course is going to be. But the ball actually bounced forward on the fairways a few times today. So that's a plus. And but the golf course is good. And the weather forecast is reasonable. Cold weather is I think out of here, isn't it?
Q. 75 tomorrow.
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah. I tee off early so it will probably be cold when I play.
(Laughter.). But I think we will be fine. I think we're going to have a pretty darn good tournament and I'm looking forward to it. Anything else?
Q. Could you just talk about your decision to play tomorrow?
JACK NICKLAUS: I just did. I just finished.
Q. I'm sorry, I must have missed that.
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh. Okay.
Q. I asked John, I made the mistake of asking John and he said you hadn't discussed what led up to that decision.
JACK NICKLAUS: What led up to it?
JACK NICKLAUS: The last 16 months or 14 months of hurting. No, I just played today and I got a little bit better every day and I just decided that I would go ahead and play. That's all. I just don't want to take up a spot if I don't think I can play. And if I can, I'm not going to be great, but I'll be hopefully be decent and I need to play anyway. I mean, if I'm ever going to play golf again I need to go play.
Q. Par, do you think par is your target and anything under that is really good? I don't know what your thinking as far as that?
JACK NICKLAUS: No, you don't, do you.
Q. But what do you think is decent or what's your expectation? Hypothetically.
JACK NICKLAUS: I have no expectations. I will go out to the golf course and prepare myself the best I can to prepare me. I will go out and play the golf course which is in front of me and I will play it shot by shot and try to do the best I can to do the best score I can. If the best score I can do is 65 then that's what I can shoot. If the best score I can shoot is 80 so be it.
Q. You're not going to get caught up in playing against Tiger, right?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think that is a, that that is my game. The last time I played, I played with Tiger, I never played against him, last time I played with him was at the PGA Championship. And my game was not up to it then two years ago and I don't think it will be up to it now. That's all right. Who knows. You never know what might happen. We're going to go out and have some fun. That's the whole idea. The whole game is a game. And if you lose sight of that is what it is, then you're crazy. It's a game. Period. That's all it is. It's a good game. But it's a game. Okay? Okay. Thanks.
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