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July 13, 2001

Jack Nicklaus


JACK NICKLAUS: I just sort of -- give you a little history, and then we'll go from there. Yesterday I played. I wasn't very good. I managed -- managed the round decently, and I just sort of felt like if I kept going at it, I'd get better at it as the week went on. Today I was not very good. This morning I warmed up decently, although I didn't feel very good about it. Still protecting sort of everything the first few holes, and then I tweaked my hamstring a little bit on the tee shot at the fifth teal -- actually a good tee shot. But it was into the wind and I wanted to get it out there, and that's the kind of things that you can't do. So I did that and then I sort of babied myself the rest of the day and didn't hit very many good shots. I thought after the eighth hole, I went to Stewart and Bob Gilder and I said, "Guys, I'm not doing you any good out here. I'm not going me any good. What do you think?" He says, "You're not doing yourself any good, get out of here." Because I couldn't swing and I was afraid of hurting myself more. It caused my legs weak to start with -- I've got a herniated disk that I found out last Monday. Sort of made my right leg -- haven't been able to put any weight on it for about three months, and the -- I'm sure that's why I did the hamstring to start with. So all that combination, I'm just sitting there, saying -- I have several people I work with saying I shouldn't have been playing here to start with this week and I said, "No, no, I want to play." I tried and then I got scared of it and I said, no, I'm not going to -- give it a day and a half, and that's about as much as I think that I can do.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JACK NICKLAUS: The tee shot you had to hit a little bit harder because it was into the wind. And yesterday, I hit the tee shot and I carried the water by about five yards with my driver. I'm so used playing a 1-iron. Today there was a little bit more wind, and I said I've got to hit it more solidly if I want it get over the water. It's not that I didn't hit it hard. I still probably hit it 60 percent. I've had it for quite a while, actually. Sure, I have. I've been, I started earlier this year with having problems down the legs and sort of a blueberry, and finally it's been so I haven't really been able to get up in the mornings. I can't stand up in the morning. Oddly enough, I go to the golf course and I start hitting balls and it loosens up, and I've been able to play. I don't know how in the world I've played for the last couple of months, but I've played. It hasn't bothered me at all on the golf course, but I'm sure that because of that, that it has weakened the other part and that's why I pulled the hamstring. So I'm worried about doing further damage more than anything else. I would like to play a little bit more, but I've got a little bit of a tear. The guys in the trailer told me it was a Grade II tear, which they said that I is up 25 percent, II is 25 to 50 percent, and that's why I was, somewhere in that area. So if that's what it is, you really don't want to do anymore with it. "On a scale of 1 to 5, your strength was a 2 the other day and I want you to be a 3 to play." Yesterday I come out in the morning and he says, "I think you're strong enough to play." He says, "You're about a 3." That's why I played. Otherwise I would not have played yesterday.

Q. Prognosis?

JACK NICKLAUS: Prognosis is going to be a week in Europe with my wife. Taking a vacation -- we had planned this. We've never taken a vacation before where I did not do any work, ever. All I've ever seen are hotels, golf courses and airports. I didn't realize that any other part of the country existed. So I promised her we would do that this year and we were not going to play the British Open and then go back to the Senior British and I'm going to go do that. I think that week will probably do me a lot of good. I'll be fine. I don't think it's that big of deal. I've this things all my life, but never -- I'm always getting out of them.

Q. Has there been any treatment discussed for the herniated disk?

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, yeah, doctors are going to cut on it and so forth. But I don't think I want to do that. I'm not too interested in that. But I just think -- if you look at my back, it looks like a war zone anyway because that's old age. You guys probably would look at it that way, too, if you had to have it done. But I've had some stuff this year I've never had before, and so it's quite obvious on the MRI we did Monday, it was just a nice, big old disk sticking out against that nerve, and there's your culprit. So basically what I've done is -- the guy I go deal with, he says, "Jack, we'll get that thing out of there." 12, 13 years ago I had two of them and everybody wanted to operate on me; so, I got out of that. And he can't find those anymore. Of course, it's all fused anyway. You couldn't find it, anyway. But that one was quite obvious. Basically my treatment has been ice and stretch and that's what I've been doing, pretty extensively, for last four or five days, and actually, it's better. But then I pulled the hamstring in the meantime. The combination of those things is the things that have been bothering me.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JACK NICKLAUS: Of course we are. I don't mind getting old. I'm going to get old, but I don't want to get old and not be able to do anything. I don't enjoy hurting all the time. But I take pretty good care of myself. I worked pretty hard at trying to. I'll continue to do that. I think I'll be all right. I'm going to have my problems just like everybody else is going to have their problems. Put it this way, I'm going to go. We'll see when I get there. But I don't -- I probably won't play golf for a week. Take a week off and do the things I should do not to injure this and -- I think that it will be all right. The guy, he called it a rat bite. A rat bite is a term that they use, I guess -- it's just right below the place where it's hurt, there's like a little indentation. He says it looks like a rat bite. Took a chunk out. That's what it feels like, too. There's a little hole in it. He says that will heal up.

Q. Any problems walking?

JACK NICKLAUS: I can walk fine. I don't have any problems walking. None whatsoever. I don't really hurt, except for my other stuff. That always hurts, but when I'm playing golf, it doesn't bother me. Absolutely weird. This started probably about two weeks before the Masters this year. I started getting that down the outside of the calf of the right way leg and then back into the calf and up into the glute, which is L5-S1 nerve root, and I didn't think much about it. It just didn't go away, but every time I went to the golf course, the first four or five shots would hurt, but then all of the sudden I would loosen up and I could play. Obviously that takes the pressure off of the nerve by movement, so the nerve is not impinged by this disk. It still has freedom to move. In that case, the disk will recede through the ice or whatever I'm doing through exercise and do that; then I should be fine without surgery.

Q. Have you spoken to the doctors about that?

JACK NICKLAUS: I've spoken to enough of them -- inaudible -- British Senior Open -- don't know. I think I'll be fine. I think I could have hobbled around here the next couple of day, but the thing is, if I hobble around here and I did hurt myself, then I couldn't play anymore for the long time. That was really the deciding factor. I asked my caddy, "What do you think?" And he said, "Let's get out of here." Scotty has been playing with me a long time, he says, "Are you nuts? Why are you trying to play? What are you trying to prove?" I said: Well, I'm trying to prove to the people that came out here to see me play that I can play and I wanted to play for them. I don't have another tournament for the rest of the year on my schedule. I have a few possible events that I'm sure I will play. I'll play some of the silly season. And I'll probably play before that. I don't know what I'm going to do. It depends on -- I don't know what's going to happen in Africa. Supposed to go down there. I have a couple of golf courses I'm working on down there and I'm scheduled in August -- I may play or play when I get back. Yeah, I think that the meeting we had the other night with the Commissioner and so forth, they have come back and said they are going back to what they did at the start of the year, setting the golf courses more difficult. I think that if that's the case, I would support that and play more.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JACK NICKLAUS: Castle Pines? With my length? The course was long when I did it, but Jack Vicus (ph) -- I can't get around that golf course walking, must less playing that. Jack has lengthened that golf course. Have you been around there lately? Jackie and I are planning on playing the Father/Son. I'm not sure what Watson and I are doing in relation to the end of the year tournament. Changed courses and I don't know what they are doing. Did I commit to play that -- inaudible -- a new event. They are going to announce that at the British Senior Open. So I'm going to play a little bit.

End of FastScripts....

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