June 28, 2000
LES UNGER: Thank you for coming. We know you just had a practice round. We are curious
as to perhaps your recollections of the course and what you thought of it today.
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, obviously before I got here I couldn't have told you one hole from
the next. But after I played it, I obviously remembered the golf course; remembered most
of it. The golf course is in nice shape, good shape. Greens are firm. Rough is probably
tougher than I expected. Again, they planted rye grass, (laughter) and the golf course is
good. Nothing wrong with it. Nothing at all.
LES UNGER: How was your play today?
JACK NICKLAUS: My play today was playing a round. Actually, I hit the ball pretty
LES UNGER: That is a thumbs up?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I never know what I am going to do. You found that out from the
years you have been with me.
LES UNGER: Questions.
Q. Your association with Gary Daniels, did you know him before he got here?
JACK NICKLAUS: I met him on the first tee. I walked over the first tee to play. Jerry
Bruner had asked me to play; Larry Nelson and Gary Daniels were there, and we joined them.
Q. Looks like he was giving you some pointers out there as far as the --
JACK NICKLAUS: Showed me all the way a round.
Q. You don't want to see another one of those battles like you had the last Senior
Open, and you won, when you had to battle that little booger Chi Chi all the way down to
the wire. Remember that one?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, I remember that. Unfortunately, that was too many years ago, Al.
But the last time I played here -- I don't know what I lost by -- Larry Laoretti won the
tournament obviously, and I finished second. I don't remember what it was by. A couple
Q. Three shots.
JACK NICKLAUS: Whatever it was, he played very well and beat everybody here by a pretty
Q. Golf Digest made you the Best Golfer in the History. The article was written by
Tiger Woods. How does it make you feel, having probably the up and coming next great
player say such nice things about you?
JACK NICKLAUS: I did read the article. I thought it was a very nice article. I thought
he did a very nice job. What I was most impressed with, it sounded like his words from
talking with him and so forth. I thought that was very nice. He has obviously played very
well. I think it wasn't any accident why he was asked to write that article.
Q. What will it take to win here, Jack?
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I don't know. I would imagine the same thing it did last time, the
under par. Be right a round there.
Q. Are you satisfied with one day's preparation, that you have a good feel for the
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, I am all right with that. I really got -- yesterday, I was getting
ready to come up. My pilot called me. He said, Jack, the weather is terrible; going to be
awful. I called up the USGA and they said: I recommend you stay home if you don't want to
work on your golf game. I do not think we are going to play this afternoon. Never got a
drop of rain, right?
JACK NICKLAUS: That figures. But I got a good day's work yesterday at home. I would
like to add more, but I didn't. So that is the way it goes.
Q. Since the Open, I know you have been working on your game a little bit. Could you
discuss maybe how you have gone from the Open to here, as far as what you have been
working on with your game and how your swing is? You had mentioned that if you keep
playing and keep swinging well, you are going to do something somewhere. Is this a week
where you have built on, that you might do something?
JACK NICKLAUS: I am going to start playing well somewhere down the line. It basically
revolves around scoring. I have been hitting the ball decently. And Pebble Beach, I hit it
good just didn't do anything with it. There, I missed every green by a couple of yards.
You miss a green by a couple of yards, you make bogey unless you are really good with the
hay around the green. I am not very good with it. You got the same hay here. Looks like
they transplanted it from Pebble Beach to here. Same grass. But oddly enough, Scotty my
caddie, Scotty is a golf pro, and Scotty looks at my swing a lot. Last night, he looked at
it and made a couple of comments about some of the things I was doing, and hit the ball
very well yesterday, and hit the ball very well today. Just a very, very little thing.
Nothing you could even talk about really. But allowed me to hit through the ball rather
than to the ball which has been one of the problems I have had all year. Really doesn't
make a whole lot of difference. I am hitting the ball well enough. I just haven't got the
ball in the hole very well. I just got to get the ball in the hole.
Q. Putting been a part of that problem?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, that is -- I haven't putted very well for quite a while. I don't
think -- it is really funny, I have never been a bad putter; always been a pretty darn
good putter; always been a strong part of my game, but I don't think it has been a strong
part of my game the last few years. I still don't miss a lot of short putts, but I don't
ever seem to make anything either. If it gets outside six, seven feet, then I don't seem
to make it. That has been sort of what I have been doing and, you know, if I go through a
tournament, if I hole a 15- or 20-footer, one or two at a tournament, I could seem to
remember every one of them because they are so few and far between, I used to make a lot
of putts. I am just not making putts. You have to make putts if you want to win obviously.
That is a pretty stupid statement, I guess, on my part.
Q. You putted so well at the father/son. Have you thought about going back and talking
to Gary about how you putted that weekend or looking at tapes of that?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think Gary would know either. I think putting is pretty much up
here. (pointing to his head) It's in your hands and in your head, or your eyes - you have
got to be able to feel the ball into the hole; you have got see where you want to hit it.
I think my putting -- I don't see anything wrong with it; just doesn't seem to go in the
hole. Some day it will. It will. Just be patient. I don't want to outpatient the year
LES UNGER: Thank you, sir.
End of FastScripts