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May 27, 1997

Jack Nicklaus


JACK NICKLAUS: Figured I'd go ahead and grab a shower and dress because I've go to the Captains Club, no way I was going to get back and forth three times. So we did the autographs early and we'll do this. What can I do for you?

Q. That gray blazer, is that the new one or the old one?

JACK NICKLAUS: I've got more than one.

Q. You remember when we talked Sunday morning?

JACK NICKLAUS: This is the one I had when I was there. This is the one that had the spaghetti sauce cleaned off from last year's Sunday night dinner.

Q. How do you like the golf course?

JACK NICKLAUS: The golf course is very good. They've done a nice job. I think Mike McBride, our superintendent, sort of felt a lot of pressure. And I put a lot of pressure on him. Because I didn't feel the golf course was up to our standard the last couple of year greens-wise. So I've been trying to get the greens to be a little denser, and the only way I felt like they could get denser was to really change grasses. It was with a more dense variety, so the new G-2 that comes out of Penn State which is a grass, for example, that we've had Penncross, would have about a thousand shoots per decimeter, and G-2 will have about 2,500 shoots per decimeter. It's about 25 percent more dense, it wants to be cut under an eighth of an inch all the time. Those two things alone will first of all crowd the poa annua; secondly, give the cushion that I was looking for, and provide a putting surface that could be fairly quick, because you have to cut it, but it's nice and upright, it's really nice grass. There are several new grasses that are fantastic. None of them have probably been around long enough, but I felt like we'd go ahead and use it, I can't imagine we're going to hurt anything with it. What's wrong with it? We'll seed something else if it doesn't work. It's done a very nice job. And Mike has the greens a lot denser, I think they're still a year away from being -- I think next year you'll find them being even better. I think this year they're five times better than they were last year. The fairways are excellent. The rough is very uniform and thick. You can't move any place out of it, of course I haven't been able to move anything out of a rough for years. The golf course is nice, just done a very nice job.

Q. You've been designing courses for a lot of years now, and you're seeing this one mature. Are you learning from how this course has matured, has that affected other courses that you're designing?

JACK NICKLAUS: Not really. This course has been mature for a long time. I think that we probably couldn't build this course today. This course was done 25 years ago and the wetlands laws wouldn't have allowed us to use the creek beds the way we've used them, today. I think it would be a totally different golf course, we'd be in a floodplain that they wouldn't allow us to use. Eleven wouldn't have gotten built; five; three probably wouldn't have gotten built. We'd be a long way away from the creek at two. A lot of things we couldn't do today, that we don't do today. And I think that's one of the reasons why you like a lot of the old time golf courses, because the golf courses are grandfathered in as far as it relates to environmental rules today. Not that we're trying -- we don't do anything different than we did before, but it's precautionary stuff we don't do anymore.

Q. How about how the tournament has matured, has it become the tournament you wanted it to be?

JACK NICKLAUS: It's an excellent tournament, I don't think there's any question about that. Time, it's just growing with the tournament. I think a lot of things -- we'd love to have a few things different than we got. We'd love to have the European players here, but with the European PGA finishing yesterday, it's a hard trip for them. Particularly with the Ryder Cup being more important these days than -- I don't know whether I should say than it should be, but it becomes more important for tournaments, and a lot of guys stay home, because of that. So we're missing some of those guys. There's Tours all over the world now. And the guys are going to come for it, and there's guys here, they're awfully good players. We've got an awfully good field and we always have an awfully good field. We were in Japan televised for four days, which is the first time we did that. The guy from Europe, this is the first time he's been here. I don't know the new television contract starting, what is that two years it starts, '98? '99? Yes. And I understand from CBS's commitment to us that we will be handling exactly the same as The Masters from a television standpoint. There's a lot of things that happen as this tournament has matured. We keep working on the golf course, we keep working on making it better for the spectators. You do the job you can. We're very pleased with the golf tournament. But there's a lot of other golf tournaments, a lot of competition coming along. You do the best job you can. We're not trying to be the next U.S. Open or the next Masters, we're just trying to do the best we can, and I think we've done pretty well.

Q. Jack, on a number of occasions you've given accolades to Tiger Woods. When do you remember early in your career, who was the first great that had something big to say about Jack Nicklaus? What's the first memory of that?

JACK NICKLAUS: Probably when I was 15 years old and I hit a second shot into the 18th green at the James River Course at Country Club of Virginia, I was the first national amateur, there was a gentleman sitting on the 18th green that called me over and said young man, I want to meet you. I've been sitting here quite a while, and you're only the second person to reach the green in two. And he said -- he said I was very impressed by that. And I'm going to watch you come out and play some holes tomorrow. And of course that was Bob Jones. Of course I remember, I suppose, with Arnold, what did he call me at the U.S. Open in '62, a big strong dude. He said I have to go out and play that big strong dude tomorrow. You get things like that. I think Jones's compliment to me in '65 was a very nice compliment. I've since passed that one on to a young man that's going to be here.

Q. Jack, what stands out in your mind as the most significant difference between the golf world you entered in 1961 when you turned pro with what Woods is moving into now?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, there's just more of it, and more awareness of it, more public awareness. I think that the world that I moved into was a very sort of -- not a real active golfing world. It was just starting to grow. Arnold had really just come into his own, just starting to create the popularity explosion of the game, the first explosion of the game from a television standpoint, just starting. I can remember in 1962 in the playoff with Arnold, television commentator, I don't know who it was, I'm not going to say who it was, I hit my second -- tee shot in the rough on the 18th hole, and I've got a two-shot lead and Arnold hits the second shot fat and 208 yards short of the green. I had a marginal lie, I took a wedge and pitched it, he said, my gosh, he's totally dumbfounded, he hit it a hundred yards. Well, you know, people today when they're doing television, understand golfers, they understand the game. This guy didn't understand the game, he said it's the worst shot in the tournament, he's obviously choking. He said that on television. And then I pitched it on the green and made -- I guess I made five, but it didn't make any difference, because that's all I needed, because Arnold made six. And I won the tournament by three shots. But the awareness of people, of television, awareness of who's playing, who's in the field. You've still got the awareness on the Senior Tour. The number of players that are out there, the number of names. There weren't very many names when I started. There was half a dozen players, you had the Hogans, the Sneads, the Nelsons. There hadn't been anybody else for a while, and all of a sudden Arnold came along, and he was the next name. Today when Tiger comes along, there's a whole raft of names that have been before him that the public is aware of, the television is aware of, the press is aware of. There's a slew of players on the TOUR that are awfully good. And he's got competition. There's a whole bunch of guys on the TOUR that sit and say nobody is going to dominate this game again. All of a sudden they found out they better raise their game a notch. We've got a young man out there that decides he wants to dominate this game. So it's great for the game. Actually it's great for the guys that are going to have to chase him, you're going to create rivalries, you're going to create a lot of things. It's the same thing, it's just the magnitude of the game is just 50 fold, I suppose it's more than 50 fold, probably when you're talking about purse. The average purse we played for the first year, my first year on TOUR, we played nine tournaments of $50,000 or better, only one of them was over 50,000. The Thunderbird was the first hundred thousand dollar tournament, that was a 20 thousand first prize. I probably played eight or ten tournaments, 20 thousand dollar tournaments where first prize was $8,500. We don't bother to pay a guy that anymore.

Q. Jack, success and financial security never weakened your desire, is that something you had to be vigilant about or was that just inside you?

JACK NICKLAUS: No, when I turned pro in November of '61, my decision to turn pro was based on the fact -- not financial. I was in the insurance business, had several things I was doing, utilizing my golf within that business, and I was making -- probably making about $35,000 a year as a 21 year old kid, and that was good in '61, I didn't know if I could make that much money playing golf. There were only probably five guys that made more than that. So my decision to turn pro was based on wanting to be the best golfer I could be, play against the best competition, that's the only way you could do it, was play against the best. So that's why I turned pro. And I never really worried about the money part of it, because I never felt like the money part was an issue. I always felt if you played well, and you were successful with your play, the money part would take care of itself. It didn't make any difference to me if I was playing first prize of $2,800 or $20,000 or a hundred thousand dollars, it was -- I wanted to win. And I felt if I won and I was successful, and particularly successful in the significant tournaments, that there was enough money out there for Jack Nicklaus to make a living and provide for his family. And I had the potential or the opportunity to be the best at that point in time or at least to be as good as -- or one of the best that I was playing. And when you have that -- if you have that potential to get to that level then it's not an issue of money. I assume you're referring to Tiger, is why you're at this question.

Q. One of the questions that has come up so many times is that, yeah, but Jack did it 24 years between major championships. And people wonder whether with the wealth that Tiger has now, is he going to be able to maintain that desire for 24 years?

JACK NICKLAUS: You're going to have to find that out. The young man has maintained his -- he came at a pretty young age. Three USGA juniors, won, won three U.S. Amateurs in a row, which I don't think anybody has done I don't know if they did that back in Jones' time or not.

WES SEELEY: Never three in a row.

JACK NICKLAUS: And the first major he plays as a professional and wins. That's pretty good, ain't bad. And he's received a lot of money up front. And he's going to be thrown into a world of that -- I saw the article in the paper the other day, had a picture of Arnold and I with Tiger, he's gone from golf royalty to royalty, and talking about his conversations with Fergie and introduced to Kevin Costner, thrown into that kind of stuff. He is going to have to have a discipline which all champions have. Arnold had it, I had it, Hogan had it, Nelson had it, his is going to be more difficult, though, obviously, because he's thrown into a world at a very young age that is magnified 50 fold what we had from distractions. And I think the young man has the ability to do that. I think -- he's shown that so far. He came out into this golf world under a tremendous amount of expectation and pressure and performed. And has performed at the highest level every single time he's come out. He's proved himself human, where he can make a double bogey, like everybody else can, and he'll recover from that. And I think he wants to win. And winning is his objective every time he turns out. So whether he can maintain that for 24 years, I don't know. Probably very difficult, but he's maintained that kind of -- he's been right in the limelight ever since he's been 15 years old or younger, he's had it for about six years, so don't count him out.

Q. What's the greater obstacle, Jack --

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think money will make a difference to this kid, if that's what you're asking. But he's going to have to have it sit in front of him every day. And he's going to have that difficulty of saying -- if he puts any financial thing in front of him ahead of what he put on his closet door ten years ago or whatever he put on his closet ten years ago, my record, I guess, if he deviates from that, he'll have a hard time. But if he stays there, which I suspect he will, then he'll do very well.

Q. What's the greater obstacle, the financial situation or the frenzy that surrounds him?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think the frenzy. I don't think the financial -- I'm sure IMG will do a good job taking care of his financials and get the best advice how to manage his money and build an empire and be very wealthy. But the frenzy around him is hard. You guys, you gals, and he's single. He's got that issue in front of him. How do you know how he's going to react to getting married or not getting married. To having children or not having children. You don't know, he's just starting his life. All our lives changed when he got married, all our lives changed when we had children, all our lives changed every day. Spinning -- I'm really quite interested in seeing what's going to happen to him. And he's going to be -- every single thing he's going to do will be right in your newspapers. It will under a microscope. It's a tough way to live. It's a tough way to perform as an athlete, have to stand over 3 footers all day long after having that hangover you. But I think he's quite capable of doing so.

Q. Jack, you mentioned that he's got your record, that he's working against. How will you feel when he finally ticks off everything and wins his 19th professional major?

JACK NICKLAUS: That will not bother me in the least. I said for a long time, and it's sort of a cliche, records are meant to be broken. I think they are. In every sport somebody has come along to break somebody else's record. And mine may be a difficult one to break, but somebody is going to come along and do it. I'd love to have it done in my lifetime rather than leave this world and not know what's going to happen with it.

Q. Not just records, but you're considered the greatest golfer ever. If he takes your place there, will that be hard to deal with?

JACK NICKLAUS: If I'm considered that, I had to take somebody else's. That's the way it works.

Q. Jack, when you were tick go off the different things that heck create for golf one of word you used was rivalries, and that's one of the things that seems kind of remote at this time?

JACK NICKLAUS: They are remote. Because he's going to have the same thing that happened to me. When I came along, he didn't have happen to him what I did. I came in and my first confrontation was with Arnold Palmer. And then whether I won that or not won that is beside the point, but golf wise, if I consider I won more than Arnold, and then there's Gary and Watson and Trevino, and Crenshaw and Weiskopf, and you name it. The guys that each time wanted to take that position. Now, he came in and there really wasn't anybody on the thrown at the time, you might say. And there were several guys, they're all very, very good players, but nobody was dominating at that time. Arnold was definitely dominating when I started playing. Norman is probably been the best player. But there's always been -- but there's Faldo and Couples and --

Q. Price?

JACK NICKLAUS: Price. You've got four or five guys who have all played very, very well and been there. But nobody that has really said this is mine. And he all of a sudden now -- he's gotten to the point without having to really challenge somebody else. But I think that happened the way Arnold -- Arnold did the same thing. When Arnold came there wasn't anybody else there, either. So he is going to -- but he's going to have players that are going to come along. These guys aren't going to stand still out here. Tom just said Paul Stankowski, what a wonderful golfer this young man, Stewart apple by, you've got young men that are coming along all over this world that are going to be good players. And they're going to be inspired and challenged by the challenge of Tiger Woods. So, yes, he'll have rivalries, and it will be great follow the game and great for him when he has them. And he will withstand them and fight them off and play against them and he'll get beat sometimes and he'll win sometimes. If he wins every time it's going to get awfully boring. He'll get beat just like everybody gets beat. But he'll win a great number of them. And they'll come and go and someone will come along and take the thrown from Tiger some day, that's the way it works.

Q. You mentioned the word frenzy, and so did Tom Watson. You were in the middle of what most people believe is the greatest frenzy ever, this thing of Palmer and his Army at Oakmont and so forth and you had to combat that. Compare that sort of the level of hysteria then with what you perceive to be the level --

JACK NICKLAUS: I think it's a much different thing. I don't think that will -- I didn't think mine was any big deal. And you might look at, Tiger may not think his is any big deal. Has anybody asked him? Does he think it's a big deal? I'm serious, as it relates to being a frenzy.

WES SEELEY: He says he doesn't understand it.

JACK NICKLAUS: That's right. So maybe to him -- when I was that age, I was oblivious to that. I had blinders on. People asked me about the gallery at Oakmont, I don't remember the gallery at Oakmont only after what I've been told about it ten years later. I'm being very serious about that. I never fought Arnold Palmer. Arnold Palmer was a competitor and a fellow I wanted to beat on the golf course and a good friend. When that came out in the paper, there couldn't be a guy that treated me any better than Arnold treated me. From the time I went on the TOUR, we'd play exhibitions together, flown on planes together, Barbara talked to Winnie this morning. That hasn't changed that relates to that kind of thing. I never looked at that time that as a frenzy, so maybe Tiger doesn't, either. It's just what everybody else perceives it to be. If he doesn't perceive it to be that, and he is oblivious, and he's got his blinders on, then everything we've talked about doesn't mean a thing.

Q. We've heard all these stories about Tiger, how young he started and what a great natural swing he had. How much earlier did he start than you?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know when he started, when did he start? You mean when he started playing golf? I started when I was ten years old. I don't know how old he was, whether he was 6, 4, 5, 2.

Q. He was a toddler.

JACK NICKLAUS: Was he? This young man, I mean how many fathers start their kids out in something at age 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever it is, when they really have no business starting them out doing that and they become what he's become? Not many. Most fathers start the kids out and do that thing burn the kid out by the time they're 12 years old, they don't want to see their father or the game anymore, whatever the game is. And here he's gone the other direction. He's thrived and lived on that, which is wonderful. If that's what he wants to do, and obviously that's what he's wanted to do. That's been what his goal is. But I started -- see, mine was totally different than his. I started playing golf when I was ten. Sure, I had success when I was young. I won tournaments when I was 10, 11, 12, 13, won tournaments all the way through. But there were junior tournaments and things growing up. But I continued to play other sports. I was playing baseball, I was playing football, basketball all through high school, almost -- I was recruited for basketball in college, almost went to college to play basketball. I ran track. I did all kinds of things. And I went to Ohio State because I wanted to go to Ohio State not to play golf. Ohio golf recruited me for basketball. I think because they didn't give golf scholarships, and I didn't want to, not with Lucas and Havlicek I wouldn't play much. I wanted to go to Ohio State, because I wanted -- my friends went to Ohio State. I never missed an Ohio State football game from the time I was six years old. I loved to go to basketball games, I wanted to be a student and be in a fraternity, I wanted college life. I didn't give a darn about being a great golfer when I was 17 years old. That was not part of my life. When I was 19 I got selected to the Walker Cup matches and I went to my college coach and I said, Bob Keppler, I said, "Kep, I made the Walker Cup team." He said, "Fantastic." I said, "Kep, that may put a crimp in our spring plans of playing golf." And he said, "Don't be silly, you're going to play in the British Amateur, and the Walker Cup matches and you're going to be a golfer." He said, "Don't worry about the golf team, that's ridiculous, and let's go fishing." We'd go get a fly rod and go to Zanesfield and he'd take me fishing. He said, "Let's not play golf today, let's go fishing." That's the golf coach I had, that's the kind of golf team we had at Ohio State. It was not important, the golf thing wasn't. When I made the Walker Cup team, he said forget -- you can imagine a college coach doing that today, he says go play the matches. And have fun. He said you can play golf next year, which I did. But then I won the National Amateur that year, and that's the first time that really golf -- I played a lot of other sports, but golf really became a focus to me. I said I'm good enough that I made the Walker Cup team, I must be good enough to be one of the top-10 or 11 or 12 or whatever number of amateurs played on that team. Then I won the Amateur that year and I was ranked No. 1 as an amateur. And that's the first time I really focused on it. I knew I was good at it, but I knew I had something that I could focus and be special. Here I am 19 years old. I'm not like Tiger where this kid's been focusing since two or three years old. And you guys have been writing about him since then. I had a much different game.

Q. Can you talk about Gary Player a little bit, the honoree this year, as a contemporary of yours?

JACK NICKLAUS: Gary Player, obviously was selected by the Captains' Club last year as the honoree this year. Gary has probably been as close a friend as I've had through the years. Probably spent more time together than anybody, we're closer in age, our families are very close, Gary's got six kids and I've got five. The kids have all become friends through the years. We spent a ton of time together. So I'm delighted that Gary has been here this year. I think he's -- Gary and I were always the ones that told Arnold, we're 35, we're out of here. Arnold said you guys go, I'll be playing golf forever. And Arnold still is playing golf, and of course we're still here, too. But Gary, he's playing all over the world, he won at one tournament last week. I think for a man of his size and what he's accomplished in the game of golf is phenomenal. He's been awfully good. He's handled himself well and he's -- I remember what he went through in 1968 at NCR? You don't remember what I'm talking about, do you? That's when we were having the race strikes with South Africa and the apartheid. I remember the things they did to him on the golf course was really awful. He just -- he stood up like a man, and he handled that situation beautifully, and he's handled the situation beautifully at home. He's been in a tough situation, been in a country that's had discrimination policy for years. He's talked about how wonderful Mandela has been, he spent a lot of time with Mandela. Gary Player really is an ambassador, and he's been a great ambassador for his country, because he did not believe in what the rules were for his country, but you can't denounce your country. And I think the things he's done, the things he's fought, the things he's overcome, he's probably put more miles than anybody else that's played golf on an airplane. I think we're really, really fortunate to have him as our honoree this year.

Q. I was just curious, how old were you when you started having to make the first compromise with your age, with your golf swing, in other words, when age started to affect how you went at the golf ball, and how do you see it with Tiger, will there come a time when he has to adjust playing golf?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think the first time I started making adjustments for age was probably about 19. I've been making them ever since. Just some of them have been a little more serious than others. I know what you're saying, but I'm very serious about that. This young man withdrew from the Open at Shinnecock with a wrist. He had a back someplace where he withdrew, I can't remember where that was. He's had problems from time to time. He's no different than we are, he's going to have adjustments. Physically is going to be his biggest problem. As hard as he swings at a golf ball, as quick as he is, I think that his body will probably wear out long before his desire does. Mine wore out long before my desire. I still have a great desire to be here and win, I wouldn't be here if I didn't have a great desire to play and win. But at a certain time it's not realistic that it happens. But your body changes -- you change every day. I mean I won tournaments where I hurt myself in the morning or hurt myself sleeping or cranked my neck or something, and back spasms and I went out -- I remember one year, I think the first time I won the Crosby. I'll never forget this. I went out and got up in the morning and I was doing some stretches in the morning and my back spasmed on me in the middle of my back and the shoulder and neck, and I couldn't move my left side, I couldn't do anything with it. And I'm a left to right player. And I needed my left side to be able to play against it. I went out and I almost withdrew, but when I went back -- I said I can hit -- I just aimed to the right and started playing hooks. And I shot 37 the front 9 and I came back and shot 31 the back 9 playing that way. You accommodate what you've got. And everybody does that, all golfers. I'm sure Tiger accommodates problems he's had at only 21 years old, he's had a bunch of them, I'm sure, we all have. When does age have a factor? I suppose when you really start losing your strength.

Q. Not your flexibility, not his turn?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, that's part of your strength. My ability to hit the ball long probably came with I suppose part of it's my flexibility, part of it is my ability to generate leg speed and club head speed, probably leg more than anything else. His speed comes from his legs. He's got a quick upper body, but his legs and hips generate a tremendous amount of torque and he releases that. It's going to slow down, but it's not going to slow down for quite a while.

Q. One thing, back to the rivalry thing, was the rivalry with Palmer, was that part of the momentum process, though, as far as you, in your career?

JACK NICKLAUS: What do you mean?

Q. The rivalry. You shooting -- you were very competitive with him?

JACK NICKLAUS: It wasn't necessarily Arnold, it just happened to be Arnold that happened to be there when I started. It could have been anybody. But Arnold is a very competitive human being, as you know. I'm not understanding what you're driving at.

Q. Just you shooting for the guy, the fast --

JACK NICKLAUS: That's what you shoot, you shoot the guy that's at the top of the hill. Is that what you're saying?

Q. And the momentum you got from that?

JACK NICKLAUS: Sure, absolutely. Winning breeds winning. And you beat the guy at the top of the hill and then you maintain some of that, then, yeah, sure, it builds up here (indicating), and you believe it, darn right. It's important. I mean what this young man got from Augusta, that's a pretty big -- that's got to be a pretty big head case right here, it's going to take a long time to destroy that one.

Q. The crowds today for practice rounds, I followed you guys all 9 holes, were these the biggest crowds that you've seen out here for practice rounds? I haven't seen practice rounds this big?

JACK NICKLAUS: We've always had big practice rounds on Tuesday.

Q. Were you disappointed at all that Woods didn't play today?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think he has to make his own schedule. I think the people would love to see Tiger play, but they'll see him play tomorrow. Most of our people here are different than Augusta. Augusta ticket holders are Thursday through Sunday. Ours are Monday through Sunday, so the same people have the same tickets all week. We do have daily tickets for extra people for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But we have sold out limited number of tickets for Monday through Sunday, whatever that number might be. And so those people will have the opportunity to see Tiger play. But it will be the people that have tickets for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that won't see him play all week, they'll only get to see practice rounds. I'm sure they were disappointed that he wasn't here today. He's got a schedule he's got to make. I can't fault that.

Q. Well, two questions, No. 1, at what age, as a father, what age did you start teaching your sons to play golf?

JACK NICKLAUS: I always look at starting young kids at an age when they really have the ability to have an attention span that they can take instruction. And I always have defined that as when they can play three holes without chasing a frog. And that's about an hour (laughter.) That's been my definition of that for years. And I think that what I'm saying there, you can imagine you've got a kid, he's out at the golf course, and you're out trying to teach him something and he sees a rabbit run by or you're down by the water and they see a frog. They'll run after those things and chase them, right? So my kids were all different ages, Jackie started when he was eight or nine years old. Steve really started later than that. Gary could play 18 holes at six years old. He didn't chase any frogs for 18 holes at that age. Gary is more like I am. His attention span is focused on things. So they're all different. My daughter never did play golf. She'd go out and play -- she'd go out -- I guarantee now he could go out and play and break 90, she'll certainly break a hundred, but she's a good athlete. But you've got different people to do different things. And I think it's all attention span, and I think it's really where kids can really show an interest that they want to learn.

Q. Also what about Tiger in the Grand Slam, is it a realistic thing to discuss?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, he's on a pretty big high. And he's playing awfully well. I think -- obviously he's the only one that's got a shot at it. The golf courses this year, I think with Congressional is a very, very good golf course for him. I don't know whether Troon is or not. I think Troon -- Troon's a hard golf course to say, because there's so many factors, Troon can be hard, Troon can be soft. When it's hard Troon is really a difficult golf course to really manage a golf game, really tough that way. And Winged Foot, I don't know, Winged Foot's a strange golf course, it's produced strange winners. You remember Casper when he won there, it was basically -- what did he have 104 putts or something, and then heal won there, didn't he? And then Fuzzy? . And I think the greens are really the factor at Winged Foot. The greens are very, very difficult at Winged Foot. You've got to be on your putting game at Winged Foot. I would say that chances of Tiger winning two of them at Congressional are very good. Beyond that I don't know. I think anybody winning all four is a very, very difficult chore, but it's possible.

Q. When did you determine to get the official word that Tiger Woods was definitely going to play here, and what logistical import did that have as far as extra security?

JACK NICKLAUS: I felt like he was going to play here all along. He said he was going to play, he told us that a long time ago. He's got the policy to not enter until the Friday before, from the problem he had last year. They requested -- he probably requests extra security and so forth, a couple of months ago, I don't know, whenever it was. But I sort of felt like he was going to play. I would have been very surprised if he didn't play.

Q. That was the only thing, more marshals in his group or whatever?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't really get involved in that. There was a request from the TOUR for extra marshals and extra security for different things. And I don't really know the specifics. I'm sure that Jim Wisler could -- he can answer that question for you easier than I can.

JIM WISLER: Basically it's just adding a couple of extra marshals and a couple of extra security people. And again, we've been doing it for several players throughout the years, so it's not that big a deal.

Q. I saw Phil Rodgers out with you taking a walk, playing a few holes, what were you and Phil working on?

JACK NICKLAUS: Working on my golf game.

Q. Any aspects in particular?

JACK NICKLAUS: Phil was nice enough to help me at Doral this year. Phil and I have worked for years together, off and on. And Phil has been in our schools and taught at our schools and so forth. But I asked Phil what he saw and he told me what he saw at Doral. And I've seen him three or four times since then. He's got me back into some of the positions that I used to be in, staying into the ball and giving me the ability to hit left to right again, which my biggest problem is I haven't been able to eliminate left for several years. And when you can't eliminate left it makes an awful hard game for you, you have to eliminate one side or another, and I haven't been able to eliminate either side.

Q. I saw Phil working with Woody Austin?

JACK NICKLAUS: Woody and I played together yesterday. Woody missed one or two cuts this year, and he's had a hard time. Phil just offered to help him with his driver.

Q. Do you like the direction you're going with your game, has it helped now?

JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, my body is pretty good right now, and my golf game is doing pretty well. I'm really kind of encouraged about it. The biggest problem I have is I haven't played for six weeks, so I'm rusty from a tournament standpoint. But hopefully the rust will uncover itself by Thursday morning.

End of FastScripts....

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