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June 30, 1994

Jack Nicklaus


JACK NICKLAUS: Are you guys ready, and you gals? Okay. I sort of thought my round today was almost like about three different rounds. I got off to a really flying start. I had a good chance at 1, good chance at 2. Made putt at 3 from about twelve feet, hit 1-iron pitching wedge in. 4 didn't hit a good tee shot. Got it up around four feet from the hole in 3, right up the hill and I missed the putt. And then I hit it through the green at 5 and tried to putt it from down below and hit it too hard and made bogey. And I bogeyed 6 by hitting just to the left edge off the green. Made 2 bogeys, got myself one over par. Sort of scratchy at 7. I hit the bunker and made par. 8 I hit it off the left of the green; made par. 9 I was off left of the green; made par. 10, I hit a seven iron through the green; putted it back up the hill; ended up holding about a 15 footer for par. So I wasn't real happy with what I was doing at that point. I had missed a few greens in a row and not been real good. I hit a nice drive at 12; and hit a really nice 5-iron in about three feet in the hole; and made birdie; just sort of turned my round around. I started playing better even though I hit a couple of wayward tee shots at 13 and 14. The rest of the round was pretty good. I had reasonably close good chance at 12; good chance at 13; good chance at 14. Longish putts, but still good chances. I hit a nice 6-iron at 15 in about, oh, I suppose twelve feet and I missed that; left it short. Then 16 which was really my round, I hit driver with the face of the club which was kind of a surprise, and I found it in the fairway. And hit a 3-iron about 13, 14 feet by the hole and made it. Then I had it about 20 feet at 17, probably about 18 feet at 18, missed those.

Q. What did you hit on the 16?

JACK NICKLAUS: I hit a 3-iron.

Q. Are you playing with a lot of swing thoughts or trying not to?

JACK NICKLAUS: I play with different things at different times. Right now, I am trying not much different what I did at the Open. Shoulder on the ball, working on my tempo, I got -- I saw from television there a minute ago where I got premature hip turn and it caused me to go around and come back over the ball a little bit and that wasn't very good. So, I thought I corrected that when I went to the practice tee. Evidently, I didn't pay much attention to it. Maybe it didn't bother me if I did some other right things. I work on a few things. I'd love to be able to play by not having to mechanically think about what I am doing. When I play my best, I have one or two thoughts, concentrate on the shot that is at hand, do those couple of things within my swing, but concentrate on the shot. When I am a little off my iron game, I am able to do that. I am a little off with the driver, then I have my problems with that.

Q. Greens are slow?

JACK NICKLAUS: Greens are slow. Yeah, they are not -- they don't have much speed to them, Bob. They weren't that terrible though. I mean, I thought it might spike up this afternoon pretty bad but they didn't. Little spike marks, but not terrible. They weren't that soft this afternoon. I think the guys this morning probably had very soft greens with as much rain that we had last night. We had big rain last night. So, actually, I am not sure who had the better golf course today; whether we had the better golf course this morning or this afternoon probably had easier greens to make putts on this morning. We probably had a little shorter golf course, we had a little wind this afternoon.

Q. Jack, was today a day that you had to be very, very patient with yourself to make things happen?

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I just played. I didn't really try to -- I didn't really push myself to try to do something extra special, simply because I didn't know -- I didn't think I was capable of it with the way I am swinging. I just wanted to try to say be patient with myself until I could let something happen and something happened at 16.

Q. Jack, would you like to see the greens get faster, harder, firmer over the next few days?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think they will if it doesn't rain. I don't think there is any question about it. I think the USGA will. I won't be surprised, if we didn't get rain, to see them speed up two feet, you know. I think they are probably about-- they are not more than 7 and a half or 8 right now. I wouldn't say -- what do they say they are? I don't know what they say they are. I haven't really -- nobody has said. But I can't imagine it being much more than that. I think these greens were probably designed not to be any faster than maybe 9 and a half and 10. You get these greens at 11, 11 and a half, kind of speed, I will tell you, you got yourself some real work cut out for you. I don't think they are really designed to be that way. They are not -- they are not that far away. The golf course is really quite good. It is just -- they have just had unfortunately a lot of rain and the greens have just taken a little bit of the brunt of it. The rest of the golf course is very, very good. They have done a nice job preparing it.

Q. Do you think you consider it a separating kind of golf course more so than the average, much more, obviously, than the average Senior Tour?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think there is -- that it is a separating golf course. The reason I don't think it is a seperating golf course, you don't really have any severe hazards that separate you. You don't have-- really don't have out of bounds to speak of. You have an odd one here and there, but-- and you don't have any water hazards and the trees are not, you know, an integral part of the design of the golf course. It's a golf course that you play good solid golf course an. You don't get caught up in the making -- one guy makes birdie and other guy makes triple bogey. You don't see that too often at Pinehurst. It is just -- I think it's a great golf course; really good golf course.

Q. By the end of the week should the better players --

JACK NICKLAUS: You mean from the standpoint of the golf course being a pretty good golf course, does it separate the players.

Q. Yes.

JACK NICKLAUS: Yes, from that stand point, yeah. I think Pinehurst has always brought the better player out.

Q. Jack, if I am not mistaken, you also -- one of the people in there said to us, you know, Jim Albus is playing real good right now and he can be considered somebody to watch. I don't know. During the round, did you happen to even look up at the boards to see where he was and say well --

JACK NICKLAUS: I didn't say anything about anybody when I was in here before.

Q. I am sorry.

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think I was asked about anybody when I was in here before, Eddie. You want me to explain face progression?

Q. Sure. I am sure the nation was wondering.

JACK NICKLAUS: What face progression is?

Q. I know what it is.

JACK NICKLAUS: Jaime said I have to explain face progression because of my interview I just did on television, and --

LES UNGER: Face progression?

JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, you mean you don't even remember. We were talking about golf clubs on television and talking about whether it was my golf swing or the golf clubs that I felt were my biggest problem. My biggest problem has been adapting to golf clubs that were not the kind of golf clubs that I grew up with. When you use wood drivers, we had what we call face progression where the shaft was into the head in a certain place and the face was out in front. And the irons are still the same. My irons are right along -- line up with my shaft. The golf clubs today are designed by engineers and computers and everything else. They are not designed by good players anymore. And they are designed to try to let the average golfer play better rather than the good players. So the good player now gets golf clubs that are designed for the average golfer. And the company say, well, I want you to play with that club because that is what we are selling - half these guys - that is what they are doing. And frankly, I think that is where my bad driving came from when I switched to a metal driver when they took all the face progression out of the metal drivers and I tried to accommodate my golf swing to it. And I never-- I haven't done a very good job in that. So what we are doing is we have got a very nice driver that is for the average golfer that goes a long way, but I hit left, and so we have designed a golfer-- we are trying to do a prototype of a golf club that looks like an old wooden driver; only it's metal. I said, why can't we do this. They said, no reason why you can't. Just the engineers and the computers haven't done it. What we have done is taken an old wood driver and used-- got all the properties of a wood driver, which are the face progression, the -- little bit more loft, little bit more bulge; but the benefits of a metal wood, which are the perimeter weighting and moving the weight anywhere in the club that you want it, and so you get the benefits of both for a good player. Nobody has done that. And so that is what we are trying to do. Trying to get the combination of the two of them, so that doesn't mean we are going to throw away the golf club from the average golfer but that means we are going to get a golf club for the good golfer. That is what I am working with trying to play with. We don't have quite enough face progression or quite enough loft on the driver I am using. And the result, I am still not quite there yet. But I am getting closer. Say why am I using it? Because it is better than anything else I got and the metal wood does go further for me. That is why I am using it.

LES UNGER: Was it 13 that you were in a --

JACK NICKLAUS: 13 and 14.

LES UNGER: -- sand bunker?

JACK NICKLAUS: Cart path. Sand cart path. The cart paths here are just sort of out of the sand. There is --

LES UNGER: We were watching you on that one from TV. It looked like you were hoping to fade that and it didn't.

JACK NICKLAUS: That is exactly what I did. I had tried to hit a cut shot and hit a hook. I did the same thing at the next hole. Both of them. I did it earlier in the rounds too. I played three of them off the cart paths today on number 4. Anyway. . .

Q. What did it do for you to get that eagle at that point when you kind of --

JACK NICKLAUS: Allowed me to be in here.

Q. Mentally did it--

JACK NICKLAUS: If I hadn't had the eagle you probably wouldn't have me in here and I probably wouldn't be anywhere in the lead of the tournament.

Q. Did it get you pumped up?

JACK NICKLAUS: Any time you make an eagle it gets you pumped up. It makes your round any time. It made my round today.

Q. How far was the 3-iron putt?

JACK NICKLAUS: 222. Downwind. 2-iron for me, normally. So downwind it was a 3-iron.

End of FastScripts...

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