June 17, 1994
LES UNGER: Any comments before the round from your wife today.
JACK NICKLAUS: She said she thought 22 was a good age; just be
one day older today. Tomorrow we will shoot for 32. That is a
little bit more experience at that age.
LES UNGER: Questions.
Q. How are you holding up? Are you tired?
JACK NICKLAUS: No, I don't have any reason to be tired. Why would
I be tired? Are you tired? Why would I be tired? I don't get tired.
I keep myself in fairly decent shape from that standpoint. And
I think the reason people get tired -- I still -- today I had
two glasses of water every hole and I think that just is the key;
keep yourself hydrated out there on a day like today. I mean,
it is just important.
Q. Jack, can you assess your position right now looking at
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I made the cut. My first one this year. Yeah,
it is my first one in a regular tournament this year. Yeah, I
will finally get some official money. Also, if I play a good round
tomorrow I have a chance of winning the U.S. Open. So that is
sort of the way I feel. I played two pretty good rounds of golf.
I hope I have played my bad round of golf today as far as hitting
the ball. Tomorrow I think I'd like to be able to play a little
bit better than I did today and think my way around to a good
solid round of golf and to leave myself in the position to try
and beat it on Sunday. If I get myself in position on Sunday,
I think have got a shot to win.
Q. Jack, is there any one area of the game that you really
are worried about right now?
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I do not ever worry about any part of it. I
suppose that my weakest part is off the tee. Used to be my strength
and now it is my weakness, and I have to keep the ball in play
if I want to have a chance to play well. And that is the key.
I wasn't -- I missed -- let us see, I missed the first fairway.
I missed the third fairway, but only missed it by a yard, by two
feet just the semi-rough. I missed the 7th fairway very badly.
I hit the bunker at the 9th. That is four fairways I missed. That
is -- I missed the 11th and 12th hole of the -- I hit the rest
of the fairways. So I missed six fairways. When you miss six fairways
in the U.S. Open you should get penalized. On those six holes,
I pared one. Birdied 3. Bogeyed 7, and parred 9 which is a wasted
stroke. So that is two strokes I gave away there and I fortunately
got out of 11 with a par and 12 with a par. I really didn't cost
myself very much by hitting it in the rough and that was -- that
is pretty lucky. Actually I played them even par, all 6 holes.
That is pretty good.
Q. Jack, was there much difference in the course today after
the rain last night?
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I think it was a little softer. I think the
greens were about the same pace. And I think that hitting into
the greens you had a little bit more of a
chance to stopping the ball rest of it was about the same.
Q. Jack, Arnold Palmer didn't make the cut today. Can you comment
briefly on the huge contribution that he has made to this championship
and golf in general?
JACK NICKLAUS: What did he shoot today?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, you know, Arnie and I have played a lot of
golf together for a lot of years, and I think we are all you know,
sorry to see anyone finish their career in anyplace, and I think
Arnie feels he probably had enough of it, and he has been great
for the game; great for the golf, but I think he feels a little
bit like I do. I think there is a time when you sort of pass it
on and let the younger guys have it. I am about at that point
too, and you know, I sort of feel I don't want to be around here
playing when I shouldn't be playing. And I have been that way
a little bit this year, and I feel very fortunate to have played
well this week to justify playing here.
Q. When will you get excited about this as well as enjoying
it or have you already----
JACK NICKLAUS: When will I get excited?
Q. Or are you already excited?
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I am always excited about playing well. I think
I have always-- go with control and excitement, you might say.
I sort of feel if I get myself too excited then I don't keep myself
under control, and when I am playing, I have got to do that. That
is the way I have played all my life. I always felt in my early
years when I really got excited; feel like I wanted to charge
and go run down the fairway and all of a sudden I have made a
bunch of mistakes and pretty soon I was watching off on the weekend;
I learned through experience that I needed to do it another way
and that happens to be my way. I am always excited about playing.
I am excited about playing well the first two rounds and put myself
in a good position; I am really looking forward to tomorrow. I
feel very calm about the way I am hitting the ball. I feel like
I had some little thing that I was doing today that wasn't quite
right and I will figure that out in about the next ten minutes
on the practice tee, so hopefully I won't do that tomorrow and
you know, I am looking forward to playing.
Q. Jack, how much golf have you played with Colin Montgomerie
and what do you feel about his game?
JACK NICKLAUS: Zero. I know nothing about his game. I was listening
to him comment on the television a minute ago. He said that he
was leader the last two years on the European tour on fairways
hit. Makes sense; doesn't it? U.S. Open. So that is all I know
about his game. He obviously played pretty well.
Q. I know it is a number of years, but 30 years ago you said
in a big tournament in the last day, you thought there were only
4, 5 players who believed they could win. How many players in
this tournament and has that changed any?
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, it changes. Four, five players usually at that
particular point in time think they can win, but you know, those
4, 5 change every week. There is more of them today that will
be in that position, but not only-- there will only be-- might
be more than that. Might be 10 that get down to the last round
and think they might have a chance to win, really think they have
a chance to win. You mean here (pointing to brain), that is what
you meant; wasn't it?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, or here, (pointing to heart) one of the 2.
Here, here and here. (pointing to head, heart and guts.)The latter
part helps you have to have that part there to go to these two.
LES UNGER: That is a great note to stop on, but if you have
another question, that is it.
JACK NICKLAUS: Thanks very much.
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