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June 17, 1994

Jack Nicklaus


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 the weekend?

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?

Q. 81.

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?

Q. Yeah.

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.

End of FastScripts....

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