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April 7, 2004

Jack Nicklaus


BILLY MORRIS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, we are delighted to have Jack Nicklaus with us, the only six time champion of this tournament. Why don't we begin.

Jack, would you like to say anything or would you just like to open it to questions?

JACK NICKLAUS: I've got nothing to say. I'm just lucky to be here.

BILLY MORRIS: All right. Let's throw it open to questions, please.

Q. A lot of the younger players who are playing this course now seem to think with all of the changes that maybe the character of the course, the way it was designed originally, has been taken away with all of the lengthening. Do you think when you think back on the equipment that used to be used and the balls that used to be used that it's the same today as it was back then?


Q. Can you

JACK NICKLAUS: That was the question you asked me. (Laughter.)

The golf course has a totally different character today than it did when I did most of my winning, or all of my winning.

The golf course today is a golf course that or the golf course that I played or won on was a golf course that you could drive the ball, have generous driving areas. You had some bunkers that you could carry, and if you took advantage of those bunkers, you had a short iron into the green. If you played obviously good shots and putted well, you would do well.

Hitting good shots and putting well has not changed, but the golf course now does not have room off the tee. You must drive the ball straight. You have a little bit of rough that if you put the ball in the rough, it's not that you can't hit out of it, it's not long rough; it's just rough that keeps you from spinning the ball and playing shots. And just the golf course is just considerably longer, but it doesn't play that much longer today because of the equipment, which answers the second part of your question.

I mean, the golf course today, right now, is playing about like most of the time when I won, distance wise, for me. Which means that obviously it plays relatively short for most of the other guys even though the golf course is extremely long.

Q. What do you do with all of your courses to adapt to all of these changes?

JACK NICKLAUS: Nothing. I build them, and as soon as I give them to the owner I say they are obsolete. (Laughter.)

And they are. I mean, every time you start a golf course, it takes you a couple of years to do it. By the time you've gone through two years to change the golf course, they have changed the equipment enough that you haven't designed for it.

You don't want me on that today. I don't like it, but it's all right.

Q. Not to dwell too heavily on the course layout, but thinking back to when the Open was at Olympic and it was played as a par 4?

JACK NICKLAUS: You said the Open was played at Olympic. What hole are you talking about?

Q. 17. The tiny green

JACK NICKLAUS: I didn't know what hole you were talking about.

Q. I'm sorry. But to use 7 here as an example, because the tee is now pushed far back, it would seem that that green is small, and it's undulating as it is, it's designed for a wedge or a short iron.

JACK NICKLAUS: What are the guys playing? What do you think the guys are playing into it? I played wedge yesterday. I mean, if I can play wedge, you can't tell me there's anybody in this field that can't play wedge.

Q. Did you hit driver off the tee I assume?


Q. What did you used to use off the tee?

JACK NICKLAUS: It depended. When I first came here I hit driver off the tee. Of course the trees were not here when I first came here. Those trees were not here when I first played the golf course. There were no trees between 3 and 7. I used to drive the ball up there, but you could hit a driver but you'd hit it up there with a driver and sand wedge, which is what you would play. I think the hole was designed to give you room off the tee and play a short iron to the green.

Now, you know, the hole still plays a driver and a short iron. All that they have done change wise on the golf course is tried to relate the golf course to what's happened with the change of equipment and golf ball. I think that the golf course, I think they have actually probably done a pretty darned good job of that.

But have they changed character of the golf course? Yes, I think they were forced to change the character of the golf course because the golf ball goes so much straighter. And they are forcing the guys to you know, square grooves, the better conditioned fairways, all kinds of issues that make the game of golf a lot easier for these guys, not necessarily for the average golfer, but for these guys it makes it a whole lot easier.

When you do that, then you end up in a situation, you have to do something to protect your golf course, and that's what they have tried to do here. Two years ago, I think that this golf course was too long for me to play. But with two years of change of golf balls, the golf course is not too long for me to play anymore, and I'm two years older, obviously.

It will be plenty hard. I'm not worried about it being plenty hard. I've got enough problems myself with my own golf game to worry about anything else. And the guys, some of the guys will struggle, but some of the guys also play very, very well out here. The golf course is in absolutely beautiful condition. The golf course, as I'm sure you've heard from everybody, the fairways and greens are excellent. They have actually slowed the greens up since last weekend a little bit, which I think was a smart thing to do.

I played here last Friday, hit a ball on the 15th green, that little wedge shot I hit into the green, I was walking, got halfway to the green, a little gust of wind got the ball and blew it back in the lake. We saw the balls at 16 which run down the slope, and every one that rolled down the slope went in the water. If they had not changed it or slowed it up just a little bit, we would have really been looking for the windmills and all of the other stuff this week.

I think they have used good judgement with what they have done.

Q. Young Nick Flanagan is the first Australian amateur to stay up there in the Crow's Nest. Could you talk about the spirit of amateur golf at Augusta National and your memories of maybe when you stayed there and dreamt about eventually ending up at the Champions' Dinner?

JACK NICKLAUS: See, I didn't know I did all of those things. I stayed in the Crow's Nest in 1959, which was my first year at the tournament, which was basically the Walker Team guys, Deane Beman, Tommy Aaron, and I don't know whether there was anybody else that stayed there with us that I remember. We all enjoyed it. We had a good time oh, Phil Rogers. We were all a bunch of good kids that were happy to be here and enjoyed it and had a ball. We all went home on the weekend. We all played with Masters Champions first round.

They have changed what they have done here. Now they have two round pairings with them and one round pairings. We used play twosomes rather than threesomes. I think it was one of the nice things that I thought was a tradition here which they don't use anymore; they use it somewhat, but going to twos and threes, what changed was the Masters Champions playing with the amateurs. I thought that was always a great thrill for the amateurs. It was a great thrill the three years I came here as an amateur to play.

I played with I think I played with Demaret one year and I think I played with I don't think I played with Hogan the first round ever. I don't remember who I played with. Maybe I played with Snead.

But anyway, I was U.S. Amateur Champion, who was Masters Champion? I probably played with Art Wall in '60, if I recall, because Art won here in '59 and I was the Amateur Champion so I more than likely played with him. Those were nice traditions. So they were nice for the young guys to come here. Not many tournaments the Amateurs can get in.

Nick Flanagan, he's coming here, he's got his eyes wide open and probably a lot wider open than anybody might really expect. He's a young kid that came along and won the U.S. Amateur and probably didn't give himself much chance for that when he came here, and now he's got himself invitations to a lot of wonderful golf tournaments and opened the door to a lot of things, and the Crow's Nest is one of them. He'll enjoy that experience. But he'll, too, have to have his feet on the ground to play golf, which all of us had to learn how to do.

Q. Based on what you said about the changing of the course, do you think it's less likely that we'll see a Sunday charge like you had?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think it makes much difference. I think that when the golf course you know, I felt like the golf course two years ago probably eliminated the average hitting length pro. In two years, I think it probably the golf ball has gotten that much more length to it that it probably doesn't eliminate the mid length pro as much as it used to. Obviously Mike Weir and Jeff Maggert right there to the end were certainly not long hitters. I played with Mike today and he doesn't hit the ball any further than I do. If he can win the golf tournament from that length, then somebody that hits it my length can hit it. Not many guys hit it my length, they all hit it past me today.

Of course, what Mike did last year was phenomenal. He hit 50 percent of the greens last year, and this tournament, historically, has been won by the person probably in the top two or three in greens in regulation during the week, and Mike was not last time, but his chipping and putting was fantastic.

What's changed for the golf course, it's probably done what Hootie wanted to have happen here, and that's have the golf course play relatively the same based on equipment. I think it's getting close. The only difference is that you have to drive the ball straight, and they really put a premium on driving the ball in play and in position to be able to play. If you put the ball on the edge of this rough with hard greens, it's pretty difficult to stop it on those greens. I think that's the only issue, which I think is probably fair enough.

Q. What are your thoughts on whether Tiger is struggling with his game relative to him? And is there any correlation with the majors that are going on right now, maybe being a little bit more open, the door being open, as it relates to times when you might not have been at your best for majors?

JACK NICKLAUS: I'm trying to figure out what that question was.

First of all, Tiger, we all would like to struggle like Tiger is struggling. I'm sure we all would like that. But for him, relatively so, he probably is.

It's probably a little bit frustrating for him. I got a little frustrated at times when I couldn't I went a few tournaments without winning a major.

I don't think it will be long again before he does. He's got too good a work ethic and golf game and he's got too much of a purposeful outlook on the game of trying to make sure he makes things happen. I think he'll make things happen. I wouldn't worry too much about him, frankly. I think he'll do just fine.

What was the latter part of your question?

Q. The door being more open.

JACK NICKLAUS: I think what you're finding, like a couple of years ago, is that Tiger's competition has yet to come out. Well, all of a sudden we have got an Adam Scott, you can probably name a half a dozen other players that have come out here in the last couple of years that have probably given Tiger a pretty good run and are going to continue to, as well as some of the older guys who have finally learned how to win more. I think definitely the tournament is more open today.

Q. Tiger talked yesterday about, I guess, discovering some balance in his life and enjoying things outside of just going to the practice tee and the course. Did you at any point in your career make a similar discovery or did you always kind of have that?

JACK NICKLAUS: I discovered that before I ever started playing professional golf. That has always been my objective. Golf had never been a very big anything in my life. Sure, did I want to win? Absolutely. Did I want to work hard? Yeah, I wanted to work hard. Did I want to be the best player that I could be? Sure. I always wanted to be those things, but I didn't want that to be at the expense of my family and other things.

You know, I think that we all fall into that category somewhere, somewhere along the lines with our life. I've said for a long time that I think when Tiger, when he gets married and starts to have a family, will be a better golfer than he is today. And he certainly isn't too bad today. To have somebody to come home, somebody to share it with, have a diversion, he'll have something other than, as you say, going to the practice tee and the golf tournament, something to come back home to at night.

I think that all people need more things in their lives, not as a diversion, but they need more things to be able to give them a rest away from, give them time to be able to clear their minds and be able to when you start to practice, you say, well, I've got six more days to work for the golf tournament, and that's all I've got to do for this next six days is hit golf balls.

Well, if you have two or three kids and if you've got maybe some commitments to a couple other things, you sort of budget your time so when you do practice, you really focus on what you're doing. I think that if we do that, I think you get more out of your practice and more out of your life, frankly.

Q. With Arnold Palmer playing his 50th Masters this year, just wondering if you had any desire to match that number or if you had any number in mind.

JACK NICKLAUS: 44. (Laughter.) I mean, that's the number I'm playing this year, and I have no idea whether I'll play next year. I have no idea what I'm going to do.

Will I probably? I don't think I'll ever match Arnold's 50, I don't think so.

I think that Arnold has meant so much to this tournament and the tournament has meant so much to Arnold. I think it's kind of nice that he's able to play 50 Masters. Now, will this be his last one? I wouldn't bet on it. (Laughter.) I mean, I think you all know Arnold well enough that even though he says it, how many times has he said it's his last one? Right? (Laughter.)

Next year, it will be, "I always wanted to play over 50 Masters." (Laughter.) I don't know. Whenever Arnold wants to play, he's earned the right to do so.

Q. Through most of your years here there were 10, 12, 15 international players and now this year already almost three times that number. Did you have a sense then there should be more, or is it just that it's grown so much?

JACK NICKLAUS: More what? More international players?

Q. Or there are just so many more of them?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think that probably what you're looking at is the change in qualification for this tournament. I'm not really sure what the qualifications are to be very honest with you. I know it's the Top 50 players in the world. So of the Top 50 players in the world, it seems to me there's probably more international today than there's ever been before. The game has become more worldwide. There's been more world tours, more world tournaments, more things to give competition to more players and opportunity to have the ability to get into this golf tournament or qualify to get into this golf tournament.

Now, I think that's great for the game of golf. I think it's terrific.

I've never believed in a closed shop. I think it's always, if you've got your golf clubs, you come play. If you can qualify to get in, then you ought to go play. Whether it's Charlie Sifford at one time or Lee Elder or Michelle Wie, it really didn't make any difference. If you can come qualify and play, you ought to play. You should never be legislated out of something. I think it's great we have the world qualification now that allows the players to have the ability to get in through other avenues other than coming to the U.S., to have to win U.S. tournaments to get in.

Is that really what you're driving at? Yeah, I think it's great. I've always believed the game is a worldwide game and should remain so.

Q. You talked about playing with Mike Weir today. We're watching Mike this week with the dinner and the press conference, everything a champion has to do. Is this a tougher place to defend a title than anywhere else?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think that a lot of people stay away from the defending champion because they think that. So I think Mike would probably like to have more to do. I think he's sort of everybody thinks that the defending champion is burdened with a lot of stuff. Sure, he's got questions to answer, but he has questions to answer any time. I promise you, he is the only person in this field that would like to be burdened with the opportunity to be defending champion. Or how would I phrase that every other player in the field would like to have the same problem he has, is what I'm saying.

I played with Mike today. Mike is close to being very good. He's not quite there, but I don't think you want to be quite there on Wednesday. He'll do fine. He's a nice young man, a nice player, works hard at his game and has gotten a nice result from his efforts.

Q. Before you started winning Masters regularly, was there did you

JACK NICKLAUS: I never thought it was regular. But I did win some last Masters (laughing).

Q. Before you won so many of them, did you ever take special preparations, and if so

JACK NICKLAUS: Preparations for?

Q. How would you start working on shots you might use here?

JACK NICKLAUS: You mean preparations for this tournament?

Q. Yes.

JACK NICKLAUS: I've said several times that I always started the year, or I looked at the start of the golfing year as the Masters. And everything that I did prior to that was to prepare myself for the Masters and the U.S. Open, the British Open, PGA. That, essentially, was my year. That's what I always prepared for.

I always started in January picking the tournaments that I wanted to play that would give me the competition that I wanted and maybe give me similar conditions that I wanted, give me the opportunity to play shots that I wanted to play, that I thought that I might play here. I avoided a lot of tournaments two or three weeks before The Masters simply because you knew you were going to hit a ton of wind and you were going to be playing a lot of knock down shots and stuff like that.

Occasionally, I would play some of those, but most of the time, not. I like to play the courses where you needed to fly your ball in the air.

Oh, absolutely, did I that. And after I finished here, I let myself go down and I started preparing myself for the U.S. Open. Started thinking, what kind of golf course are we playing in the U.S. Open, and I have to start preparing my game and play shots and the golf courses that would prepare me for that.

Q. Did you ever win the Par 3 Tournament?


Q. Or dumped one so that you didn't have the stigma

JACK NICKLAUS: I tried to win it every time and I probably didn't play it for 15 years. Most of my career I didn't play. I just started playing it, what, five or six years ago. I just always felt like I had my own preparation for the golf tournament, which when I got here, I did my preparation a week before, went home and took a couple of days rest, got my mind off of it, came back on Tuesday played a round of golf, came out on Wednesday, played nine holes of golf, or sometimes 18, went to the practice tee, came in here. By the time I got done with that, I didn't need to add another thing to my day. I didn't want to be tired the next day. So I tried to prepare myself to be ready for Thursday and not ready for a Par 3 Tournament. That's just what I did.

I felt like, you know, as I really when it was not realistic that I was going to win the golf tournament anymore, I started to go play the Par 3 .

Q. Do you think this institution was damaged or changed by any of the events of last year, with Martha Burk and all of that?

JACK NICKLAUS: What's your opinion?

Q. Not much.

JACK NICKLAUS: Next question.

Q. Going back to Weir, did you offer any advice or words of wisdom to Mike, trying to be only the fourth player to defend the Masters title?

JACK NICKLAUS: No, no. I don't have any words of wisdom. Mike Weir is a grown man and mature player and a Masters champion. I don't think he needs any words of wisdom. I think he knows that he's good enough to go play. I just wished him well after we were done. I don't think anybody would have any objection to seeing him win it again.

Q. What do you think about the new playoff structure, going back to 18 immediately and back to 10 and immediately back to 18?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't know what the structure is.

BILLY MORRIS: They just announced this year that if we have a playoff, it's sudden death, and we go back and start on 18 and play that. If an additional hole is necessary, we'll play out 10 and then come back up 18 depending on how long it takes. The chairman just announced that here this morning.

JACK NICKLAUS: That's a change of what you had done before. You just went to 10

BILLY MORRIS: 11 is the furthest we have ever been.

JACK NICKLAUS: Maybe they didn't like to end it there because nobody could see it. Is that what they said? How about that? That's generally what we do on the Tour, so that's probably a reasonable solution.

Q. Do you enjoy the Par 3 ? Do you enjoy playing in that now?

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, we have a good time. I don't have any objection to playing. It's just, it was my mental outlook was that I didn't want to go play another set of greens. They were going to play from the golf course. I didn't really sit and put a wedge on a peg. I don't see on the golf course that I'm going to putt on a peg, but I'll do it out there. If I play the Par 3 I want to try to shoot a decent score.

I just didn't it's just not something that was on my front burner.

Q. Seems the crowd really enjoys it?

JACK NICKLAUS: The crowd enjoys the Par 3. I think it's a great addition to the golf tournament. I don't have any objection to it. I suppose if everybody had the attitude I did, they wouldn't do much of anything. (Laughter.)

I had to do what was right for me when I had the opportunity to win the golf tournament. It seemed like there was enough people playing and they had enough fun and they enjoyed it and so forth and so on.

Now, do I enjoy playing it? I absolutely enjoy playing the par 3. I know that Tiger and Jay Haas, I don't know how many more hole in ones have been at 9 so far, but they put the pin down where it would funnel down to where you could make I had it like this today (indicating two inches). It's fun to see the opportunity to play a hole in one. Mike had a hole in one on No. 2. We had fun.

Q. With all of the changes and with all of the emphasis on being straight here, is this course as fun to play as it was?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, fun, it's all relative to who you are and how you play. If I were 35 years old, I would think the golf course would be a tremendous amount of fun. As a matter of fact, I would have preferred to have had it this way when I was in my prime than the way it is. I always preferred a tougher golf course. It eliminates more players. And if I played poorly, I never wanted to win anyway if I played poorly. I should say I never wanted to win, but I wouldn't expect to.

If I was playing well, and the golf course is like this, I think it would just just like anything, I think this golf course is much to Tiger's advantage if he plays well. He's the best player, and if he plays well there will be enough guys that won't play well that this golf course will eat up.

Does that answer your question?

Q. Okay. I know it's an old question, but how is your back, and if you are healthy, how much more will you play this year?

JACK NICKLAUS: It's not the question about what my back is. My back is actually decent right now. But I never know what it's going to be tomorrow. I'm doing pretty well from that standpoint. Physically I'm not too bad.

I've been able to play. I've been able to practice a little bit. As it relates to how much I'm going to play, I just sort of relate how I'm going to play to I went out and played a pretty good tournament the end of last year at the Tradition. Granted, I 3 putted the last two greens, but I finished 10th in the golf tournament. So if I had not 3 putted the last two greens, which were both from about 80 feet, I'd have finished fourth or fifth or something like that.

When I said, here I am, finishing 10th in a golf tournament, think I had a pretty good week, if I think that's a good week, then it's time to hang up my spikes.

I started out this year at the first tournament, I finished sixth and played pretty decently. First time I played a Senior tournament where I've shot all three rounds in the 60s. But only trouble is, everybody else shot everything in the 60s. It gave me some encouragement, but realistically, I played another pretty good tournament and finished sixth. I don't play golf tournaments to finish sixth; I play golf tournaments to win, and if I win, I like to walk up the 18th hole and enjoy it, not, you know that's not my I don't get a big charge out of that, in other words.

Not that I couldn't play, not that I don't enjoy playing. My time is past. I enjoy fishing. I spent five days on my boat last year to fish. Frankly, per day, that was pretty expensive. (Laughter.) And I really enjoyed doing that and getting away and having other things to do that are fun. I've played golf all my life. If you can't play well enough to really win and be competitive, I don't really have a big desire to play. So I don't know how much I'm going to play.

I'm going to play all of the kids are going back to this Nationwide tournament, the BMW tournament we played last year. We all had a good time together, had fun. Steve and I played the Pro Am, and we are going to play again this year. We're going to do that. I'm going to play the Memorial Tournament. Outside of that, I have nothing else on my schedule.

Will I have something else on my schedule? Probably, but I don't know what it might be.

Q. Speaking of schedule, are you pleased with how your course is coming along up in Champion'S Retreat?

JACK NICKLAUS: My nine holes is done. We are the first ones to finish ours. Ours is a very, very nice nine holes of golf. I have no idea what the other two are. But it's a nice piece of property. They probably should have a nice golf course on it. I think they will do very well on that.

Q. You mentioned the Nationwide Tour event coming up. Were you the one that talked Gary Player into playing with his son with you or was it the tournament committee?

JACK NICKLAUS: Maybe Gary brought it up, I don't know. I really have no idea. You'd have to ask Gary.

My guess is that they saw us playing and they thought, hey, it may be a nice idea to invite Gary. Or Gary saw us playing and said, Jack might enjoy it and then they heard that Gary wanted to play, I don't really know. I have no idea.

I think it's kind of nice that Gary and Wayne get to play. They have a Pro Am division and Pro celebrity division. So Wayne being a golf pro would fit into that celebrity division so he would be able to play in that as in a Pro Am.

Q. What are your realistic expectations for your play this week?

JACK NICKLAUS: My realistic expectations, probably realistically is if I could make the cut, I would probably do pretty well.

I felt like that if I play well and play pretty well, and how well I'll play, I don't know, I would expect that I could still finish in the Top 10 in this golf tournament. But I'd have to play awfully well to finish in the Top 10, for me.

But that's sort of a goal. And if I happen to be playing that way and get in there Sunday, I would probably be trying to creep up on that list a little higher than ten.

Q. You said you don't get much of a charge out of playing if you're not competitive, and in this tournament you're hoping for a Top 10, which would be a great showing?

JACK NICKLAUS: That doesn't that would be fun. All I look at that is if I could finish in the Top 10, at least I didn't embarrass myself. That's sort of the way I look at it.

Q. What do you think will convince you, if that decision comes, what will make you decide you don't want to play here? I've come to that decision a long time ago. It's just how do I stop playing. (Laughter.) It's a very difficult thing to do. It's something I've done all my life, it's something that I know that has to come to an end sooner or later and something that there's only one person that's going to end it, and that's me.

I've got to be able to make that decision and I should make that decision prudently and not be around here when I shouldn't be playing.

Now, I'm probably beyond when I should be playing anyway. But I could still go out and I can still shoot this golf course and I can still shoot 68 on this golf course if I play well.

You know, that may be an unrealistic number for me to think that I can shoot 68, but I still think that I can do that. But I have to play very, very well to do that. To be competitive, 68 has got to be I used to think 68 was par on this golf course. That's the big difference in mental outlook.

BILLY MORRIS: If you shoot 68 four times you win it.

JACK NICKLAUS: I understand that, Billy. (Laughter.) And I suppose if I shoot 68 four times, I would probably be able to go into orbit around this world without even a ship. It would be about the same realism there.

Q. Given the scores that you've put up this year, your handicap has to be way down.

JACK NICKLAUS: I was a 2.1 here a year ago. I ruined it. I shot a 68 and 67 on my card a year ago and just ruined my handicap. That's true. I was a 2.1 on the board.

Q. Are you better prepared to try and compete than maybe you have been the last couple of years?

JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, I am. I'm playing I'm better prepared than I've been for several years here, yeah.

Q. In '98 when you made that charge on the front nine and finished sixth, how good did that feel doing that at age 58, and do you think without

JACK NICKLAUS: Didn't feel good. I didn't win. I'm very serious. I sit in the exact same position walking down the 15th fairway that I did in '86. Now, granted in '86, I made a pretty fantastic finish, but I was still sitting in the middle of the fairway at 15 with an iron shot to the green with an opportunity to try to finish the same way.

Now, it turned out O'Meara birdied the last hole, so I finished I would not have won, but I would have come right there.

If I had been in the clubhouse and done that, O'Meara might not have birdied the last hole. So, I had two other guys sitting behind me with Kite and Norman in '86, they had an opportunity to birdie the last hole, and they both did not. One of them bogeyed it.

I feel like what the hell was your question? (Laughter.) I went off on another tangent, but what was the actual question?

Q. Do you think if you had not had that hip surgery you would be that competitive

JACK NICKLAUS: I played that year almost on one leg. My left leg was useless that year. Physically, I'm much better now than I was then.

And with the golf ball, which has now brought this golf course back into play for me, I have a better chance. But it's the same for everybody else. I've just got to play way, way better than I know how to play to have a chance. I guess I've just got that much confidence or I'm that cocky or whatever you might want to think. But I do believe in what I can do. Whether I can do it or not, and I will probably 99 chances out of 100 be disappointed, but I have to be that way; otherwise, why would I be out here?

Q. What ball are you playing?

JACK NICKLAUS: Actually I'm using a Callaway, a new Callaway Black ball, X. I don't have a contract with anybody, and I just go around and play the ball that I think is the ball of choice right now, and I think that's the ball of choice right now.

Q. Is there a hot setup for you?

JACK NICKLAUS: Hot setup? What's a hot setup?

Q. Club, driver, shaft, and that ball?

JACK NICKLAUS: No. I use 14 Nicklaus golf clubs that we make ourselves, and a Callaway golf ball. That's what I play.

BILLY MORRIS: Jack, thank you very much, and good luck to you this week.

End of FastScripts.

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