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June 27, 2003

Jack Nicklaus


JACK NICKLAUS: Why you want to talk to me I don't have any idea, but I'm here.

Q. How about the difference in the turnaround?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, there wasn't much of a turnaround. Yesterday was a very difficult afternoon to play golf and I played lousy and I played similarly today but a little bit better and it was just a little easier time to play. I still didn't make much. And this is a golf course that you are going to miss greens and you have to be able to chip the ball well and it's very difficult to chip here and you are going to have to make some putts. You got to make inside ten feet you got to make most of the putts. When you miss a bunch of them you are not scoring paticularly well. Even where I am, you know, it depends on what Tom does, but I shoot a couple of round in 260's, you never know. The wind, if we had a breeze, I think over par will win the tournament if Tom doesn't continue to play well.

Q. One particular area of your game that's giving you trouble?

JACK NICKLAUS: Scoring. I mean it -- that may sound like a short, quick answer. It's not; that's exactly what's giving me trouble. It's been giving me trouble all year. I feel I hit the ball reasonable well. And I play reasonable shots, I don't feel like my putting is that terrible, I don't put it all together. I just don't score. And there is a knack for scoring and scoring comes from being able to preserve what you've got and play your smart shots when you need to play them and not do stupid things and take advantage of things when have you them and that's what I haven't been doing and that's just the lack of scoring.

Q. Did you feel the greens were starting to firm a little on your second 9?

JACK NICKLAUS: The greens will be similar to -- they won't be quite as hard and fast as they were yesterday. I would imagine the greens this afternoon will be like they were yesterday morning which is certainly much to Tom's liking.

Q. Were you more angry or frustrated after yesterday's round?

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I suppose more -- I was more disappointed in my own attitude. You know, I wasn't playing very well. I haven't been scoring very well. And even coming to the golf course yesterday with Barbara I said, "You know, I don't really want to play." And if you don't want to play, you know, you know you are not going to play well. I shouldn't say "don't want to play." I want to play. I want to play well. I didn't feel comfortable with what I was doing. I didn't feel comfortable about really being out there. No different than I was at the PGA Senior. After Muirfield I was worn out and I did not want to be there, period. And when I don't want to be at a golf tournament I don't generally play well. When I get excited and want to be there that's when I play well. And I don't know whether it's out of the frustration of not playing very well and I actually put a lot of work in it this year.

I haven't been able to play as much as I like to. I have been able to practice and practice a lot more. I haven't been getting anything out of it. And, you know, I know that the one thing I can't practice is chipping a lot because I can't bend over and stay there because that's where I really get hurt. And I know on a golf course like this you got to chip and you got to be right with that and I can't could do it, and I can't be ready for it. That's frustrating. I suppose the most frustrating thing to me is that I know I'm not prepared. Even though I'm better I'm not prepared. And you know, if you are going to play there shouldn't be any excuse for not being prepared.

And I suppose I don't want to make an excuse. I have no desire to make an excuse except that I'm just not ready. When you are not ready you don't have a lot of confidence; it just makes it very difficult to score.

Q. Do you take any positives out of today?

JACK NICKLAUS: Yes, I hung in there. You know, I started out and was 2 over par after 6 holes which I bogeyed both of the par-3s. And actually, you know, then I birdied 9. I didn't birdie 8. I birdied 11. I said, that's pretty good. I hung in there pretty good.

And then I had lies at 12, 13 -- 13, 14, get away from me to the right; and 3 just short of the green on 15 putting it up there. So I basically wasted three shots in a row after really getting myself in a position. That's what I'm talking about: The scoring where you get yourself into position and let it get away from you.

Then I played the last hole all right. I missed a short putt at the last hole. It was only six feet, the length of this here. I had to play a foot out of the hole and I still missed it a foot out of the hole. If I hit it harder it's going to the front of the green. That's the frustrating part when you are just about to get going then you let it go back again. That's what I have been doing.

Q. If you played 25 times a year, would that make a difference?

JACK NICKLAUS: I'm only going to play about 15. I haven't played 15 tournaments in about 10 years. I'm going to play a lot this year. If you started to add it up by the time I finish up through The Tradition I will play 15 or 16 events. That's a lot; 25 tournaments. I haven't played 25 tournaments since I was 25 years old. It wouldn't make a difference. If I played 25 tournaments I will be (making a noise) all today day long.

End of FastScripts....

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