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June 1, 2008
DUSTIN ROBERTS: Welcome to the Jack Nicklaus Award Ceremony presented by Dillards Inc. and Harmarx Corporation. This award is given annually to the Collegiate Player of the Year in Divisions I, II, and II and the NAIA.
Our first winner is Sam Cyr. Sam is a senior at Point Loma Nazarene. Sam won the Nicklaus Award for the NAIA Division by way of six top-5 finishes this season, including three individual titles and the NAIA National Title. Sam.
(Jack Nicklaus presents award.)
He was the first national champion in any sport at Saint John Fisher College and also he won the 2005 Junior College Division III National Championship as well. Scott.
(Jack Nicklaus presents award.)
Our Division II recipient was Jarin Todd from Sonoma State. This is the second straight season that Jarin has won the Nicklaus Award. He had three wins this season, four runner-up finishes and only finished outside of the top-5 three times and had no finishes outside of the top-10. Over the past two years he's only had one finish outside of the Top-10. Jarin.
(Jack Nicklaus presents award.)
And finally our Division I recipient. Kevin Chappell from UCLA. Kevin also had three wins this season, including winning yesterday the NCAA title by three strokes. He also led UCLA to the team title. He's the first individual champion for men's golf at UCLA. He was only outside of the top-10 twice this season. And in a little bit of trivia, the last time Purdue hosted a NCAA Men's Golf Championship in 1961, the winner was Jack Nicklaus.
(Jack Nicklaus presents award.)
DUSTIN ROBERTS: Now we'll have open up for some comments from Mr. Nicklaus and for questions for our recipients.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, first of all, I'm delighted that the NCAA has asked me to have my name on an award for these young men. And we're pleased that all -- this is the first time that all four of them have been here during the week. It's been the Division I winner who has been here traditionally and this year having all four is very special for all of us.
I know that these young men have all, if you go look at their records, you can see that they have got a pretty darn good record. And these guys will all be the ones out here hacking out of this rough out here in the next couple years.
Anyway, I asked Kevin, I said, how was Purdue? He said, toughest rough I've ever seen. He said, it must have been seven, eight inches. I said, well then this stuff here is mild then.
But Pete redid the golf course over at Purdue, and when I won it a few years ago it was not all that difficult. But it's a good golf course.
And congratulations to all of you and we hope that we see you here at the Memorial Tournament in the not two distant future. I think a couple of you are juniors, aren't they? Well go finish first before you come. Okay. Thanks, guys. Anymore comments?
DUSTIN ROBERTS: Do we have any questions for any of our recipients?
JACK NICKLAUS: Jarin won last year too.
Q. Kevin, will receive an exemption in a Nationwide Tour event in Columbus, is that correct?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think he receives an exemption here.
DUSTIN ROBERTS: He'll also, he will receive an exemption to the Nationwide Tour event this summer, yes.
Q. Did you talk to any of the Kent State players about Scarlet? We talked to Billy Horschel last week or two weeks ago and he talked about the rough at Scarlet and the rough at Purdue and thought they were similar tests. And I just wondered if you heard about Scarlet at all?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Not at all. I actually have U.S. Open qualifying there tomorrow.
JACK NICKLAUS: You better go down and take a look at it today then. I assume that's what you're going to do right.
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I have no plans for it, but.
JACK NICKLAUS: You mean you were going to go do the U.S. Open qualifier without seeing the golf course?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, I was.
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't suggest that, but that's -- --
Q. Kevin, do you go in the afternoon or the morning?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: The morning.
JACK NICKLAUS: I suggest that -- any of you other guys trying to qualify? Any place?
JARIN TODD: I am, but it's back in California.
JACK NICKLAUS: You're going back to California to try to qualify tomorrow? We better get you to an airplane and get you to a golf cart to get around the place.
JARIN TODD: I played there a week and a half ago, so.
JACK NICKLAUS: So you know it, huh?
JARIN TODD: Yeah, I'll be all right.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well we wish you guys good luck. Scarlet's a difficult golf course. And did they leave the rough up?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yeah, for the NCAA regional it was, like Billy Horschel said, it was the toughest golf course he ever played in his life, so it was difficult.
JACK NICKLAUS: It's a difficult golf course. It's a strong golf course. You got to know it. And then Brookside's a nice golf course. Brookside's an old Donald Ross golf course that's pretty nice.
Q. Kevin, what's your U.S. Open qualifying history?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I missed at sectionals last year by two in Maryland.
Q. A long list of great players at UCLA, I would have thought one of them would have won this, but this is your first individual title. Does that make it mean more to you?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I actually didn't know that until yesterday when we won. It's just an honor. And to be in the same category as Corey Pavin and Tom Pernice and now Johnny Merrick and Parker, it's just an honor I guess to be the only one to do that.
Q. Better yet that Stanford and SC finished behind you?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Absolutely.
Especially by one.
JACK NICKLAUS: Was Duffy at UCLA?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Duffy went there, yes.
Q. Kevin, what's it like to, at the end of the season, Jamie Lovemark won it last year at this time. You're in the same conference with him and obviously he got a lot of publicity. What was it like to have to be in that conference and then to turn around and be on top?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: All the awards I got this year were a surprise to me. I just was kind of focused on playing golf and kind of living in the shadow of Jamie. It's nice to be recognized and nice to know that my hard work paid off.
Q. I would be curious if everyone has professional aspirations?
(All said yes.)
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No, I'm going to be a doctor. I'm kidding.
JACK NICKLAUS: A doctor of golf.
You do both, right?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I'm kidding. I was kidding.
JACK NICKLAUS: That's okay. Nothing wrong with being a doctor, it's wonderful to be a doctor.
Q. Your top-10 record is pretty impressive obviously with all the wins and everything, but to not finish out of the top-10 for such a long stretch, I'm curious if you played other sports in high school, you just strike me as somebody who must be very competitive. Because you can't have your game working that well that many times. But you obviously it was working for you.
JARIN TODD: Yeah, you just can never give up, no matter how bad it might be going at the start, you always got to try to fight to get it back and if you do that you're going to end up just fine.
Q. Did you play other sports in high school?
JARIN TODD: Not later in high school. I played basketball up until the time I was like ninth grade, but obviously not the right size to play basketball, so.
Q. Jack, where were you --in '61 when you won the NCAA, what was your professional aspirations?
JACK NICKLAUS: My professional aspirations at that time?
Q. What were you thinking of life at that point?
JACK NICKLAUS: Actually, I was thinking more of finishing up school and raising a family. And Barbara was expecting then. And I really wasn't sure what I was going to do. I really hadn't thought much about playing professional golf.
And it was later that fall that I played the America's Cup Matches, and I went and I had a conversation with Mark McCormack, and I sort of started thinking about it. And after the America's Cup Matches I sort of, that was from, I think that was in October. And I decided in November that I was going to turn pro, just changed my mind in a couple weeks.
But it's different today. I think kids grow up today with, the TOUR is really more of an, almost a role model place, because it's so visible that kids look at it and they say, well, gee, that's what I want to do. When we grew up there wasn't any, very little golf on television or anything else. We didn't get that. And it was having to make up your mind what you wanted to do as you went.
Q. Any idea what you would have been outside of golf?
JACK NICKLAUS: Any idea? Well, I don't know what I would have been. I was in Pharmacy School for three years, you knew that. And then I, my dad talked me out of that and got me over to the Business School. And so I went through a couple years of Business School and then I didn't like that either. I liked golf, frankly.
A lot like these guys. As it turned out it wasn't a bad choice. Anything else, guys?
Q. What advice can you give the guys?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I think that, I think that anything that, anything that you want to do you should be able to do. If you have a dream that you want to -- my dream was to be the best I could be at what I did. And I don't care what I did. That's what I wanted to be.
And so golf was my choice to be. I said -- I decided that I wanted to be as good as I could be at playing golf. And I think these guys, all of them want to be the best they can be. And I think if you, if you just set your goal, not set your goals low, set your goals to be the best, it doesn't mean that -- the best they can be. Doesn't necessarily mean they are going to be the best player in the world.
But if you set your goal to be as good as you can be, and you keep working to try to keep climbing a mountain, you know, you might find yourself at the top of the game one day. As long as that mountain is, as long as you keep climbing, you keep passing guys, and finally you end up getting there, it's not a bad place to be.
There's only one place to go once you get there though. You got to, you kind of got to find a good plateau on top of that so you can ride it for a lot of years. That's what you try to do.
Q. Kevin, how long are you planning on staying amateur?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: I'm going to play the Palmer Cup, which is in June or the end of June and then I'll turn probably the first week in July.
Q. Did you ever have any thoughts about staying to try to play the U.S. Amateur?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No. Especially after last summer I didn't play that well and that being a Walker Cup year, that would be what I would stick around for.
Q. The Walker Cup is this year, you would stick around for it?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: No, no. If it was this year I would have.
Q. That would be the reason to stay?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: That would be the reason to stay.
JACK NICKLAUS: Walker Cup was last year, wasn't it?
KEVIN CHAPPELL: Yes.
Q. Jack, could you just, even though we're talking about them, could you just give a comment on the women successfully defending the Curtis Cup today at St. Andrews, just your thoughts as what it's like to play at St. Andrews as a team and to play for the USGA and your country.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, Carol Semple Thompson is the captain of the team, she's one of our captains here. And of course we're delighted -- I dropped her a note and wished her luck. Sorry she had to miss our Captains Club meeting, but I think she had something more important.
And to play at St. Andrews to me is, that's the place to play, as far as I'm concerned. That's where -- well that's why I ended my career there. It's a special place to play in a team match there and be victorious has got to be very special. It's a fun place.
We never did play any team stuff at St. Andrews. All I ended up playing was The Open there and actually played a couple of TV matches there. But essentially St. Andrews is always a special place any time you were there. You're very respectful here.
Thank you very much. Okay. Well, thank you very much and congratulations, guys. And I hope that you enjoy being the winner of the Nicklaus Award and that maybe it helps you from a confidence standpoint or something else saying, hey, I remember -- I always go through the story of myself when I was not too much different than you guys age-wise.
I qualified for the Walker Cup team when I was 19 years old. And the only thing I had done, I won the Trans Miss when I was 18. And I came back and my golf coach was Bob Keppler at Ohio State. And I said Kep, you know, I was selected to the Walker Cup team, I said Kep, what do you think I ought to do? And he says, well there's no question. He says, you made the Walker Cup team, he says, let's forget college golf. He says, you're going to go to the Walker Cup, you're going to go play the British Am, going to go play a few tournaments in the spring. And you're going to have a great time. You got plenty of more time to play college golf.
Do you think your coaches would have said that to you guys? I don't think so. So anyway, that's what he did. And I went to the -- started thinking about it and of course that got us into the Masters that year, in 1959. And I started thinking about it and I says, you know, I hadn't thought much about what I was, because I played a lot of other sports. And I said, you know, I must be one of the 12 best amateurs in the country or I wouldn't be on this team.
And so the year went on and I won a few tournaments that year. And it got at the end of the year I won the U.S. Amateur, and I was rated No. 1 at the end of the year.
And I said, hmm, rated No. 1? I must be better than I think I am. And I always, and I always never, I always felt like I was -- I always wanted to make sure that I always felt that I was not quite as good as I thought I was, I always wanted to get better.
And then I finished second in the Open the next year at age 20. And I said, hey, I can play against these guys.
So it's a progression of wanting to sort of, you look at your own stuff and see what your own thing is. This award means that you're the No. 1 college player in your division. So okay, if you got the No. 1 college player or No. 1 amateur or member of the Walker Cup and you keep working your way and climbing that mountain and you keep climbing it, I think that you're going find out that the, if you keep working on everything, all of a sudden that mountain it gets a little easier to climb than steeper. It's steep to start with and then it starts getting a little shallow as you start getting toward the top. So if you're working at it, then you're working at it good. So good luck to you. Do well.
End of FastScripts