Nicklaus Recalls First Trip to Inverness

By George WhiteJune 25, 2003, 4:00 pm
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus first played the Inverness Club course as a 17-year-old in the U.S. Open of 1957. What does he remember?
I played with Tommy Jacobs and Freddie Hawkins, and (on the first hole) I hit 3-wood and 7-iron on the green and holed the putt for birdie, Nicklaus said. I parred the next two holes and my name was on the leaderboard.
Then I double-bogeyed No. 4, never to be heard of again. I spent the weekend here (spectating) after I shot 80-80.
Nicklaus is well aware of the push to replace him as the games greatest golfer with Tiger Woods. Thats fine, he says, but I havent paid a lot of attention to it.
As I grew up in my career, there was (Bobby) Jones to compare to, (Ben) Hogan to compare to, Arnold (Palmer) to compare to, whoever you want to compare to. I think the last guy on the block is the one that got crowned. I got crowned, and I crowned somebody else and they will crown somebody else.
Woods is in the middle of his career, said Nicklaus. We dont know whether Tiger is going to be playing next week or not time will tell whats going to happen. I dont think its important to me. I played my golf during my time, did the best I could during my time. My goal when I passed Jones record in 73, my goals for tournament golf were done. I didnt have anybody to shoot at.
Tom Watson is in the middle of a string of six major championships. It began with the PGA Seniors Championship. He followed that with the U.S. Open, took off a week and came to Inverness for the U.S. Senior Open.
After another week off, Watson plays the Ford Senior Players Championship. He then goes to Great Britain where he will play the British Open and then wind up with the Senior British Open.
Watson says his swing speed during his younger days was one of the faster ones on tour.
I was one of the longer hitters out there for most of my career, he said. And it was measured when they first came out with the swing analysis and it was 115 (mph). That was about the maximum I could get with the Tony Penna 43-inch driver.
As Inverness was playing Wednesday, it is a short hitters dream, said John Jacobs. Jacobs won the last major, the PGA Seniors, and his superior length was one of his biggest advantages.
I mean, its not just this tournament ' I see it every tournament I play in, said Jacobs.
I have never seen them narrow the fairway at 250 and widen it at 290. Some of these holes are ridiculously narrow down there where your ball is going to roll ' even with a 3-wood. It slopes in the fairways down there, anyway Im just saying that it is kind of funny how they penalize the long hitter. I know how in tennis, they all play with the same racquet and the same courts.

John Schroeder withdrew Wednesday morning because of an Achilles tendon injury. He will be replaced by Glenn MacDonald, who lost a seven-hole playoff to Lon Hinkle in qualifying.
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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.