The founder and host of the Memorial Tournament yawned during interviews Thursday after shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round.
He made no apologies.
'I was so tired last night when I got done,' Nicklaus said. 'We're eating dinner about 8:30, 9 o'clock and we had some folks over, my sister's family. I just said, 'I'm going to bed.''
Apparently he still didn't get enough rest.
After completing his round, he was asked whether he felt he needed to spend more time on the putting green or the practice range, Nicklaus said, 'I think I'll probably go to bed and take a nap.'
Count David Duval among those players who believe the 10 new greens at Muirfield Village Golf Club have made a huge difference.
Trying to shake an extended slump, Duval said he played better than he scored in an opening-round 73 at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday.
'You can tell there's a big change,' he said. 'All of them are a little different, some of the breaks are a little different. It'll take some getting used to.'
Nicklaus, who designed the course, recontoured 10 greens and reseeded all 18 last fall. He also completely restructured the 17th hole to provide less room in the landing area for drives and to penalize those who strayed off the fairway or missed the green.
'The golf course played great,' said Nicklaus, who shot a 76. 'The greens were a nice speed. You had to be careful with your putts but yet they weren't ridiculous by any means.'
Lee Janzen played in the same group with Nicklaus. He said he has yet to get a handle on the new 17th.
'It's a much harder hole. I can't quite figure out how to play the hole yet,' he said. 'It's going to be an interesting tee shot, but the green is really probably the hardest shot on the hole. I hit a high and soft cut 5-iron today, but I was on the right side of the fairway so I didn't have the best angle. My ball hit and ran through the green. I know that a lot of guys are not going to be able to hit the green unless they hit the perfect shot.'
A misunderstanding has forced John Huston to go through qualifying for the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
Huston spent the last month lounging around his home in Florida, recuperating from injuries to his shoulder and elbow. While he was away, he fell a spot in the world rankings.
The top 50 players in the world after last week's Bank of America Colonial received automatic spots in the U.S. Open. Trevor Immelman finished second in the Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe, moved up to No. 38 and dropped Huston one spot, to 51st.
Had Huston put in a productive week at the Colonial, he might have retained his reserved spot in the Open.
'If I would have felt a little bit better with my shoulder, I probably would have tried to play Colonial,' Huston said. 'I could have just as easily gone up a couple of spots.'
Huston is scheduled to go through qualifying at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., close to next week's Tour stop at the FBR Capital Open.
DRIVE FOR SHOW:
Hank Kuehne belted a 339-yard drive on the par-4 closing hole and had just 77 yards left to the pin for his second shot. Kuehne hit his second shot 14 feet from the pin. He missed the putt and settled for par that capped a 5-over 77.
The drive of leader Charles Howell III on the 18th covered just 274 yards -- 65 less than Kuehne. Howell had 148 yards left to the hole and his 9-iron approach ended up 45 feet from the pin.
Howell, however, rolled in the birdie putt to cap an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry.
Woody Austin took it out on himself -- punching himself three times in the thigh -- after missing a short putt to finish with a triple-bogey 7 on 18. Had he parred the hole, he would have been tied for second place with a 65. Instead, he's tied for 11th and four shots back.
Told that a thunderstorm was scheduled to hit the course late in the day, defending champion Jim Furyk said, 'What's new?' Only four rounds -- including Thursday -- in the last 14 years did not have some kind of rain delay.
Perry, in second place after winning the Colonial last week, is 24-under in his last four rounds.
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