In fact, the six-time champion hasnt yet made up his mind whether or not hell play for the 44th time.
Until I go to Augusta, I cant answer the question on Augusta. Ill go up there shortly, said the 63-year-old.
Nicklaus added that he plans on playing the course some within the next two weeks.
I need to go play the golf course and then Ill make up my mind, not two days before the golf tournament, he said. If I think I can, Ill go play. If this is any indication here, I cant play anything.
Last year, Nicklaus skipped the season's first major for only the second time since 1959 because of back problems. He said he twice played the course a year ago, but wasnt able to perform up to his expectations on the lengthened layout.
The way I was swinging it last year there was no real reason for me ever to go to Augusta. I hit seven or eight woods on the par-4s into the green and Im not going to do that now, he said.
But were all talking about something ridiculous, me playing Augusta, what difference does it make? Im not going to win Augusta. But youre interested and I appreciate that. But I want to go up there and play because Id like to be there, whether I compete or not.
As for his playing schedule outside of The Masters, Nicklaus said he would play one regular Champions Tour event, one Nationwide pro-am with his four sons, the Champions Tour majors, and his own Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour.
I cant imagine me doing much else. I think I probably wore my welcome out on this tour, he said. But, you know, I feel pretty good. I feel like I want to play. I still dont have a very good golf swing yet.
Sixty-one players will resume their second rounds at 7:00 AM Saturday. The 36-hole cut will then be made, with the low 70 players (and ties) advancing to the third round. Groupings for round three will consist of threesomes off the first and 10th tees ' with the third round to be completed around 6:00 PM.
Saturdays forecast calls for partly cloudy skies. There is a 20-percent chance of afternoon showers, according to PGA Tour meteorologist Stewart Williams.
In the event that NBC News coverage of the war in Iraq preempts Bay Hill coverage, the tournament can be seen on cable affiliate CNBC.
Live coverage is scheduled to air 3-6 PM ET Saturday and 2:30-6 PM Sunday.
If there is a shift in coverage, it shouldnt affect CNBCs airing of the Champions Tour event. The Toshiba Classic is scheduled from 6-8 PM Saturday and Sunday.
Thanks for Nothing
The horn sounded a little too late Friday morning to help Trevor Immelman.
The South African, who started the day in a six-way tie at the top, was leading by two shots, at 5-under, when he bogeyed the par-5 16th, his seventh hole of the day. He then made quadruple bogey-8 at the par-4 18th when he hit two balls into the water.
Play was stopped due to inclement weather while he was on the next hole.
Immelman, who lives in nearby Lake Nona, went on to shoot 80, including a 9 on the par-5 sixth. He is at 5-over-par 149.