'I think I have a pretty good idea of how I want to play,' he said Thursday. 'I played in Hawaii for eight rounds and was never out of the 60s. Gave me a little tone to my game.'
Nicklaus will play with Tom Kite and Doug Tewell in Friday's opening round of the $1.6 million tournament at the par-71, 6,584-yard Newport Beach Country Club course, the shortest on the Champions Tour schedule.
'This is an old-styled course,' Nicklaus said. 'You don't have to hit it like a gorilla.'
Nicklaus finished sixth in the season-opening MasterCard Championship shortly after turning 64.
'I didn't think I was going to play another year,' he said. 'But I played pretty well in Hawaii at the MasterCard event and the Skins game and I was feeling pretty good. And I know that I won't have to shoot 8-under rounds all three days to have a chance to win. We'll just have to see.'
Rodger Davis won his first and only Champions Tour title here a year ago. He has made two cuts this year, with 23rd his highest finish.
Kite has won nine times in California. He has one top-10 finish so far this year.
Dana Quigley will be making his 239th straight Champions Tour appearance this week. He has eight titles, and two second-place finishes this year.
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