Jack Not Sure He Can Play at Memorial


DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus is a man in discomfort. He also is a man who changes his mind about playing golf every five minutes this week. He would be a little surprised if he completed four rounds. Then again, he wants to play so badly that he is almost going to try, regardless of the consequences.
My game is almost non-existent, he said, talking like a man who has struggled, with his list of ailments, to get a drive out there 230-240 yards. Health-wise, I am fine.
Tuesday he didnt sound like someone who could tee it up in his Memorial Tournament this week. A little bit later, he said he is pretty sure he will.
I just hurt, he said. How do you translate that? I dont know how to translate it. Im working, trying to get better.
Whether that is good enough to play, Ill make that decision tomorrow. If I dont think I can play and I dont think I can be as reasonably good, then Im not going out there and play.
Nicklaus has been plagued by weak back muscles that keep him from playing up to his capabilities. At various times his back has become fatigued after only a short period of time. He has played reasonably well is Senior events the early days. But he is pooped by the weekend.
This week, he doesnt like his chances.
If I dont think I can play, if I dont think I can compete reasonably well, then Im not going to enter, he said.
Nicklaus spoke as recently as Friday of his optimism at playing in the tournament. But he was a little more guarded Tuesday. Then again...
I wasnt hurting very much then, Nicklaus began. Im hurting more than Id like to hurt right now. Ive played every day ' actually Im playing better. Its not a question of how Im playing. But I want to feel that I can play, that I can play four rounds, Im dont want to just take a spot.
Thats what I WANT to do. Do I feel I can do that right now? I honestly dont know. But I think Ill be able to play.
Nicklaus has been hampered for several years now with physical ailments. His back his been a problem for two or three decades. His hip was a real problem until he had it replaced. Now, his back is a real handicap again.
Im getting better every week, said Nicklaus. I really think Im going to be able to play golf pretty well again shortly. I dont think Im ever going to be able to play like I used to play.
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