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Jacks Back at Verizon Classic

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Jack Nicklaus hasn't won an official event since 1996, but every now and again the brilliance that produced 80 combined Senior and PGA Tour victories shines through.
 
Friday was on of those days.

Nicklaus, 61, fired a blemish-free 4-under-par 67 to earn a share of the lead with Doug Tewell in the Verizon Classic in Lutz, Fla., just outside of Tampa.
 
Nicklaus carded four birdies - two on each side - and 14 pars on the par-71 TPC of Tampa Bay. The 67 marks his lowest round on the Senior circuit since the first round of the 2000 U.S. Senior Open.
 
'My game, I managed very well,' Jack said. 'I only made four birdies, but I made all the putts I had to.
 
'What I really enjoyed today was the golf course. The course was set up difficult, it was hard and fast. You had to use your imagination, your mind - where you wanted to put the ball, where you wanted to miss it. That's golf to me.
 
'It's not shooting darts. If the Tour continues to do that, then I'm going to love it so much.'
 
The difficulty of the course was evident in the fact that only 18 of the 78 players in the field managed to break par in the first round.
 
Raymond Floyd carded a 3-under-par 68 to earn outright third place; while Allen Doyle, defending champion Bruce Fleisher and Jim Holtgrieve are all tied for fourth place after rounds of 2-under 69.
 
This is Jack's third start in '01. He finished tied for 27th in the season opening MasterCard Championship, which consisted of only 32 select players. He then recorded an unofficial 66 over two days of the Senior Skins Game, where he won 10 skins and $260,000 to finish in second place behind Hale Irwin.
 
Nicklaus has won 10 times on the Senior Tour, eight of which are major championship. His last victory came in the 1996 Tradition, an event he's won four times. Nicklaus is the only player to win all four majors on both the PGA and Senior Tours.
 
Jack has had recent success in team competitions. He won the 1999 and 2000 Hyundai Team Matches with Tom Watson. He also won the '99 Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge while partnered with Watson and Irwin and the '99 Office Depot Father-Son Challenge with son Gary.
 
Is Jack Back? Or is this just a quick flashback?
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Click here for Full-Field scores from the Verizon Classic!