Nicklaus Still Optimistic at Age 63


ALOHA, Ore. (AP) -- Jack Nicklaus can't be blamed for taking it easy as he gets older.
Nicklaus, who won 73 PGA Tour events - including an unprecedented 18 majors - doesn't have much more he wants to accomplish.
This week the 63-year-old plays in the JELD-WEN Tradition, the final major on the Champions Tour this season. Nicklaus is a four-time winner of the event, which gets under way Thursday at the Reserve Vineyards Golf Club.
'I don't have any goals at all, except to maybe win this week - that would be good,' he said. 'Every time I go to a tournament I feel like if I can get into contention, I can remember what I need to do.'
Nicklaus said jokingly that he hadn't had a birdie in August until the 19th - adding with a smile that he hasn't played since the Senior British Open late last month.
'The last 10 days I've played quite a bit, trying to get my game in shape,' he said. 'I know the golf course pretty well so we'll see what happens.'
In addition to his PGA Tour majors, Nicklaus has won eight senior majors, making him the only player to have won four majors on both the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.
Next up for Nicklaus? He'll head the U.S. team in this year's Presidents Cup on Nov. 13-23 at the Links Course at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate in George, Africa.
While the Tradition is making its debut in Oregon after 14 years in Arizona, Nicklaus is familiar with the par-72, 6,994-yard course at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.
The John Fought and Bob Cupp-designed course nestled in the suburbs west of Portland was the home of PGA Tour pro Peter Jacobsen's Fred Meyer Challenge for the past five years.
The popular two-day charity event attracted players like Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and David Duval. It ended last year when its sponsor opted not to renew.
Among those in the 78-player field for the Tradition are Tom Watson, who becomes the first player to compete in all nine PGA Tour/Champions Tour majors in a single season, and Bruce Lietzke, the only player on the Champions Tour to win two events this season.
In the tour's other four majors this season: Watson won the Senior British Open, John Jacobs won the Senior PGA, Lietzke took the U.S. Senior Open and Craig Stadler won the Senior Players.
It's the first time the tour has been to Oregon since the 1982 U.S. Senior Open at Portland Golf Club.
'It's about time that we're playing a tournament in the Northwest,' Lietzke said. 'God bless Florida, Texas and California, but we need to play golf in other places.'
Last year, defending champion Jim Thorpe made a 3-foot birdie putt on the final hole at Superstition Mountain, forcing a playoff with leader John Jacobs. He then birdied the 18th hole again to win his first major on what was then called the Senior PGA Tour.
Related Links:
  • Jack Nicklaus' Bio
  • Full- Coverage - JELD-WEN Tradition
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