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Nicklaus Recalls First Trip to Inverness

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Jack Nicklaus first played the Inverness Club course as a 17-year-old in the U.S. Open of 1957. What does he remember?
I played with Tommy Jacobs and Freddie Hawkins, and (on the first hole) I hit 3-wood and 7-iron on the green and holed the putt for birdie, Nicklaus said. I parred the next two holes and my name was on the leaderboard.
Then I double-bogeyed No. 4, never to be heard of again. I spent the weekend here (spectating) after I shot 80-80.
Nicklaus is well aware of the push to replace him as the games greatest golfer with Tiger Woods. Thats fine, he says, but I havent paid a lot of attention to it.
As I grew up in my career, there was (Bobby) Jones to compare to, (Ben) Hogan to compare to, Arnold (Palmer) to compare to, whoever you want to compare to. I think the last guy on the block is the one that got crowned. I got crowned, and I crowned somebody else and they will crown somebody else.
Woods is in the middle of his career, said Nicklaus. We dont know whether Tiger is going to be playing next week or not time will tell whats going to happen. I dont think its important to me. I played my golf during my time, did the best I could during my time. My goal when I passed Jones record in 73, my goals for tournament golf were done. I didnt have anybody to shoot at.
Tom Watson is in the middle of a string of six major championships. It began with the PGA Seniors Championship. He followed that with the U.S. Open, took off a week and came to Inverness for the U.S. Senior Open.
After another week off, Watson plays the Ford Senior Players Championship. He then goes to Great Britain where he will play the British Open and then wind up with the Senior British Open.
Watson says his swing speed during his younger days was one of the faster ones on tour.
I was one of the longer hitters out there for most of my career, he said. And it was measured when they first came out with the swing analysis and it was 115 (mph). That was about the maximum I could get with the Tony Penna 43-inch driver.
As Inverness was playing Wednesday, it is a short hitters dream, said John Jacobs. Jacobs won the last major, the PGA Seniors, and his superior length was one of his biggest advantages.
I mean, its not just this tournament ' I see it every tournament I play in, said Jacobs.
I have never seen them narrow the fairway at 250 and widen it at 290. Some of these holes are ridiculously narrow down there where your ball is going to roll ' even with a 3-wood. It slopes in the fairways down there, anyway Im just saying that it is kind of funny how they penalize the long hitter. I know how in tennis, they all play with the same racquet and the same courts.

John Schroeder withdrew Wednesday morning because of an Achilles tendon injury. He will be replaced by Glenn MacDonald, who lost a seven-hole playoff to Lon Hinkle in qualifying.
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