What was Nicklaus Thinking About on the 18th Tee at Pebble Beach in 2000?
Jan. 21, 2014
The NCGA wishes Jack Nicklaus a happy 74th birthday! We were invited to sit down with the Golden Bear during the rebranding of Pasadera to Nicklaus Club-Monterey. Our full conversation will run as our Q&A for the Spring issue of NCGA Golf magazine, but we wanted to share a snippet now.
We asked Nicklaus about his final U.S. Open appearance, in 2000 at Pebble Beach. There is a famous shot of Nicklaus perched on the fence bordering the 18th tee, looking pensively out toward Stillwater Cove.
So, Mr. Nicklaus, what exactly were you thinking about?
“Well, I thought, ‘This is going to be the last hole I ever play the U.S. Open,’” Nicklaus said. “‘And I know that if I go back and sit on that thing with the bay in the background, someone is going to take a picture of it. I’ve never done that in my life, other than going over the Swilican Bridge, where everyone gets their picture taken when they’re finishing (at St. Andrews).’ I thought, ‘I’m going back there and sitting there because I know someone will take that picture. And I’d like to have that picture.’”
Fair enough, Mr. Nicklaus. Fair enough.
Be sure to catch the rest of our surprising conversation with Nicklaus in April, including what shot he’d like to have back in his storied career.