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Original Issue

JUST MY TYPE

JACK NICKLAUS

GOLDEN MEMORIES

The 76-year-old reflects on winning his 18th and final major championship, the 1986 Masters, with his son on his bag, and the one champions dinner that made him squeamish.

DAN PATRICK:Did you have issues getting into Augusta today?

JACK NICKLAUS: No, I didn't have any issues. We had one funny guy who said, "We gotta scan your thing." Then he looked at me and said, "I don't think we need to scan that one."

DP:What did you keep from your last Masters win, your sixth? Do you still have the putter? The plaid pants?

JN: I obviously have the memories and the trophy. But the one thing I don't have, and it's the only golf club that I don't have from all the tournaments I've won, is the putter. I think one of my kids threw it out. It was in the golf room [at our house], and I think one of them must have said, "Oh, Dad doesn't use this thing anymore. You guys can have it." I think [my son] Steve did that with my white fang putter, and somebody else did it with the other one. We did find the white fang, but we never found the other one.

DP:How much joy did you take out of that win at age 46, when everyone had started to write you off?

JN: I took a lot of joy out of it. At the time I didn't think I could do anything anymore. I certainly didn't start the tournament very excitingly. I started with a 74, then I shot a 71 and then a 69. I didn't start well on Sunday, and then all of a sudden I birdied 9, 10 and 11. So I said, You never know. I started believing and I remembered how to play and I finished it off.

DP:To have your son Jack Jr. on the bag must have been pretty special.

JN: Having your son on the bag and making the moment about you and your son—I hope that's what I'm about. My son and all my kids and my grandkids have always been an important part of my life.

DP:What do you miss about competing?

JN: Competing. That's exactly what I miss. I love competing. I don't care what it is. Golf was my vehicle for competition. Even today, if I play golf with some of my friends, I'm about a four handicap. Every once in a while I'll find a little lightning in the bottle and shoot a 72 and destroy my handicap. I get a big kick out of that.

DP:How did Jordan Spieth do with his menu [at the champions dinner]?

JN: We had Texas barbecue, and it was excellent. He handled himself very well.

DP:Did somebody have a bad menu over the years?

JN: I don't think anyone has had a bad menu. [Laughs.] I think the toughest for most of us was Sandy Lyle's haggis [in 1989]. That was different. But we always have an alternate.

GUEST SHOTS

SAY WHAT?

I asked golfer John Daly, who turns 50 on April 28, what he would have said if I had told him 25 years ago that he would be soon be eligible to play on the senior tour. "I can't even believe I made it to almost 50," Daly said. "[There were] a lot of close calls. But I think there's a few people in the world who can also say that." ... UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma described how he feels about being compared with John Wooden: "I hate it," Auriemma said. "[People] are going to always say, 'you're not John Wooden,' and I'm always gonna go, 'Well of course I'm not.' There's just no winning that argument." ... Lakers forward Metta World Peace told me there's less bravado in the NBA: "It's not like it was with MJ and Kobe. Nowadays guys are scared to talk trash because I don't think they can back it up. I miss those days when you could just talk."

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MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)

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AUGUSTA NATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES (NICKLAUS)

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IAN WALTON/R&A/GETTY IMAGES (DALY)

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JENNIFER POTTHEISER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES) (AURIEMMA)

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BRYAN STEFFY/GETTY IMAGES FOR SHOWTIME (PEACE)