Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jack at the wheel

It's a stirring sight to see a golfing colossus like Jack Nicklaus striding through the native palmettos and pine trees of East Manatee.

Nicklaus, the player whose records Tiger Woods is intent on erasing, still has the fire of the competitor in his eye, and seemed pleased that he had recently shot his age in a round of golf, something he hadn't done in awhile.

Nicklaus was at The Concession golf course Wednesday, talking about plans to tweak each of the course's holes.

The living legend was in good humor and shared many tales of golfing lore.

Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin both talked about Seve Ballesteros, who has been battling cancer.

They talked about his personal magnetism and how he could "charge" up a team. Nicklaus told a story of how a reporter once asked Ballesteros how he made a hole in four strokes.

"I miss. I miss. I miss. I make," Nicklaus recalled Ballesteros saying, drawing laughter from those lucky enough to be under the tent where Wednesday's press conference was held.

Nicklaus was extremely generous with his time, answering questions from a small army of press, and posing for photos with one fan after another.

The last I saw of Nicklaus after the press conference, he was at the wheel of golf cart, drove down a steep bank and sped off into the sunset.

It was an afternoon none of us will forget, even those of us who don't know one club from another. For more, see Jason Dill's story in today's Bradenton Herald and on


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