Wednesday, July 6, 1977
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
'GOLDEN BEAR' STILL FEELS YOUNG
Nicklaus primed for British Open
By The Associated Press
TURNBERRY, Scotland - There have
been hints and whispers that Jack Nick-
laus' iron-fisted domination of pro golf
may be diminishing.
At age 37, he faces a relentless tide of
newly matured stars-Tom Watson, Hu-
bert Green, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin,
Ben Crenshaw-who are surging into a
position of control in the game the Golden
Bear has ruled so long.
HE HASN'T WON one of the majors-
the "Big Four" events of the Masters,
U.S. and British Open, the PGA-in al-
most two years.
sme critics have gone so far as to
sgget he'll never again win in those
tournaments around which he has built
his niatched career.
Nicki as disagrees.
"At his age, I am in the middle of the
grime al my career," he said after a
round over Turnberry's 6,875-
arJ, tsar 70 Ailsa course, site of the Bri-
n championship that gets under
i%'S LEGAL BOOKIES also dis-
S nstlled Nicklaus as a 6-1
ii the 156-man international
irid tier top choices, all tough, tested
icier , the American tour, are: Mas-
er ,.nt and leading money-winner
\\ati it 8-1; Tom Weiskopf at 12-1; de-
,endi't tie holder Miller and U.S. Open
bng Grn~ s at 14-1; Crenshaw and Irwin
at 16l 1
Alts, sigh he has been over-shadowed
by Wit sn's heroics this season, Nick-'
-aus' ,,ectacular history in the British
O;peis makes him the man to beat.
HE HAS WON MORE OFTEN in the
other majors, five times in the Masters,
"Right now I'm in the prime
of my career. I feel I'm a
better player than I've ever
been. There's no reason I
can't win a lot more major
four in the PGA, three in the U.S. Open.
But his best record, over-all, is in this
In addition to his victories in 1966 and
1970, he has been second five times and
third in three others, along with single
placings at fourth, fifth and sixth-a total
of 10 finishes in the top three, 13 in the
And he's defini ely ready for this one.
"I've played very well this year," he
said. "Actually, it's one of my best years.
I've won three tournaments and had a
good Masters. Tom just played better,
"THE WEEK PRIOR to the U.S. Open,
I was playing abeet as well as I've play-
ed in my life. Then I stepped in a hole
and hurt my ankle.
"It didn't bother me during the Open,
but it didn't allow me to practice the way
I wanted. The result was a 74 in the first
round and I wasn't really able to get any-
thing going after that. I just put myself
.under too much pressure trying to come
back from that 74.
"The ankle is fine now. No problem."
Nicklaus, who hasn't played since the
American national championship, follow-
ed his usual program and came here al-
most a week early to practice on the
links course on Scotland's western course
overlooking the Irish Sea,
HIS DESIRE IS UNDIMINISHED. If
anything, it's- heightened.
"I'm playing better than I've ever
played," he said, "probably because I'm
enjoying the game of golf more than I
ever have. I used to never play when I
was home. The last couple of years, I've
been playing a lot at home, just because
I want to, because I enjoy it.
"I'll continue to play competitively as
long as I enjoy it and feel I can com-
"I've won more majors-14 in the Big
Four-than anyone else. I want to win a
lot more majors, build a record that will
be very hard to beat. It will be beaten
sometime by somebody. All records are
beaten. But the more I win, the more
difficult it will be.
"RIGHT NOW I'M IN the prime of
my career. I feel I'm a better player
than I've ever been. There's no reason I
can't win a lot more major titles."
His chief challengers are all familiar
foes from the American tour with Weis-
kopf and Watson leading the pack.
"I feel I'm playing well enough to win
at any time," said Weiskopf, who snap-
ped a two-year drought with a victory at
Charlotte, N.C., last month and has chal-
lenged strongly in every start since then.
Watson easily ranks as the outstanding
player of the year. He won the Masters
and three other American titles, added a
Spanish championship last week and
comes into this one as a winner in his
last two starts.
"I'M A GREAT BELIEVER in keeping
a good thing going," he said. "I like
what Nicklaus has said: 'Winning breeds
winning.' If you're winning, it's easy to
keep on winning, keep on playing well."
He's played well enough to finish fifth
or better 13 times this season and com-
pile a staggering $269,000 in winnings.
'"Tom's just playing fantastic," said
Miller. "He's strong. He's smart and
he's one of the best putters ever. It's not
a bad combination."
the one T-SHIRTS
Crum AT THE
UCLA Cross-Eyed Moose
d said AND
Crum rejects UCLA offer
L 0 U I S V I L L E, Ky -
Louisville basketball Coach
Denny Crum said yesterday he
has rejected the top coaching
job at UCLA, his alma mater,
and will remain here to keep
his club "among the best in
"This decision was probably
the toughest professional deci-
tion I've ever had to make,"
Crum told a news conference.
"When your alma mater calls,
i's not an easy thing to say
Declining to answer ques-
tions, Crum said he was mo-
tivated by feelings and con-
cern for his family, his love
for the university, "but most
of all my love for the people
sod fans of Louisville."
Athletic Director Dave Hart
said Crum, now in the third
year of a five-year contract,
did not use the UCLA offer "for
bargaining power or personal
"It doesn't mean that I
Wouldn't renegotiate his ,con-
tract if need be, but we didn't,"
Hart said. He declined to give
Crum's salary, but it is be-
heved to be around $35,000 a
Fear. He also earns several
thousand dollars a year through
tel'vision commercials and per-
At UCLA, Athletic Director
, D.Morgan issued a state-
et which made no mention
of an offer to Crum.
"Denny was a seriously
considered candidate for the
Postion as head basketball
h at UCLA," the state-
said. "We have i4ter-
viewed other candidates and
will consider others."
Crum met last 'week with
Morgan and other UCLA offic-
ials now seeking a replace-
ment for Gene Bartow, a who
resigned after two years to ac-
cept a position as basketball
coach and athletic director at
the University of Alabama at
Crum notified Louisville offi-
cials of his decision early yes-
terday, then called UCLA prior
to the conference.
Reading from a lland - writ-
ten statement, Crum opened
the session by referring to
"derogatory remarks made
about our recruiting."
There have been published
reports that the 40 - year - old
coach failed to attract blue-rib-
bon high school stars this year.
"No program in the United
States, including UCLA, ever
gets all the players they re-
cruit," Crum asserted. "The
derogatory remarks as to the
quality of players we have re-
cruited this year are way out
Crum said he was happy with
the players that Louisville has
signed, adding "we feel that we
will have a basketball team
next year that will be com-
petitive with anyone's in the
Louisville had a 21-7 record
last season and won the Metro
7 Conference title, but lost in
the semifinals of the confer-
ence tournament to Georgia
In six seasons here, Crum's
.789 winning percentage, based
on a record of 139-37, is second
among the nation's major col-
lege coaches to Jerry Tarka- program is better than t
nian of the University of Ne- out there at UCLA."
vada - Las Vegas. Tarkanian
is 102-16. Hart pointed out that
had been an assistant at
Hart said Crum's decision to under John Wooden, an
stay "spells out the fact that "I think UCLA has rea
the second best basketball peak, but we haven't
coach in the country thinks our close to peaking in ours.
t's, shorts, -
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