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June 17, 1980 - Image 16

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-06-17

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Page 16-Tuesday, June 17, 1980-The Michigan Daily
SSports
Nicklaus takes

By SCOTT M. LEWIS
Special to the Daily
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. - Jack
Nicklaus strode triumphantly toward
the 18th green, his face beaming with
pride. He was one putt - one
meaningless, 10-foot putt - away from
winning his fourth United States Open
Championship.
As Nicklaus approached the putting
surfaca the lhmeaaa f 51f03 ll l(M]p

with an ovation to which even the great
Nicklaus is unaccustomed. The cheer
became even more deafening when he
sank that 10-foot putt, giving him a
tournament total of eight-under-par
272, an Open record.
The crowd cheered because Jack is
back.
The man who has won more money
and more major tournaments (18, in-
cluding Sunday's triumph) than any
other golfer, had broken out of the wor-

st slump of his storied career-
which made him consider retir
the early age of 40.
Nicklaus had not won a L
nament since the Philadelphi
in July, 1978. Last year, playi
breviated schedule, he place
71st on the PGA earnings li
which Nicklaus used to m.
regularity became exert
frustration.
Some of his followers wrot

Open
- a slump sudden but pronounced slide to a lack of
rement at concentration. Others said that
Nicklaus, a developer of golf courses
U.S. tour- throughout the country, involved him-
ia Classic self too heavily in business dealings to
ng an ab- maintain the practice habits necessary
d a lowly for his level of play.
ist. Putts Nicklaus did not cite these reasons as
ake with an explanation for his 23-month victory
cises in drought. He was annoyed by reports
circulating Friday that he would retire
e off the if he were to win the Open.
"Stop that right now," he ordered his
interrogators. "When I decide to retire,
you (the media) will be the first to
know, after my wife and family."
Sunday's convincing win probably
will keep Nicklaus on the tour for at
least a few more years, much to the
chagrin of his colleagues. But had he
blown his two-stroke lead, the belief
here was that Nicklaus would call it
quits by season's end.
Curiously, the person who tipped
reporters off on Nicklaus' retirement
plans was Tom Watson, who some fell
has replaced Jack as the game's
premier performer. Watson shot an
even-par 70 Sunday to finish in a tie for
third with Keith Fergus, two strokes
behind Japan's Isao Aoki.
When questioned about the possibility
of retirement after Saturday's round,
Nicklaus again became a bit testy.
"Don't be ridiculous," he snapped.
"Next question."
But Sunday, he admitted that he had
considered quitting the tour. He
discussed the matter several times with
his wife Barbara, and decided to main-
tain his present schedule of one tour-
nament per month.
"With the way I played, I wonder why
I'm putting myself through this," he
said. "You have to wonder whether you
really should be playing this silly game.
I see guys who were once big winners
who now should be out of the game. I
don't want to join that group."
Nicklaus wouldn't mention names,
but certainly he had in mind Arnold
Palmer. Palmer, 50, still possesses the
magnetism which has made him the
most popular golfer of all time, but his
P Photo game has deserted him. He shot a 301,
ao the tournament's highest score by three
strokes.
Palmer's skills began to erode as he
entered his early 40's. Nicklaus is con-
fident that his game will not suffer the
same fate.
"I'm in better shape now than 13
years ago (when he won the Open at
/S Baltusrol withea closing-day 65),' he
said. "I feel like I'm back in my 20's.
"The hardest part is going from tour-
ted that nament to tournament answering the
same questions. You guys (reporters)
had me believing it ... that I couldn't
grass win.
in over Nicklaus reaffirmed his pledge to
and, step aside for the Watsons, Lon Hinkles,
the 17- and Keith Ferguses when he no longer
,where feels able to win. At present, however,
igs will he is brimming with confidence and
anxiously awaits this week's Canadian
y, two Open.
by Jor- "I will play as long as I think I can
nd Ann compete," he said. "When I can't tom-
lost fir- pete, I will say goodbye."
Hinkle, who finished fifth in the Open,
'as Jor- hopes Nicklaus doesn't depart from the
r Wim- PGA tour soon. "Jack is good for the
another game," he said. "I hope he realizes
el Mar, there are a lot more championships out
there for him to win."

A
The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, (left) raises his trophy during the celebration after winning his fourth U.S. Open. Is
Aoki, (right) of Japan, acknowledges the crowd as they applaud him for his tremendous second place finish.
BORG NO. I IN MEN'S
Wimbledon na-mes seedo

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -
Bjorn Borg and Martina Navratilova,
the reigning singles champions, were
given the No. 1 seedings for this year's
Wimbledon tennis tournament, officials
said yesterday.
The seedings committee followed the
placing in the Association of Tennis
Professional (ATP) computer ranking
list and made John McEnroe the second.
seed in men's singles, with Jimmy Con-
nors third.
MCENROE, HOPING to atone for
last year's failure at Wimbledon, has
high hopes for the big tournament. "I
am moving and hitting the ball better
this year," he said after Sunday's win
at the London Queen's Club grass court
tennis championships.
"You need ojne, two breaks to win at

Wimbledon - such as getting a good
draw and not being asked to play on one
of those outer courts a long way from
the locker room."
Navratilova forecast yesterday that
she could win the Wimbledon women's
singles title for the third straight year
- and it looked as though she meant it.
She celebrated her arrival on the pre-
Wimbledon scene by beating American
Betty Ann Dent 6-2, 6-3 in a rain swept
exercise on the center court.
Two straight double faults in the
opening game represented her only real
lapse in the match.
Afterward, Navratilova said it would
mean a great deal to her to go into the
history books as a three-time Wim-
bledon winner along with the six other

women who already have gain
distinction.
TRACEY AUSTIN made he:
court debut with a 6-3, 6-4 wi
Christianne Jollisant of Switzeri
It was disclosed yesterday if
year-old Austin wins Wimbledon
she is seeded No. 2, her earnin
pass the $1 million mark.
In a crowded opening da
American seeded players, Kati
dan of King of Prussia, Pa., a
Kiyomura of San Mateo, Calif.,l
st-round matches.
The most serious casualty w
dan, named as No. 10 seed fo
bledon. She lost 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to.
American, Terry Holladay of D
Calif.

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