Jack Nicklaus is back playing golf again, shoots ‘a slick 88 without a birdie’ at Augusta National

Jack Nicklaus at the Greats of Golf competition at the Insperity Invitational in April.

Jack Nicklaus at the Greats of Golf competition at the Insperity Invitational in April.

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Jack Nicklaus is playing more golf, and some “slick” golf at that. Nicklaus hasn’t played as much in recent years but had all sort of rounds to talk about on Tuesday at Muirfield Village, where he’s hosting this week’s Memorial.

Nicklaus, 82, said he even played Muirfield Village, which was renovated before last year’s tournament, for the first time post-reno a few days ago.

“I played it Saturday and Sunday, and I hadn’t been playing last year,” he said. “I didn’t play golf last year. Anyway, I cruised it around Sunday in 84. That was pretty good for me. Wow, that’s pretty good, right? Yeah, without making a putt, without making a birdie.”

So, why is Nicklaus playing so much golf lately?

“You know, honest to goodness, that’s a pretty good question,” he said.

Nicklaus said inflammation has limited his ability to hit the course, but that’s gotten better recently and he’s taken advantage. He even took a couple of family members to Augusta National earlier this month and decided, much to their surprise, that he was going to give it a go.

“So I played nine holes,” Nicklaus said. “[Jackie Nicklaus] said, ‘We’ll see you after.’ I said, What do you mean? I’m going to play the back nine. I whizzed it around and shot a slick 88 without a birdie, which I haven’t made birdie yet this year incidentally. But I enjoyed it. I said, Well, I’m going to see if I can play again tomorrow. I played again the next day.”

“Why am I playing? I don’t know,” he continued. “I’m tired of not playing, I think. I really love to play golf. I don’t enjoy playing golf the way I’ve been playing, that’s for sure.”

Nicklaus added he had a chance to shoot his age both days, but “I choked.”

One thing he did get to see, however, was an albatross on the par-5 15th, made by Jack Nicklaus III (driver/8-iron).

But back to the Golden Bear.

“I’m going to continue to play,” he said. “You’ve got to do something for crying out loud. I’ve been sitting around feeling sorry for myself because I haven’t been able to do anything. It’s time to get out and do something.”

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