I am Pencil Boy.
He proceeded to hit the greatest three-wood I've ever seen: over the cliff, over the gorge, between two trees, rolling up to five feet from the hole. Then he missed the putt for eagle. Lousy read by the caddie.
Finally, the day about over, he had a 25-footer for birdie on 18 and said, "Do you know I've never missed a birdie putt on any of my 18th holes in any of my course openings in my entire career?" That sounds like the biggest lie since / did not have sexual relations with that woman, I thought.
"Nope," he said. "It's absolutely true. And this is why...." He drew his putter back and slapped the ball directly to a kid who'd walked all 18 holes through the wind and rain and crackhead-sister act. "Because I always do that."
He shot 35 on the back for a highly suspect four-under 68, the course record. Of course, every round he plays at an opening is a course record. He's guaranteed to set about a dozen course records a year, even at 63 years old. Must be fun.
That night I was in the lobby of the hotel playing the six torch songs I know on the piano: As Time Goes By, slow stuff like that. And who should suddenly be leaning on the piano, listening, but J.W. Nicklaus himself. He started singing along. Had a nice voice, too, and it was my rare privilege to accompany him that night, as it had been that memorable day.