One of Jack's
best friends and his favorite playing partner among the young amateurs is Ward
Wettlaufer. This pair has won 25 matches, formal and informal, without ever
being beaten. This spring, before the Masters, they took on Coe and Billy Joe
Patton in a classic struggle at Augusta.
At the end of the
first nine Jack and Ward had shot a fantastic 30, but were only even with
Patton and Coe. They were two holes behind after the 15th, then birdied the
last three holes to win. Nicklaus had a 66 that day, a better round than any
professional had in the Masters.
A lot of fun and
some superb golf behind him, Jack Nicklaus stood the other day in front of his
new $22,000 Cape Cod house in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington and
considered the challenge—to remain an amateur—he had set for himself.
payment on the house was a wedding present from my parents," he said.
"From here on out Barbara and I are pretty well on our own. First, we both
have to finish school."
Crab grass in his
"I've got a
job selling insurance. I like the work, and I am considering making a career of
it. I went to this insurance company; they didn't come to me. When the boss
hired me he said, 'I don't want any barnacles in this company.' That suits me
fine. I'm working on straight commission, and being on my own hours will let me
finish school and play golf too.
"The way I
figure it I'll eventually have to make $25,000 a year to be able to afford to
play golf in the major tournaments. That's a lot, but I think it will work
frowned. He scuffed his foot angrily at a bit of crab grass growing onto his
this perfectly two weeks ago," he said. "Now look at it." Another
irritation came to mind. "Two of the car windows won't roll up," he
said, looking toward his Buick convertible. "Wish it had happened two
months ago. Dad would have paid for it."
But then he
smiled, golf's golden bear again. "I really want to win the big ones as an
amateur," he said. "The Open, the PGA and, most of all, the