- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"I was putting like you used to," Jack said, smiling.
"You must've been using an Arnold Palmer putter," Arnold said.
"If you stretched my putts out, they'd reach to the mainland," Jack said.
Walking away from the beach, Nicklaus met Frank Beard's wife Pat.
"You look so skinny," she said.
"I've lost 20 pounds," Jack said, tapping his stomach.
"I need your diet," Mrs. Beard said. "Frank's got to lose some weight." Around the tour the players are saying that Beard, this year's leading money winner, is beginning to look like Nicklaus used to.
The 20 missing pounds around Nicklaus' opu, as they say in Hawaii, and the restoration of his single chin help define the change that has taken place in his golf game. "No matter what I do I've still had a terrible year, and I can't get away from that fact," Jack said. "I didn't win when I wanted to. I played poorly at Augusta. They played the U.S. Open on Bermuda grass, and I don't play well on Bermuda. Five drives ruined me at the British Open. And I was hit by riots at the PGA. It was not my year. I used to say, 'Well, next week I'll play better,' but soon I realized I was saying that every week.
"I don't feel different physically," he said. "Mentally, though, it's a whole new game. I pick up a paper and see my picture and say, 'Who's that skinny guy?' Nobody likes to be called fat. Personally, I don't think I was fat. I was big. There is a difference."
On Friday at the Mai Tai, Nicklaus birdied five of the first eight holes, giving him 14 birdies in his first 26 holes—an astonishing pace. Then his putter turned cold. He played the last 10 holes in two over par, finishing with a one-under-par 71 for the round. "It's strange," he said. "I shouldn't have been 63 Thursday and I shouldn't have been 71 today. I'm 134 for two rounds—and that's how I've played. But I really think I should have had a couple of 67s."