"If you look at the PGA figures, you'll see that the guy with the best average is usually less than a stroke under the guy back in 30th place," Nicklaus says. "So you're talking about a fifth of a stroke a day between winning and 30th, and, Jiminy Christmas, you can't tell me there's that much difference in our swings. The difference is something else. I was fortunate in a lot of ways. I was fortunate to have a good father, who helped me get into this. I was fortunate to have a pretty good head. A lot of it's her"—a nod to Barbara—"a gal who's been understanding. There's all that. I know I've won with something besides the shots, but I don't know for sure what that something is."
He parred the 17th, the famous Road Hole, and Owen, obviously pressing now, took another bogey, so that Nicklaus, the old has-been, came to the last hole safe, two up on the field at St. Andrews. A three-wood off the tee and then a seven-iron left him sure upon the green, only 35 feet away; he was a lock now. He gave his caddie the iron, and then, under the lowering sky of a midsummer Scottish day, with 30,000 fans of golf cheering for him, he marched up the fairway. The roars of St. Andrews fell upon him well before he reached the green and, in response, the tears filled up his eyes and began to roll down his face. He had triumphed again, and he smiled as he drew closer. And more: he could look through the mist of his crying and see once again how clean it was all around.