- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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PALMER: Three straight birdies. I could end up with a pretty good round if I don't have any horrible mishaps, like what almost happened on the 4th. I hit a very bad drive there. The ball ended up on the bank of a gully. I couldn't get a level stance. I finally took a three-wood, because nothing else would have reached the green. I tried a few practice swings to see if I was going to be able to keep my balance. I told the gallery: "I have to see where I'm going to fall."
PALMER: The moment I hit the three-wood I knew it was going off to the left. I hit right under it. It didn't go very far. Then I hit a three-iron over some trees onto the green, and sank a 12-footer for the par.
NICKLAUS: Incredible par! Arnie had played the 4th hole like I did during our practice round yesterday. When I finally got my par yesterday he laughed and said, "Nice 6." Arnie could have had a 6 today. When he sinks the putt for his par 4, Gary says, "Nice 5." So I said, "Don't you mean nice 6?" Arnie smiled.
PALMER: On the whole, I am driving better now—not particularly well, just better.
NICKLAUS: On the 8th I made the first bogey in the threesome. My right foot slipped forward on me just as I came down into my tee shot. I ended up in the rough at the left. The grass was laying flat from left to right in the rough, and I knew it would cause my second shot to go to the right as the ball took off. But a tree prevented me from allowing for this. I figured there was nothing to do but hit it at the right side of the green, which I could just see, and hope the shot wouldn't fade. But it did, into a trap on the right. I had been there before. I thought the sand was thin in there, but it wasn't, so my explosion shot was short and I missed the putt. After nine holes I'm a little surprised my 33 didn't have me in a better position, but I figured, "What the heck, it's still a good score."
PLAYER: I thought, "I've played as well as they did, and I'm four shots back. What can you do?" It was like a shock going through me. I was just two-putting every green. I told myself, "Some days you hole putts. Some days you don't."
AFTER 18 HOLES
Palmer 65 (5 under)
NICKLAUS: Along about the 11th hole I begin to think that Gary is playing very, very good golf, but that he is having no luck at all. Finally he makes a putt (of 18 feet) for a birdie on 11.