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DOMINANCE OF THE SMILING BEAR
Dan Jenkins
March 08, 1971
The new Jack Nicklaus is trim, genial and smartly dressed but, as his win at the PGA shows, he still plays like the old Nicklaus—with power and determination. He may be the best the game ever had
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March 08, 1971

Dominance Of The Smiling Bear

The new Jack Nicklaus is trim, genial and smartly dressed but, as his win at the PGA shows, he still plays like the old Nicklaus—with power and determination. He may be the best the game ever had

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"The only thing I'm going to be sure of in the morning," Player said, "is that I switch plates with Jack when Barbara serves breakfast. I'm the only one near him, I might get poisoned."

That was a good joke of course, but there were others, like their act the following morning. On Sunday, Player and Nicklaus entered the locker room separately, about a moment apart, as if they were strangers. But since they lockered about five feet from one another, the opportunity was perfect for the kind of exchange that columnists for afternoon papers dearly love, and Jack and Gary made the most of it.

"Gary will answer any of my questions," Jack said, sitting there in his bright yellow shirt, glowing with color next to Player, who was back in his warlike black instead of the lively stripes he had worn on Saturday.

Someone dutifully asked Gary what they had enjoyed for breakfast in the Nicklaus household.

"It doesn't matter," said Jack. "He puts catsup on everything, anyhow."

Hearty laughter.

"Barbara's getting a complex," Nicklaus went on. "She gives him a cheese omelet, he pours catsup all over it. She cooks him a steak, he pours catsup all over it. A couple of fried eggs, catsup all over it."

Player broke in. "So would you if you had a catsup contract."

Room-filling laughter all around.

"I didn't know you had a catsup contract," said Jack.

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