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Nicklaus Says 'Fore,' and Farewell

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

To Scotland now and the British Open, where the man of the hour was Jack Nicklaus.

(Soundbite of golf tournament; cheering and applause)

Unidentified Man #1: Right down the middle. Did you get into that?

Unidentified Man #2: He found a little extra on that one.

(Soundbite of cheering and applause)

SIEGEL: Applause went on for more than five and a half minutes after Nicklaus teed off in competition for the last time. With tears in his eyes, the 65-year-old golf legend made his way down the fairway, waving to fans, and his final stroke was signature Nicklaus, a 14-foot putt for a birdie. But it wasn't enough. Nicklaus missed the cut for the final rounds, ending his final championship 3 above par. For the day he was at par, the best round he's played all year, he said. He talked afterwards with the TV network TNT.

Mr. JACK NICKLAUS (Golf Legend): As I was coming down the last couple holes and as nice as the people were, I'm sitting there and saying, `You know, I don't really think I want to make the cut.' Now that's--I mean, that's sort of a funny statement for Jack Nicklaus, but, I mean, I felt like, you know, people have given me so much that, you know, I wanted to be part of it and enjoy it and then not have to come back and do that again. And I mean, obviously I was trying to make the cut. I mean, I would never not try to do that, but they were so wonderful that it was just--it was just a very, very special time.

SIEGEL: Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, the winningest player in golf history, bid farewell to pro golf today at St. Andrews, Scotland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.