Masters moment: Nicklaus' waterlogged interview

Usually when Jack Nicklaus speaks at The Masters, people listen. At least in one instance, years ago, his normally captive press-corps audience became distracted.

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— My most memorable Masters memory might be from the first one I covered, in 1980. I remember sitting in the interview room listening to Jack Nicklaus talk about his round when action on the television sets in the room distracted this reporter and others.

Several of us happened to notice that Tom Weiskopf hit his tee shot in the water at the par-3 12th. So he went down in front of the creek, dropped and chunked another shot into the water. At that point, reporters in the room seemed to have one eye on Nicklaus and the other on Weiskopf.

Looking up at the screen, I thought the telecast was showing replays of Weiskopf hitting that finesse wedge into the water from just in front of the creek. But, no, it was not a replay. Someone noticed that the balls going in the water were entering in different spots, and that his divots were different.

So my memory recalls that Nicklaus' interview got short-changed because some reporters were watching Weiskopf make a famous 11 on a par 3. It's not often, particularly back then, that people didn't pay attention to Jack Nicklaus. But he got over it. He won two majors that year at age 40.

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