Wednesday, April 6th, 2016


Golf Central Live From the Masters Notable Quotes
Wednesday, April 6 (9 a.m.-3 p.m. ET, Golf Channel)
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

**Golf Central Live From the Masters continues Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel**

Video Link: Jack Nicklaus interview with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands on Live From the Masters (for media preview/review purposes ONLY. Not for any re posting). Highlighted quotes from the interview are below.
Password: Golf Channel

6-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus speaking with Steve Sands on Live From the Masters
On Jordan Spieth
Jack Nicklaus – “I think it is easier to defend the title than to go out and win it. You are familiar with it, you are confident the way you played the last time, you are ready to go. I think Jordan’s chances are good, he has been playing well. He got a little bit off on the last nine last week. We talked a little bit about it last night and he said, ‘I just lost my focus.’ I said, ‘Well, you won’t do that this week.’ He said, ‘No I won’t do that this week.’ When you do that, you are thinking about something else, thinking ahead, and he was thinking about this week.”

On Tom Watson’s final Masters
Nicklaus – “For me, it was emotional to finish at Augusta. I was 65 years old when I played my last round. Tom is 66. He is quitting at a time when he is still playing well. I quit at a time when I could still play. I thought I could still make the cut but I didn’t. I know Tom would like to finish on Sunday and not Friday.”

On the Ceremonial Tee Shot
Nicklaus – “It’s fun. We enjoy it. Gary enjoys it. Gary always says it’s Gary’s Masters of the year if he can outdrive me. We’ll miss Arnie hitting. But Arnie is so darn competitive if he is on the first tee, we don’t know what is going to happen. He might pull a club out. We’ll see. We are coming to the end of an era that has been very good to Augusta and very good to the game of golf. Arnold is a special person. He has been a special person to Augusta, and Augusta has very been special to him.”

On Rory McIlroy
Nicklaus – “It is a great golf course for him. He hits the ball so long and he drives the ball pretty darn straight. Rory’s thing with Augusta is he has got to make putts. If you don’t make putts at Augusta you can’t win, and Augusta has the most difficult set of greens that we have on the Tour.”

On Swing Coaches Wednesday With Players at the Tournament Practice Facility
Nicklaus – “I’ve got my own opinion on that obviously. How many times did Jack Grout come out to the practice tee while I was at Augusta? Jack attended almost every Masters. Not once did he step out on the practice tee. If I wanted something, probably two or three times in 40 years, I would walk back and ask, ‘What do you see J Grout?’ I would ask, ‘Do you see something that you don’t like?’ He would say one word, or two or three words. Head, tempo. That is all that he’d say. To me, if you’ve got somebody standing behind you while you are getting ready to go play a round of golf…before the round of golf, I’m not practicing. I’m trying to prepare and get my thoughts as to what I want to do out there. I don’t want somebody else’s thoughts in my head.”

Nicklaus – “There are several periods during the course of a tournament where you have swing things you like and swing things you don’t like and you have to be able to make those adjustments. If you can’t make those adjustments yourself and be responsible for your own game, I don’t think you are going to win very much. To see the swing coaches stand back there, I think it is a mistake for the guys. I think it is fine if they go teach and work with you on a period of time. But when you are getting off the first tee, you’ve got to do it yourself, and you’ve got to have it in your mind what you are going to do and you don’t want somebody changing that.”

On the weather and windy conditions as play starts on Thursday
Mark Rolfing – “With these conditions coming, you can forget about what we saw Jordan Spieth do last year. The scores aren’t going to come anywhere close to what Jordan did last year here at Augusta National. I think it is going to be a very difficult golf course this week.”

Notah Begay – “Some of the younger players, the more inexperienced players that haven’t endured or seen these type of conditions out here, it is going to be deer in headlights for the first six or seven holes and they are going to be out of the tournament by the turn. But guys that can hang in there and squeeze out a couple of extra pars will get a sense of how it is going to play, because the first three days are going to be very similar with the swirling wind conditions and the unpredictable club selections.”

Brandel Chamblee – “It’s going to be a very difficult championship. If the forecast plays out as predicted, I cannot remember a Masters where wind has been a factor over three days as it is anticipated to be this week.”

David Duval – “This is going to entirely change their approach to the golf course. Going to change lines off the tees, lines into the green, change everything. Because of that, you are going to need to have to hit to the center of the greens that much more and you are going to be facing putts of 20,30, 40 feet. It is going to be an interesting couple of days for sure.”

Duval – “That is the beautiful thing of this weather forecast. It has become sheer speculation now. It has opened everything up as to who is going to win this golf tournament. It is a guessing game for everyone. Throw a dart and you actually might pick the winner.”

Tripp Isenhour – “You’re going to see high scoring. The scoring averages are going to be higher than in the past because of these high winds. There will be somebody unexpected that will pop into this story.”

Arron Oberholser – “Patience and mid-single digits will get it done this week.”

On Wednesday at Augusta National Golf Club
Begay – “It is a day to take a deep breath and really appreciate everything the Masters has to offer just from the setting and the backdrop…it is just a day to celebrate this game, this place and where it stands in golf and the history of our game.”

On Adam Scott
Chamblee – “I put him as the favorite this week.”

Duval – “You put a dramatically improved putter paired up with his golf game, and you see the results early on in 2016. He is certainly one of the top two or three favorites this week.”

On Henrik Stenson
Rolfing – “I heard for the first time yesterday Henrik say he has got to be playing more aggressively. He saw the way Jordan Spieth attacked Augusta National last year and it worked. I loved hearing what Henrik had to say that he is going to be more aggressive. First time I have ever heard him use the term, ‘aggressive.’”

On Phil Mickelson
Rolfing – “It doesn’t matter what kind of form Phil Mickelson comes to Augusta with. He has been successful coming in playing poorly and has been successful coming in playing well.”

Steve Sands – “Mickelson loves Augusta National and Augusta National loves him right back.”

Begay – “Phil has renewed his sense of work ethic. He is really taking on this challenge of refining or rebuilding his golf swing. He is putting in the time and the effort to really get to where he is right now. I don’t see how he can’t be one of the top-3 favorites if you consider his momentum coming in to this event.”

On Rory McIlroy
Rolfing – “The driver is the key to Rory’s game. If he is driving the ball well I think he has a real good chance this week.”

Begay – “He has worked so hard on refining his game, refining his approach in every single aspect. He is so ultra-talented but he has compiled that with a lot of work on the golf course and trying to become a better player. We have seen when he shifts into that gear and he is swinging hard and hitting it solid. He creates this other gear that not many players on the PGA TOUR have.”

On McIlroy’s struggles in the wind
Rolfing – “It is one of the dilemmas of analyzing Rory McIlroy that I cannot figure out. Growing up in Northern Ireland and looking at the way he learned how to play the game, you would think he would be tremendous in those conditions. For some reason, his game has not matched up. His big wins, like at Congressional for example, those conditions were much softer and calmer. That seems to be what he thrives in. I cannot explain why Rory has not played better in windier conditions.”

On Jordan Spieth
Begay – “I think the last six months have been an adjustment period for him. For someone who wasn’t necessarily regarded as the next coming of the great player to come so close last year, it has taken him a little bit of time, but he has never lost his sense of perspective.”

Rolfing – “I am not at all concerned with the way Jordan Spieth has played the last couple of months. He is a tremendous learner. He soaks things in and he will have learned from the last couple of months a lot of things.”

Duval – “He has been putting a lot of time working this week and he is going to do well.”

On Rickie Fowler
Rolfing – “Rickie embraces the wind. I think he will look forward to it. I think the tougher the conditions, the better the chance Rickie has.”

On Justin Thomas
Arron Oberholser – “If Justin Thomas had a difficult time sleeping on Monday, tonight is going to be brutal.”

-NBC Sports Group-