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Jack Nicklaus to miss US Senior Open

Jack Nicklaus has missed the U.S. Senior Open only twice since he became eligible in 1990 by turning 50. His hip was bothering him after replacement surgery when he withdrew in 1999, and he had a bad back in 2002.

This time, he won't play because he doesn't want to.

Nicklaus missed the deadline for entering the U.S. Senior Open last week and still doesn't know where -- or if -- he will play the remainder of the 2004 season.

"I have nothing against the Senior Open," Nicklaus said. "I have always been very high on the USGA and their championships. Whether it was the U.S. Open or the U.S. Senior Open, they have always been among the most significant championships to me. I just felt that I didn't want to play."

The subject of Nicklaus retiring has been broached since the Masters, and he said repeatedly that he wasn't going to play much, if at all, the rest of the year.

His last tournament was the Memorial, where he shot 1-under 71 the final day and tied for 63rd.

He has played only six tournaments this year, four of them on the Champions Tour. He withdrew last month from the rain-delayed Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla after rounds 75-70-76.

Nicklaus still is expected to play in the Memorial Tournament next year, and possibly two majors -- the Masters and the British Open, because Royal & Ancient officials moved the event to St. Andrews for Nicklaus' final year of eligibility.

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