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Golf News: - Posted 13th July 1998

Nicklaus plans to retire in 2000

Associated Press

Chester, England -  Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 major tournaments, plans to retire from the PGA Tour after playing all four majors in the year 2000.

"Then that will be the end of my playing golf, period," the 58-year-old said Monday. "We've all got to stop some time, and I don't think it's any big deal.

"I'm fairly much in touch with what's realistic and if I say I'm going to stay out there and keep competing then that would be rather silly. I'll still play some senior golf, but I'm not going to compete against the kids."

Nicklaus said last week that his ailing left hip would prevent him from playing in this week's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale -- ending his streak of consecutive majors at 154. This will be the first Open Championship he has missed since 1962.

"I don't want to go out there and have people see just a part of Jack Nicklaus," he said. "I have tried to give them the best I could give them.

"I know I can't give them the Jack Nicklaus of 35, but I'd like to give them the best I can give them of the Jack Nicklaus of 58. I think the Jack Nicklaus of 58 could probably still play decently.

"I'm not retiring and I'll still play in the Open championships to come and I could play next year at Carnoustie, although the chances are I probably won't," Nicklaus said.

He said he hopes to play in the Open Championship in 2000 at St. Andrews.

Nicklaus was in Chester to unveil a course he designed with his son, Steve, at Carden Park. He marked the opening of the 7,010-yard, par-72 course by playing a round with Ian Woosnam.

Nicklaus explained his decision as a matter of timing, saying, "I thought it was the right time to get it done."

He finished sixth, 12 strokes behind in the Senior Players Championship won by Gil Morgan on Sunday. Before the tournament, he said he planned to play in the U.S. Senior Open on July 23-26 in Los Angeles and probably won't play any more this year after that.

Nicklaus said he planned to end the streak of majors in April at his 40th consecutive Masters, where got within two strokes of the lead with a Sunday charge before finishing tied for sixth.

He then accepted a special exemption to play in his 42nd consecutive U.S. Open, where he tied for 43rd.

Nicklaus is one of only four players to win the career Grand Slam, but only he has won all four majors more than once:

  • a record six Masters, 23 years between the first and the last.
  • four U.S. Opens, sharing the record with Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Willie Anderson.
  • three Open Championships, along with a record seven runner-up finishes.
  • five PGA championships; only Walter Hagen, who played in the match-play era, won that many.