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Last time as Captains for Nicklaus and Player?

Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hinted they will not return as rival captains at the Presidents Cup but Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh are each hopeful his leader will be in charge in 2009 at San Francisco.

Nicklaus was emotional at ceremonies following his US squad's 19 1/2-14 1/2 victory over Player's Internationals team Sunday at Royal Montreal Golf Club, the first US victory off home soil boosting their edge in the rivalry to 5-1-1.

"It may be the last time I do it and if that's the case, fine. That's a pretty good way to bow out," Nicklaus said.

"I'm getting to be a sentimental old fool. You have some special moments in your life and this happens to be one of them. As you get older your opportunities are shorter. You may not have those opportunities again.

"When you get wrapped up in 12 guys' lives it's a very special thing. The support they have given me is just something that you don't have very many times in a lifetime."

Nicklaus will have at least one more chance to enjoy that emotion if world number one Woods gets his way.

Woods, a 13-time major champion who is chasing Nicklaus' all-time record of 18 major titles, made it clear he wants the US PGA Tour, organizers of the event, to ask his boyhood idol back one more time.

"We've had some great years together. I'll always love playing for Jack and hopefully he will come back," Woods said. "He's the greatest player of all time. To have him as your captain, it doesn't get any better than that."

Nicklaus, 67, and Player, 71, declared a draw in 2003 at South Africa. Nicklaus guided a US victory in 2005 and masterminded the Montreal repeat. Will he leave his heart in San Francisco? Woods thinks so despite the hints.

"South Africa was supposed to be his bow out and here we are," Woods said. "Hopefully we will get one more."

Player said he would return if it would help the sport.

"This is more than just a golf venture. If we can do anything to promote the game of golf then yes," the South African legend said.

Player, who turns 72 in November, plans to set an all-time record with his 51st Masters start next April.

Former world number one Singh of Fiji was adamant that Player return after his motivating words before the singles Sunday. The Internationals won seven of 12 matches, a first-ever singles session win over the Americans.

"I was telling Gary I think he gave one of the most inspirational speeches that I've ever heard. It worked for a lot of us. We had everything going. But we were just too far behind," Singh said.

"It's disappointing not to win but we would like to do it next time. Maybe we can do it in two year's time in San Francisco. That's our goal and hopefully Gary is our captain again and we can do it for him."

US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem asked Nicklaus and Player to come back after 2005 but the legends were uncertain Finchem would make the call again.

"I don't know whether he will call and ask us to do it one more time," said Nicklaus."

 

October 3, 2007




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