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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
US players want win for Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus
The "Golden Bear" has retired from competitive golf
America's players are desperate to give skipper Jack Nicklaus a triumphant send-off at the Presidents Cup which tees off in Virginia on Thursday.

Nicklaus leads America for a third time against an International team captained by South Africa's Gary Player.

"Jack's got a loss and a tie. We'd like to get him a win," said Davis Love.

And world number one Tiger Woods said: "With Jack being the legend he is and retiring from competitive golf, it makes it much more enjoyable to play."

Nicklaus, who made an emotional farewell at this year's Open at St Andrews, won a record 18 major titles but has found little success as a captain in the Presidents or Ryder Cup.

Two years ago Nicklaus and Player agreed upon a draw after bad light prevented Woods and Ernie Els completing their match after three play-off holes.

And in 1998, the Internationals won 20-11 in Melbourne, many of the US team making the trip purely out of respect for Nicklaus.

PRESIDENTS CUP RESULTS
2003: George, South Africa
Internationals 17-17 USA
2000: Virginia, USA
USA 21-10 Internationals
1998: Melbourne, Australia
Internationals 20-11 USA
1996: Virginia, USA
USA 16-15 Internationals
1994: Virginia, USA
USA 20-12 Internationals

In addition, the 1987 US Ryder Cup team which Nicklaus captained was the first to lose on home soil, going down 15-13 at his Muirfield Village course.

However, Nicklaus, famed for his sportsmanship as much as his talent, says victory at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club is not his priority.

He said: "We would love to win. I'm sure Gary's team would love to win. But I don't think that's the important thing and I never have.

"We want to play as hard as we can, enjoy the competition, develop a stronger bond between the International and US teams and promote the game of golf around the world."

Similarly, Woods expects the Presidents Cup to be played in a more friendly spirit than the often war-like Ryder Cup.

Woods said: "You know it's how it was supposed to be played. It's what the Ryder Cup used to be before it got out of control.

"Guys are great - we're all friends, we all compete, we're all trying to beat each others brains in, but at the end of the day you'll see more concessions out here than I think you would at the Ryder Cup."


Teams for sixth Presidents Cup, 22-25 September, Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Virginia:

Internationals: Gary Player (SA, captain), Vijay Singh (Fij), Mike Weir (Can), Retief Goosen (SA), Angel Cabrera (Arg), Michael Campbell (NZ), Peter Lonard (Aus), Adam Scott (Aus), Stuart Appleby (Aus), Nick O'Hern (Aus), Tim Clark (SA), Mark Hensby (Aus), Trevor Immelman (SA)

United States: Jack Nicklaus (captain), Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, David Toms, Kenny Perry, Phil Mickelson, Justin Leonard, Chris DiMarco, Fred Funk, Stewart Cink, Fred Couples, Scott Verplank




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