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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 July, 2005, 03:59 GMT 04:59 UK
Nicklaus set for St Andrews bow
Jack Nicklaus
I want to finish on Sunday, that's my goal
Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus revealed he is desperate to play all four rounds in his final major in the Open at St Andrews.

The 65-year-old, who won the Open at the home of golf in 1970 and 1978, admitted his final tournament at the Old Course will be an emotional time.

"I'm very sentimental and the place gets to me every time I go there," said the 18-time major winner.

"In May I walked around and welled up with hardly anyone watching me. I want to finish on Sunday, that's my goal."

Nicklaus played his last Masters at Augusta in April, filling up with tears as he played the 18th before missing the cut.

But he had earmarked St Andrews to make his final bow as he downscales his tournament commitments.

He said: "St Andrews was always where I wanted to finish my major career.

Jack Nicklaus says farewell to St Andrews in 2000
Nicklaus said goodbye to St Andrews in 2000 but is back one last time

"I really believe I can make the cut. The course is not too long for me, the loop hasn't been lengthened and I can get to all those holes in two.

"So I'm going there in the hope of being able to compete."

The player dubbed "the Golden Bear" only once finished lower than sixth in the 18 Opens between 1963 and 1980, winning three times including the infamous 1970 win after Doug Sanders missed a tiddler for the title.

Jack Nicklaus won his second Open at St Andrews in 1978
I have loved it from my first day there in 1964
Jack Nicklaus on St Andrews

He picked up his second victory at St Andrews in 1978 after overhauling American rival Tom Watson.

"After my first Open victory at Muirfield in 1966 the people of Scotland took me as one of theirs," he said.

"When I won at St Andrews four years later it was like a Scot winning the Open.

"I have loved it from my first day there in 1964. I love the fun of the course and the challenge it presents.

"Take the 18th hole. I've played it with a driver and a five iron. You never know. And then there are my feelings about the Open itself.

"Over the years I always believed I could win or be close - and I was - but I never felt that in the United States."

At St Andrews, Nicklaus' caddie will be his son Stevie, whose own 17-month-old son Jake was found dead in a hot tub at home in February.

Nicklaus said: "Steve and his wife Krista cry themselves to sleep every night and we've spent our time hugging.

"They will never get over what happened and want to keep Jake's memory forever.

"My support team has been very beneficial to me over the last year and I hope they get to watch me in four days of golf and not blink and find my career is over on the Friday."


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In-depth interview: Jack Nicklaus



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