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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Nicklaus says farewell to Masters
Jack Nicklaus
Augusta legend Jack Nicklaus missed the cut and claimed he had played in his 45th and final Masters tournament.

The 65-year-old American carded a 76 on Saturday to follow his first-round 77 for a nine-over-par total.

The six-time champion only agreed to play this year at the 11th hour after the death of his 17-month-old grandson.

"I'll go to the Champions Dinner and play in the Par Three but I don't think I'll play in the tournament," said Nicklaus, who was full of emotion.

"It's great and fun to play in the Masters but it's no fun to go out there and hack around and struggle to break 80. That's never been the way I've operated.

This is not a celebrity walk-around
Jack Nicklaus

"I came back this year because Hootie [Johnson, chairman of Augusta] asked me to play one more time.

"But I won't play again unless I can get 10 miles per hour more clubhead speed. And that's not going to happen.

"This is not a celebrity walk-around. This is a major golf tournament. If you're going to play, you should be competitive."

Nicklaus won the Masters in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986, when he became the oldest champion in Masters history at age 46.

He also won three British Opens, four US Opens and five PGA Championships. Nicklaus managed a sixth-place finish in 1998 at age 58 but missed the cut in his last four Masters appearances.

Nicklaus, who has won a record 18 major titles, confirmed he will make his Open farewell at St Andrews in July.

The Open will be Nicklaus' 163rd major since playing his first at the 1957 US Open.



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