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Attitude, flair, self-belief - Nicklaus had them all in spades
I've been a bit of a golf nut for a while now.
I went to the Augusta Masters in 1995 and took a photo of Jack Nicklaus walking off the sixth hole, which I later had blown up to 12 x 10. I later happened to visit Greg Norman - who is a friend - and we started talking about our heroes. I said that mine was Jack Nicklaus, and mentioned that I had taken a picture of him, which I happened to have in my bag at the time. He said, "Leave it with me, I'll get him to sign it for you." Within a week I had the photo back. Written on it was, "Deano, well done on a fantastic career. You've been one of the greats," signed "Jack Nicklaus".
It was funny - I never played golf when I was young. I was more interested in footy - more than cricket even. Probably the attraction came from reading his name constantly in the sports headlines. For some reason, I just liked his attitude, his flair - he came across as carefree to me. Of course, now that I've read heaps of books about him, I know that he was very meticulous about his game.
I have always liked players who have imposed themselves on the field. I liked Jack's body language. He made it look like he owned the course. He had the self-belief necessary to overcome all fears. It was amazing and inspiring to watch him play.
As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in the print edition of Cricinfo Magazine
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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