Jack Nicklaus knows he can't beat the kids at the game he once dominated. On the other hand, if those winds keep swirling throughout the weekend at Augusta National, keep an eye on the Golden Bear.
The six-time Masters champion, well past his prime at age 58, shot an even-par 72 in the second round Friday to keep himself on the fringe of contention.His two-round total of 145 was six shots behind co-leaders David Duval and Fred Couples.
"I came here to play and do my best," Nicklaus said. "I don't think I've played my best yet. I managed the course pretty well, but I can play better."
Nicklaus loves the strong, chilly gusts that have caused the course to play much tougher than usual the first two days. He figures a wily veteran like himself, who knows every nook and cranny of Augusta National, has the upper hand under those conditions.
"The tougher it plays, the more guys who get frustrated and the less guys who have a chance," Nicklaus said. "I'm not going to win a dart-throwing contest with my putter. These guys hit it too far and too close to the green.
"For me to have a chance, it would have to be through conditions that make things difficult for everyone. With my experience and knowledge, I might have a chance."
While a seventh green jacket is a longshot, this already has been a memorable tournament for Nicklaus. He was honored earlier in the week by Augusta National, which will place a plaque along the course noting his many accomplishments.
"It was an awful nice thing," Nicklaus said.