We come into the open in 1962 in Arnold Palmer’s at the peak of his career both in his playing ability, but also his popularity Our power was playing at Oakland, of course, he had played many times since he grew up in Latrobe a few miles away He was everybody’s favorite to win the US Open The crowd was always something that spurred me on then Pittsburgh was my town Jack Nicklaus, he’s got the croup at wearing the JCPenney outfit. He was the upstart the fat boy from Ohio State With fans were boisterous and they were insulting to Jack. He never heard a thing. He said I sort of felt going into Oakland. That was my turn. I didn’t care whether it was on the Palmer or anybody else I’m a gun kid 22 years old with blinders on had one thing in mind when that golfer The origins of greatness are often hard to define Is there one day on a calendar that can be circled replace on a map that cries out? Here’s where it all began for jack nicklaus finding that singular moment of promise fulfilled Goes back half a century to a Sunday afternoon in June on a golf course just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania It was there that the Sports rising young star Stared down an American legend to win the first of his record 18 professional major championships And signal the beginning one of the most enduring rivalries in sports Jack Nicklaus was not favored to win the 1962 US Open at Oakmont Even though he believed it was his turn to take the championship Was barely 22 years old a former amateur champion Yes, but in his first six months as a professional he had yet to win a tournament And the toughest test in golf is not usually where a rookie captures his first type Sixty-two open was supposed to be Arnold Palmer’s to win With the championship being played an hour from his blue-collar birthplace of Latrobe, Pennsylvania It was set up to be a coronation for the king swashbuckling charismatic hometown hero with a homemade swing Didn’t look like what most people thought of as a culture in those years golfers were older You know the great golfers in those years the 50s have been Hogan’s Sam Snead All of a sudden here was Arnold Palmer. This was somebody different He looked like an athlete he looks like a halfback he looked like a boxer He thought the guy who worked in a steel now and the way he played golf He didn’t have the classic swing of Sam Snead. He wasn’t a textbook golfer He looked like somebody who might play golf once a month on Saturday I was golf was flawed many times, you know, he didn’t have a pretty swing. He lunged at the ball Nevertheless, it was a violent swing and that attracted you to If you saw Palmer 300 yards away hitting the golf ball when you saw the swing you knew it was First time I saw Arnold he was getting these big arms and he was hitting this ball with this unusual follow-through and I saw him pick up the grass and Windy day, and he threw it up in the end he didn’t even look and I said why you do they said all the good players do it, so I do it but No, the minute I swim hit the ball. I said, well this guy, you know, he had that charisma Nobody matched Arnold’s chrisboy Arnold just happened to be there at the right time and that little hitch of the pants and Flick of the hair and the cigarette hanging out of his mouth It was a blue-collar player in many ways the common man’s guy You can always figure out how to make it happen and he did make it happen He willed the ball into the hole and the people willed the ball in the hole with him Growing up a plan. Yeah, I was I was a fan too The brash and fearless Palmer was more than a great golfer He was the first superstar of the sports television age a cultural icon with a worldwide army of fans The crowd was always something that spurred me on when they got excited and started rooting real hard It seemed like I started playing a little better and that was one of the things that I enjoyed very much He was constantly recruiting for Arnie’s army and his on the way Palmer really played to the crowd he worked the room. He always acknowledged people as he went down the fairway People seemed to like him and I think they liked him because he seemed to like them The way he was warm with his scowl Rees with the fan Knew that he was glad they were To work both ways There’s something distinctly human about it and I also think there was something distinctly American about it that at the time people really Three years ago. The Laster is by one This is a generation that had lived through depression and lived through the difficulties of World War two and they Understood in a value the spirit of a fighter they understood what courage meant And what perseverance in the face of difficulty meant and Arnold embodied all of that in the way he played the game Jack Nicklaus grew up in Columbus, Ohio in post-world War two America A typical suburban kid who loved all sports and embraced the competition that came along with it Jack’s dad was a pharmacist. He owns several pharmacies in the Columbus area was a solid middle-class family It certainly wasn’t a privileged family When he was six years old his father took him to his first Ohio State football game He felt kind of passionately in love with the idea of sports and competition. It just sort of fed something into his personality My father loves sports and he introduced me to everything He was not only a father but he was my best friend and he knows it was hey, let’s go out throw a ball Hey, let’s go shoot hoops, and to me golf was just another sport as I grew up Jack was an accomplished athlete but he showed the most promise in golf When he was only 10, he shot a 51 on the first nine holes. He ever played under the watchful eye of jack grout Jack Brown had a junior clinic Friday mornings And he invited all the members children to join him and a number of assistants on the practice tee And of course in those junior clinics was a young boy by the name of Jack Nicklaus this young fellow was striking the ball 30 And 40 yards much longer than the rest of the kids on the practice tee I can remember Jack Ross saying hit it high and hit it long for me Jackie By the time he was 14 or 15 years old he was talked about in very special terms Jack was a really exceptional amateur player and Early on in his teenage years. He started to compete in local events and state amateur events, but also Professional events in the Ohio State Open starts to travel he plays outside, Ohio. He goes to his first u.s GA national championship in 1955 meets Bob Jones Robert tyre, Jones was a golfing icon around the Nicklaus family Jack’s father Charlie idolized the greatest amateur of all time and had great respect for everything. He stood for Charlie Nicholas went to the 1926 US OpenNet Scioto where Bob Jones won and was enamored with Jones with his swing With his game but also with his disposition Bob Jones became Charlie Nichols’s hero as soon as Jack starts to play That same deep respect and admiration that his dad had Jack had Jack wanted to be the next Bob Jones That he would be Bob Jones legendary amateur record When he first started playing as an amateur I said did y’all see this man jack nicklaus? He was 16 17 years old then a long hitter And I mean a long hitter. I Played with him in Athens, Ohio without finsterwald in an exhibition and that was the first time I really met him They had a driving contest at the first hole at Athens, and it was 330 yards Jack drove the ball past the first green Arnold drove it on But Jack drove it over that first hole. So the potential was sealable there I made the Walker campaign My gosh, that’s pretty neat I must be one of the 12 best amateurs to country 1959 the National Amateur Golf Championship is at stake in Colorado Springs Were an old veteran and last year’s winner Charlie? Coe meets the challenge of a teenager Jackie Nicklaus on the Broadmoor Country Club course Nicklaus is the 19 year old Ohio State Junior if he could pull it out today He will be the youngest amateur golf champion in 50 years later that year. I won the USM. ER I was ranked number one I said She that’s pretty flattering for a 19 year old kid The next year I finished second the US Open Wow Nicklaus was actually leading the 1960 open with nine holes to play until Arnold Palmer put on one of his patented charges Moon comes up Thunder bolt Arnold Palmer the Masters champion starting the last round seven strokes behind Sucuk puts on a blistering round Palmer shot a final round 65 to beat Nicklaus by two strokes and when Jack followed his second place finish at the open with a second Amateur title in 1961 he began to rethink his future Must be better at this game than I thought. I was playing a game recreationally Yep Competing and doing very well I said so the only way that I can be the best Its compete against the best and play against the best and when you play The only way you’re gonna do that is play professionally There weren’t more than a couple handful of players who could make substantial amount of money playing professional golf If you play professional golf back, then you either didn’t have any other skills Or you or you just love the game and love to play? But the jacks options were a lot bigger than anybody who had ever come along Jack had come to me and asked about Mark McCormick handling some of his business and I said certainly Jack I will help you do whatever you want to do as the head of the International Management Group mark McCormick had been successfully handling Arnold Palmer’s business affairs for years And he was just as certain Nicklaus had a bright economic future in golf all he had to do was play well Jack had tremendous confidence in his own ability and made his decision to turn professional After much soul-searching and some reassuring words from his father’s hero Bob Jones Bobby Jones encouraged me to remain an amateur. I Loved the letter that he wrote me too said Jack he said, you know We haven’t had an ammeter in the game since I played and he says I think we’re in a great great thing if you do do this, but I understand the temptations of a Desire to want to be the best at what you do and the only way your players professionally So I turned pro Now was November I remember the first event that I played was December 31st Country Club of Miami playing with Sam Snead Teed off the first hole in the first tee shot so it was a nice 3-wood off the tee hooked right in the lake So that was not a good start It didn’t get much better for Jack at the 1962 LA open his first official tournament he finished tied for last and took home just $33.33 But as his play gradually improved so did his paychecks Thanks in one tournament to some friendly advice from his future rival Arnold Palmer The last round I’m paired with Arnold I’m not laying contention to win the turn Arnold’s leading by him by a mile And he came to me put his arm around my shoulders and walk it off the 17th green He said ok now just take it easy become you Bernie the last hole you can finish second by yourself here He says just play it smart He says you can do that Which I thought was an awfully nice gesture for here’s the guy at the top of the game to come along Take this young rookie under his arm and say, you know, hey, you can do this. I’ve read the last hole I finished second I think I won 2,300 bucks or something like that for second place But after 17 starts in the open at Oakmont on the horizon Jack Nicklaus was still in search of his first professional victory On June 14th nineteen Nearly 20,000 fans came to western Pennsylvania to watch the 62nd US Open Golf Championship Palmer and Nicklaus were paired together in the first two rounds and Jack got off to a fast start Making birdies on the first three holes Palmer struggled but regained his poise and went on to shoot an even par 71 Nicklaus cooled off and shot 72 and both trailed the first round leader Jean Lafleur who had a 69 on Friday Palmer shot a days best 68 to tie for the lead with Bob Rosburg While Nicklaus fired a 70 to remain in the hunt Palmer leading the tournament his fans were given what they had come to see if they could see it all They didn’t have red viewing points all the time So if you were standing in the three deep or four deep you had to have that periscope As you looked around from the green you could see them everywhere I was aware that the galleries were Very large probably as large as they’ve been in any golf tournament in the world that I had played in up until then But it was Pittsburgh and I had played in front of them all my life as a junior and as an amateur Pittsburgh was kind of my town For the first two rounds Arnie’s army had been especially vocal Cheering Palmer and heckling Nicholas Jack was more than an opponent. He was the enemy Palmer brought golf to the masses and he brought Steelworkers to a country club at Auckland Most of those fans hadn’t been to many professional golf events in their lives. They were there to see Arnold Palmer win That’s what they wanted and they really behaved the way that Steeler fans behaved today when they’re watching their favorite pro football team which was boorish ly They’re hoeing a fat Jack and putting up signs with directional arrows on them, too. Hey Jack hit the ball here And have a Sian He hideth. Yeah, hi ofits, and he be staring at the bunker and I could remember it He’d hit the ball on the green Jack about ten foot from the hole and you dear Inaudible put a city foot from hell and they got absolutely crazy And since I was sitting on the edge of the green, I was aware that people were actually stomping their feet on the ground And Nick this was about to hit a putt My friend Jerry Eisenberg from the Newark star-ledger. He swears that you could feel the ground shaking And they cheered they actually cheered when jack nicklaus made a bogey they cheered when he made a bogey and Children partment gonna pop that is a trying time for Jack to have to play under those conditions The fans were boisterous and they were insulting to Jack and I asked Jack about it too and talked about a graceful guy. Jack said I never heard anything well, I Don’t know if you were a rock. You would have heard some of that stuff. How can you not hear the gallery? I just let’s play golf. I paid no attention name, but I wasn’t interested in that I Had one thing in mind win that golf tournament Ironically the crowds behavior at Oakmont might have had the opposite effect of its intent I think Arnold was uneasy about that. It disturbed him that this crowd was so ugly to Jack That bothered me that was something that whether it was the way they rooted for me for the way that they Didn’t root for Jack and they were all people I knew so they it wasn’t something that I was pleased about at all I’ve said many times, you know, I I may have had to find a Arnie’s army But I never had to fight our own Arnie was always considerate. He didn’t flaunt his people His gallery he went in and bowed and did his business and was courteous to his competitor You After 36 holes at Oakmont Arnold Palmer and Bob Rosburg were tied for the lead at the 62nd US Open Jack Nicklaus was three strokes behind Eight more players including major championship winners Gary Player and Jean littler were within five shots of the leaders As was the custom the final 36 holes would all be played on Saturday The third round in the morning the final round in the afternoon In front of a record crowd of nearly 25,000 fans Palmer faltered a bit in the morning round shooting a 73 But he remained tied for the championship lead with Bobby Nichols one stroke behind was Phil Rogers Who had survived a first round quadruple bogey eight on the seventeenth hole to stay in the championship Niklas now playing with billy maxwell shot a 1-over par 72 to climb within 2 strokes of the lead In the afternoon Arnold took the lead by himself Had an opportunity to shut the door on Jack’s open chances Arnold gets to the 9th unified around with a three-shot lead and he has a Tremendous opportunity in front of him. It’s a par 5 hole, but it’s not a long 5. It’s a legitimate birdie opportunity for him I was pin high and 2 to the right edge and in the rough And I was not maybe I wasn’t a total of 20 feet from the hole and the unthinkable happens I didn’t get aggressive enough I’ve kind of eased off of it which is I guess not unusual in an Open Championship to to misjudge The shot and misjudge how you were playing the shot, which I did all of the above Remarkably Palmer came up considerably short on his next chip as well pulls himself together Plays again But he misses the pot this is a pot makes iboga hold very quickly goes from a birdie hole to a bogey Hall Arnold shocking bogeys stopped his momentum and completely changed the championship From that point on it truly disturbed me that I made six and I felt like I should be making four That lived with me all my life and still does At the same time Jack playing ahead of him is making a birdie on the 11th hole So it’s this very critical crucial moment and that seemingly insurmountable lead That could have been extended is now cut when Palmer went on to bogey the 13th hole Jack and Arnie were tied for the lead a 62 open had come down to two players and five holes 17 at Oakmont is one of the great holes in championship golf It’s a short par-4 at 292 yards jack understands as a critical moment. He’s got an opportunity here and he pulls out the driver I tried to drive it on the green and I put it in a bunker Didn’t hit a great bunker shot off his own little side of the green. Just watching him In the sand trap and the only hit this thing It came came out it was Just barely hit the top level but it hit him stopped it hangs up just in the edge of some very deep rough That’s right up against the putting green Nicklaus missed his birdie putt and left himself with a tricky four footer to save his par and possibly the championship I had but there was left to right downhill and if I miss but I’m gonna probably put it right off the green It’s probably his most difficult putt of the championship jack knows if he hits the ball at the right speed for a 4-foot putt It’s gonna take the left-hand break. It’s gonna swing hard to the right He’s gonna miss the hole The only way that I’m gonna make this putt is if I just Ram it right at the center of the hall He’ll hit the back of the hole and fall in and guess what it does I Sort of rammed it in the back of the cop number There was a letter that Bob Jones wrote me at he said when I hit that buddy he almost came right out of his chair and You know as many people know Bob Jones was in a wheelchair at that time, so it’s kind of his way of saying hey that was some putt a Birdie on the 18th hole would have won the championship for either Nicklaus or Palmer Jack played first and narrowly missed his Finishing the round with a 69 1-under for the championship Palmer now had a chance to manufacture another of his miracle finishes Knowing he would win the Open with one final Got to think that Arnold’s gonna pull some piece of magic out He’s gotten at this point of a championship. It’s his hometown It’s Arnold’s boat down the middle with his Drive Palmer. The fabulous finisher used a 4-iron he has played a Magnificent shot and it’s stopping about 12 feet to the left of the Cup if he can hold this sliding up Hillier Palmer will win his second open as he walks up the home green the most popular man in golf acknowledges the cheers of the gallery Palmer gets sent over the puck. Everything rides on Arnold’s got himself in that perfect position. He’s gotten the putt He’s looking for on the final green to win the championship and it just doesn’t happen Palmer’s final round 71 tied Nicklaus at 1-under par After 36 holes on Saturday Jack and Arnold would have to play another 18 on Sunday A playoff would decide the open you Unlike Palmer who had the benefit of staying in his own bed throughout the championship The playoff meant jack and his wife barbara would be spending another night in a local hotel along with their young son Jackie Beginning a Nicklaus tradition where family was just as important as golf Jack had made a pact when he turned pro that he would never be gone longer than two weeks at a time he said I refuse to have my children go to college and say gee I wish I’d known my dad and Believe me, they couldn’t say that he was really their best friend But having his young son along also presented Jack with his own unique off the course challenges Barbara and I traveled in a car with a Porter crib in the back seat and Those days they didn’t have disposable diapers. We had the pail of diapers and then the room and the car did not smell very nice On the morning of the playoff Jack’s mother took Jackie out of the room so Jack could get some rest In the hallway they ran into the singer Frankie Avalon who was performing in the area Jackie was a projectile, baby And Jack’s mother was evidently Carrying him down the hall and Jackie came out with one of those Projectiles just as she’s walking past Frankie Avalon and he looks over. He says oh my gosh the kid puked So we’ve laughed about that for four years The Nicholas’s have also laughed about the condition of Jack’s clothes Especially his pants People will say is Jack superstitious and I always laugh because yes he has a few superstitions always has only three pennies in his pocket and He had worn a white shirt and this particular pair of pants the 36 holes of the US Open in 62 There were 12 dollar pair of iridescent olive-green have had blue and green threads through and you know I played 36 holes in they were good luck. I just go wherever get them on the next thing which I did I mean, I think it’s on Saturday night after that. I when I was just stood him in the corner, you know I think I had 20 shirts they were all white and I just sort of rotated the white shirts. I Played well and when I wore the same pair of pants, I mean that’s I was twenty year old kid, you know Nicklaus may have had the Wardrobe of a 22 year old kid But by the time he had played his way into the sunday playoff It was clear to his older competitors that he was talented far beyond his years He was one of the finest iron players that I had ever seen He could hit a 1 iron and a 2 iron up in the air better than anybody I had ever seen then and now He was just unbelievable. I mean people forget how strong he was Marwin waste measure just over 29 inches His time is a 29 inches One day it’s at a long way he’s got two of these hanging right there He was longer than almost everybody But he managed his length most players who can hit it that far get carried away with their own length Jack manages himself around the golf course as well or better than anybody That I ever saw other than maybe Ben Hogan in the 18-hole playoff on Sunday It was the 32 year old Palmer. Not the 22 year old Nicklaus who had trouble managing his nerves Arnie made three bogeys in the first six holes Leaving jack with a four stroke lead after the eighth. I Don’t think at that time anybody could intimidate So I think that there was an assumption that Arnold would have a charge Arnie’s army would delete him and follow him on his charge and he would emerge victorious Palmer birdied the par-5 9th to pick up a stroke He followed with a three on the par-4 11th And another birdie on the par-5 12th, the charge was on We’re on the short thirteenth now and here comes Palmers tee shot It’s to the right but kicks off the bank on to the front part of this large green Palmer now trails by only one shot after burying the 12th I was pressing then I was pushing hard to try to catch up I knew that I would have to get my putter working a little better but on 13 Palmer’s try for a third straight birdie came up, six feet short long enough to test his already shaken confidence Arnold’s third three putt of the playoff and 10th for the championship left him two behind with five holes to play Once again his putting let him down I thought that having played there all my life with knowing the greens as I did I felt like I would putt pretty well there. Well, that was the thing that took me down Repotting kills you well, Arnold just ruined himself with three months. Remember Arnold hit his greens It’s just didn’t do anything when he got there I Putted rather poorly. Maybe it was just the pressure of the open Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t have that smooth silky stroke Jack played the same grains in the only three putt at one time in 90 holes If you only three putt it at Oakmont one time in 90 holes you were doing a terrific job And Jack was a guy could do it And that was the difference in the whole championship People I don’t think give Jack enough credit for Jack could be the greatest putter who ever lived For Nicholas the 13th hole turned out to be more than just a pivotal moment in the championship Months later when he watched the official open film Jack noticed something that would change his life now The 13th hole turned out to be one of the most Interesting seems to me in my entire life Had nothing to with a playoff and I walked up with a cigarette hanging out of my mouth and tapped it in And I looked at I said now that is the worst example for the youth as a role model as I’ve ever seen I looked at that I said oh and that’s awful. I threw my cigarettes away Murph I had a contract with LLM at the time. I set him back her money and Tonight guys, I can’t do this It’s just not what I should be doing and never spoken to the cigarette on a golf course the rest of my life You With five holes left in the playoff for the 1962 US Open Jack, Nicklaus led Arnold Palmer by two strokes and when they each made par on the next four holes The margin remained the same when they reached the 18th Arnold finds the fairway. It’s a very nice tribe down the right-hand side I was down in the low spot in the fairway, but he’s in a good position at that moment Jack, finally shows some signs of the pressure It’s really his first bad Drive of the day hits it into the left rough It was a little confusion with necklaces lie It isn’t better just a little bit and a little bit of moisture a little bit of mud You start to think oh, there’s a possibility here. Jack makes bogey. Arnold makes birdie Very reasonable to think that the two-stroke swing could happen Arnold then hits his approach shot fat. He didn’t hit that one well He’s pushed it out to the right just short of the bunker Jack plays fairly safely Nicolas faced with a nasty lie in the rough. I had a horrible I just couldn’t do anything with it. Anyway, I pitched it out short of the crossed bunkers Yes, hit a wedge recovery back onto the fairway Then I knocked it on the green probably. I don’t know twelve feet something like that With Nicklaus safely on the green in three Palmer needed a miraculous birdie chip to keep his championship hopes alive Let me tell you Palmer didn’t miss hitting that flagstick by much When Nicklaus ran his par putt several feet past the hole Palmer still had a slim chance but When his par putt went racing past the hole the playoff was over except for Arnold’s conciliatory But erroneous gesture when Arnold struggles to get down There’s this wonderful moment where Arnold tries to concede the match to? Palmer then picks up Nichols’s ball marker as an act of concession that Was a no-no Right. I remember that right? Well I’ve conceded is what I did. I was beaten with the hour There’s no fun there a big secret However, something still remains to be done They said put it back because he has to finish up. This is stroke play and USGA officials advise Jack Nicklaus to hole out and Complete an 18 hole score as Palmer has done Jo die Kaymer. No, no. No, you got to finish the round So I go back I had to go back and tap my ball in I certainly I was frustrated Playing Oakmont and playing in front of a hometown crowd and the things that I should have thrive No, and I didn’t I went the other way Very surprising and disappointed He went on to win majors that same year, but he never won a US Open again One thing that not many people realize that from 1960 to 1966 For Arnold shooting three less strokes. He would have won for the US Opens He tied with Jack in 62 was Boris. I mean Jackie Cupid in 63 and and Billy Casper in 66 so there were three opens that he tied for and of course he won in sixty so up from 60 to 66 he could have very conceivably one four opens Arnold actually could’ve been nicer and press arm around me has been walked off and graduated me very nicely and It was very happy for me He did play well and it was quite an accomplishment for poor young man, that was really fresh on the tour I said now that that young fella is out of the cage. He’s going to be tough. Watch out for We knew then that Jack would won’t be a great player we just did no, I agree a Half-century ago on the rolling hills of Oakmont gulfs greatest rivalry was born What began as a fierce competition on the course Gave way to a mutual respect between two of golf’s greatest icons Arnold’s contribution of the game was fantastic the whole tour and all the game of golf followed on Arnold’s coattails He brought millions of people into the game. That’s great. I’m just I was just a beneficiary I thought we were both very fortunate to be doing what we were doing It was exciting it was competitive and it was fun It was a competition that was a good competition it was one that both I was wanted to win very badly and Jack and I today Are still very close friends and the competition hasn’t dwindled at all It’s still there and it will be there as long as we live For jack nicklaus the journey to 18 major championships began on a memorable afternoon in western, Pennsylvania Over the next 18 years, he would go on to win the championship three more times along with Willie Anderson Bob Jones and Ben Hogan one of only four players to win for US Opens You know, I look back on it and to look at the sequence of way things happen to me I always feel like I want to keep climbing the mountain Long as you keep climbing that mountain and I’m always good that mountain just keeps getting a little bit taller and you just keep climbing Trying to get better That was one of my stepping stones to climb it out it set up my career and no question about it my first win Wedding being Arnold Palmer and a playoff US Open not just a turlet but the US Open to me is the number one tournament and of course the championship of my country Who have won the US Open as my first championship as a professional? How could it get any better?