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August 06, 2013

Nicklaus says PGA Championship is 'open ball game'

Jack_300Jack Nicklaus said that Tiger Woods is definitely "one of the favorites" at this week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill, but the 18-time major winner thinks that the PGA at Oak Hill is wide open, unlike this year's U.S. Open at Merion and the British Open at Muirfield, according to ESPN.uk.

"The player has to suit his game to the golf course and the guys that can adapt to it are the guys that always have been the good players," Nicklaus said. "I mean, Mickelson will adapt well to it. Tiger will adapt well to it. I think there's a lot of guys that will adapt well to it.

"You have so many good players today that I think will like Oak Hill, will enjoy playing the golf course and could have an opportunity to win. To try to pick one of them out of there is pretty difficult right now."

Nicklaus said the summer conditions at the PGA Championship bring many more players into the mix than the year's previous three majors.

"The British Open, you can eliminate a lot of guys because of conditions. The U.S. Open you have the same thing and the Masters the same thing. But I think more people, because of the summer conditions and the nature of what happened with the PGA Championship, it opens it up to more people having an opportunity to win. So I think the PGA is a pretty open ball game right now."

And what about Woods, who's won five times this year but has been stymied at majors since winning his 14th in 2008.

"Obviously Tiger has had a very, very good year," Nicklaus added. "He's not finished off a couple majors he's had an opportunity to be involved in.

"You would be pretty hard pressed not to make him, if not the favorite, one of the favorites going into Oak Hill."

Photo: Jack Nicklaus at Wimbledon in July (WireImage).

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