Jack Nicklaus on Tiger Woods: 'He needs all our help'

The golf world turns this week to Muirfield Village in Ohio, home of Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament. As part of the tournament, Nicklaus held his customary Tuesday press conference, and as part of the conference, Tiger Woods’ name came up.

Nicklaus initially declined the opportunity to talk about Woods’ recent DUI and troubles, but then, as he always does, began parsing the matter from every possible angle.

“I feel bad for Tiger,” he said. “Tiger’s a friend, and he’s great for the game of golf. He needs all our help and we wish him well.” Woods holds the record for wins at the Memorial with five, stretching from 1999 to 2012.

Nicklaus, of course, stands as golf’s all-time leader in majors won with 18. For a decade and a half, Woods appeared a lock to break that mark, but stalled out with 14. Nicklaus agreed with the idea that golf and sports lost out on a magnificent opportunity to watch Woods chase his record; Nicklaus pointed to injury rather than any other factors as the main reason for Woods’ sudden, stunning decline.

“I always thought he was going to break my record,” Nicklaus said. “Do I think he will now? Probably not.”

Nicklaus conceded that he didn’t want Woods to break his record, but also noted that he didn’t want Woods’ chase derailed because of injury.

“Am I saddened that he’s not playing?” Nicklaus said. “Absolutely.”

Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus back in 2012. (Getty Images)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.