Jack Nicklaus joined Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller to discuss Rory McIlroy during the Sunday telecast of the Honda Classic on NBC.
He had some interesting things to say about McIlroy, whom he's taken a liking to and spent time with in the past.
On McIlroy's withdrawal on Friday:
I don't really know what happened and I haven't talked to Rory. I talked to him Monday prior to the tournament and he was struggling a little bit with his irons but he felt confident out there. I said 'well don't worry about it, you're too good of a player, the clubs will not make that much difference.'
Nicklaus went on to discuss the various sets of clubs and golf balls he used throughout his career.
He continued on McIlroy's switch to Nike clubs:
I always feel like it's your talent that plays, not the golf clubs. Rory is so talented, he's a good kid. I think he's a little frustrated and he's frustrated with himself right now. He's probably not playing his best and also has a set of golf clubs he's having trouble getting used to and one sort of plays off the other.
Then on the Masters:
He'll be fine. When Augusta rolls around he'll be fine.
Finally Johnny Miller piped up and said he didn't think McIlroy should have walked off the course. Nicklaus agreed:
I think if he would have waited five more minutes he wouldn't have done that. I think he's a good kid and he tries to do the right thing.
All in all the Nicklaus-McIlroy relationship is a good one for young Rory. He couldn't have picked a better champion whose brain he'll get to pick over the next 20 years.
And I would imagine Nicklaus will advise him to not use the toothache excuse again.