Jack Nicklaus on Ernie Els winning the 2012 Open Championship

“We all feel badly for Adam Scott, but I don’t think you can take anything away from Ernie’s win.

“To shoot 32, to play the last nine holes at 4 under, that is absolutely fantastic.

“The whole golfing world feels badly for Adam, as do Barbara and I. But I don’t think Adam played the last four holes badly. I didn’t see all the shots Adam hit coming in, but I do feel he got unlucky at 17 and 18 and ended up in places he couldn’t play from. You have to keep in mind that those might be as tough a four holes as there is in the British Open rota.

“The whole golfing world feels badly for Adam; however, you must look at the positive side. Adam did. He knows he played well all week, and Adam feels that will give him confidence in the future. I hope it does. I am sure he will learn from the last four holes. Sometimes we all take a little hit before we actually learn how to win. We all make our mistakes. I remember when I bogeyed the last two holes at Royal Lytham to lose in 1963. It was crushing to me, but I learned something. I came back and won shortly thereafter. I really hope he does the same.

“The other positive side, and something I hope people will focus on, is that Ernie played the last nine holes of the Open Championship 4 under par. I don’t know if anyone has played the last nine holes at Royal Lytham 4 under, certainly not under those circumstances. The putt he made at 18 he knew he had to make if he was going to have any chance to win. And he did. Ernie made a critical putt despite the putting troubles he had all week. We were all extremely happy for him. He did what he had to do. Ernie has worked hard to get to this point and he handled himself with grace and like the champion he is.”

(After missing a playoff by one shot and finishing third in the 1963 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s, Jack went to Dallas the following week and won the first of his record-tying five PGA Championship titles).