Jack Nicklaus embodies what it takes to win the Masters, says David Livingstone
Jack Nicklaus is back on Sky Sports for the Masters - and presenter David Livingstone can't wait...
By Oli Burley - @SkySportsOli
Last Updated: 05/04/13 12:28pm
So says six-time winner Jack Nicklaus, who will be back in the Sky Sports studio for the start of this year's tournament in Augusta.
You can watch all four days live and in high definition from April 11-15 and presenter David Livingstone, for one, wouldn't be adverse to more play-off drama...
skysports.com: What is it like working with a legend like Jack Nicklaus?
David: It's very daunting being around Jack Nicklaus because he doesn't suffer fools. However, if you make him feel at home he soon relaxes and warms to his subject. He was particularly comfortable in the company of Butch Harmon and Colin Montgomerie. What struck me about him - not for the first time - was his ability to talk about the confidence and self-belief he had as a player without in any way sounding arrogant. When he talked about looking at a leaderboard in a Major and immediately writing off half of the names because they had no experience of winning, it could have come across the wrong way. But he says it as if he's simply stating a fact. No wonder his strong, clear, calculating mind demoralised so many opponents.
skysports.com: Jack has made the shortlist for a poll we're running on skysports.com to find the greatest Masters shot of all time - but which of the 10 options would you vote for?
David: It's so difficult, but I'm going for Phil Mickelson's second to 13 in 2010. The others were all incredibly dramatic shots but some had an element of luck and others, like Bubba Watson's and Sandy Lyle's, were no-choice shots where they just had to go for them. Phil had options and yet, typically, he chose to gamble and won.
skysports.com: There was a real battle for the Green jacket in 2011 and again last year, with Watson winning in a play-off. Does that tension make your job easier or tougher and how do you make sure you convey that drama to the viewers?
David: A play-off always adds an extra dimension to the occasion. It's not difficult for me because the situation simply conjures up a whole new list of questions and topics relating to each player's chances in the play-off. I think it's important for us to remind less-regular golf viewers that the play-off is sudden death. Then everyone understands that one mistake or one act of brilliance could decide who wears the Green Jacket.
skysports.com: What was your favourite on-course moment of the 2012 tournament? What are you most looking forward to this year?
David: It couldn't be anything else but that amazing shot of Bubba Watson's on the second play-off hole. It was so unexpected and, in truth, I'm sure most of us had already decided he was going to lose. Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat! This year, I'm fascinated to see if Tiger Woods' driving is up to the challenge of Augusta. His brilliant performances in three wins this year rightly make him a clear favourite but those who know Augusta best say his driving will have to be better if he's finally going to get back on the Major trail.
skysports.com: Finally, who is your player to watch at Augusta in 2013?
David: He's not the most exciting player, I'm sure, but I'm going to opt for Matt Kuchar. Going into the weekend last year we all got talking about who was going to win and I raised a few eyebrows by choosing Kuchar. Most of the guys said he simply didn't win enough but come Sunday I had a good run for my money and then, of course, two months later he won the Players Championship. Also, I just like his relaxed demeanour and subtle humour.
The Masters on Sky Sports
Sky Sports will show all four days of the Masters (April 11-15) live and in high definition, while there will also be special 3D coverage for certain portions of the event. Check out our Augusta microsite here for more details, as well as news, features, blogs, player profiles, and videos.