Lee Westwood will take inspiration from his links to Jack Nicklaus as he attempts to break the 18-time major winner’s record of oldest Masters Champion.
Nicklaus was 46 and without a major title for five years when he claimed his sixth green jacket at Augusta National in 1986, with son Jackie on his bag.
Westwood will celebrate his 48th birthday just 13 days after the end of the 85th Masters, where his son Sam will caddie as Westwood seeks a long overdue maiden major triumph.
Jack Nicklaus has always been an inspiration to Lee Westwood.
“Even without that, Jack has always been an inspiration the way he played the game, especially his record around here,” Westwood said. “You can’t help being inspired. There’s a few similarities there with age. It would be great to break his record.
“I saw Jack a few weeks ago at the Honda (Classic) and I still remember the first time I played this tournament in 1997.
“I played the final round with Jack and I went out on the Saturday night and bought the picture, the iconic one (from 1986) where he’s following the ball into the hole on 17 with his putter.
“And after we played on the Sunday I had done enough to qualify for the following year, fortunately, and I said to Jack, ‘Would you mind signing this picture for me?’ And I still have it to this day all framed up where he’s put, ‘Lee, enjoyed our round, best wishes, Jack Nicklaus’.
With his son Jackie on the bag, Jack Nicklaus won the 1986 Masters with a historic Sunday surge.
“There’s very few people you would do that with. He’s a legend of the game and arguably the greatest player to ever play the game. His record in the major championships and especially Open Championship and here is second to none.
“I always enjoy speaking with Jack and picking his brains and just being in his company, really. To have a chance to break one of his records would be very special.