IN THE FIELD
GARY KOCH (T-16): Bob Tway and myself were in the twosome right in front of (Nicklaus). He made a good putt at 10, he made another birdie at 11, and you kind of sensed from the crowd that it was Jack. You figured just by the noise that was made, you knew who they were cheering for.
We finished playing 15 and got over to the 16th tee about the same time he was playing into the (15th) green. Bob and I both said, ‘We better wait. We better not try to tee off until we let him hit this shot.’ And sure enough he knocks it up on the green about 15 feet from the hole. We teed off on 16 and we almost kind of jogged up to the green with the idea of hopefully putting out before he would have his eagle putt at 15. Didn’t happen.
We were literally standing on the 16th green, watching 15 as he putted when he made the eagle. We didn't want to get over a putt and potentially draw the putter back the same time as his ball goes in the hole. We waited for him to putt out at 15. He made the putt, the place went nuts, we putted out quickly and tried to get over to 17 tee to play before he hit at 16, but we couldn't do it.
We stayed on the 17 tee, watched him hit the shot into 16 and of course he almost makes it. At that point, the electricity, the energy in the air … I’d experienced it, but never quite like that, just because I was so close to what was going on. When he hit the shot into 16, the place just erupted. I mean, you have the grandstands on both sides of 15 that are watching, the hillside left of 16 that’s watching. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up. It was just that electric.
(The wait on 17 tee) wasn't a very long time. It was a few minutes. At that point, I think Bob and I had become as interested in what he was doing as we were in our own games. We just got caught up in watching what he was doing. It was pretty easy to do.
BOB TWAY (T-8): I've been asked about five different times about it because Gary Koch and I played in front of him the last day. It was kind of funny because I think Gary's told a few stations about it, basically on the back side we started playing all our shots around his shots because when he started doing all the stuff he was doing, the roars were the loudest I’ve ever heard.
When he made eagle at 15, we were standing on the 16th green and to this day it was the loudest roar I've ever heard in golf. We went to 17th tee and I said, "Well, we better not hit, we better let him hit on 16." I remember watching him hit on 16 and he bent down to pick up his tee really fast and I go, I wonder if that means it was a good shot or a bad shot, and he almost holes it. And then the roar was incredible. Just playing the last four or five holes around his shots is something I will always remember.
CURTIS STRANGE (T-21): I was playing decent, I was three or four groups in front of Jack. I think, if I remember correctly, I had just finished when he made the eagle at 15. And I tell the story always, because it's the truth, you know when we finished a tournament we're so quick to get the hell out of Dodge, to get to the airplane or get somewhere. But not a person left the locker room that day. They sat there and watched those TVs because Jack had eagled 15, almost made a 1 at 16, it was on and on. It was pretty cool to watch everybody in there watching it.
We're all rooting for him at the time. You're rooting for the guy. You're not rooting against Seve or Tom or anybody. The roars, as we all hear big roars down there, 17 -- it's almost like the clubhouse shook. I'm serious. And then of course, Verne having the greatest call of all time, as only Verne can do. We all remember it like it was yesterday. It was good stuff.