U.S. SENIOR OPEN
Quotable: Wednesday Words on the Eve of the Senior Open August 10, 2016 | Columbus, Ohio

Jack Nicklaus spoke about his memories of learning the game at Scioto Country Club, site of this week's U.S. Senior Open. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

Jack Nicklaus, 18-time major champion, on Scioto, his boyhood course

On how it shaped his style of play: “All the out of bounds on this golf course is on the right. So I don't think that I would want to aim the ball out of bounds and try to hook it away from. It seemed to me you would aim for the center of the golf course and then cut it. Because that's what the golf course demanded, left to right is how I learned to play this course, and that's how I basically shaped my game for life.”

Early memories of the club: “I'm very proud to have grown up here because Scioto's always had a great reputation. When I started playing here in 1950 at 10 years old, the PGA Championship was here, and I remember [head professional] Jack Grout taking me through the locker room and getting autographs of Sam Snead, Lloyd Mangrum, Bob Hamilton, guys who were playing in that time. All of it was part of my development of really becoming a golfer and getting into the game.”

On how Scioto shaped him as a person: “When you are a young fellow being thrown into an older membership, you learn to be respectful of people and you learn how to behave yourself and how to handle yourself, and I think that's the beauty of the game of golf because not everybody's the same age. You have all ages, and everybody needs to behave themselves, both young and old. I would play in club championships when I was 14 years old against somebody who was 25, 30, or 40 years old, and so you learn how to handle yourself with adults. And I think that's an important part of shaping your life.”

Colin Montgomerie, 53, of Scotland, 2014 U.S. Senior Open champion and 2015 runner-up:

On his success in U.S. Opens and Senior Opens: “The way I attempt to play the game is from the tee shot forward, meaning that I used to hit more fairways than anyone else in the 1990s. That was my strength. And this is a classic '90s U.S. Open setup. You've got some great Northeast seaboard courses that I used to love going to play: Congressional, Merion, Winged Foot, Brookline. This is one of them, where you are rewarded for hitting the fairway and you are heavily penalized if you don't. That's why I've got a good record in these, because I was playing my second shots from the fairway.”

On his attitude as an over-50 golfer: “I didn't embrace the American public possibly the way that I should have done earlier on in my career, and it hurt me in majors. I've embraced playing here since I turned 50. I really am enjoying it, and I think the golf fans are seeing that, and they are giving back. So it's a two-way street. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself out here, and I think that, if you enjoy yourself, you're usually quite good at whatever you do. There's a warmth here that I haven't felt in the past, and I blame myself in that sometimes that I didn't give it an opportunity. Now I am, and I'm enjoying it.”

Jeff Maggert, 2015 U.S. Senior Open champion

On being the defending champion: “[I have] a lot of good memories, but this is a new week obviously. And with the later date, I've enjoyed an extra month of being defending champion, but I need to get back to work this week.”

On Scioto Country Club: “This golf course is going to be a real, real good test for all of us. [I’m] going to really have to have good ball striking off the tee, keep it out of the rough, and be smart on where I'm hitting the ball on the putting surfaces.”

“Normally, you're just worried about hitting the ball very straight, but here I feel like I almost have to control the distance with my driver. Maybe hit a driver 95 percent of what I would normally hit it just because the way the bunkers are. I feel like if I step back with a 3 wood, I'm leaving myself some very long irons into some of the par 4s.”

Quote of the Day: “I have a 12-year-old son who played a lot of golf. So I'm trying to teach him a different way than I learned, and I'm trying to teach him just hit it as far as you can because the game has changed for that younger generation. It's a very athletic game. So in that regard, I learned a different style of golf. I played with persimmon clubs and wound balls, and they curved offline pretty far if you didn't hit the ball on the club face and hit the ball solid. So you learned different shots. You learned to hook the ball, to fade the ball, to hit a low driver, a high driver.”

John Cook, an Ohio State alum, is looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd at Scioto this week. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

John Cook, 58, who played golf at Ohio State University, is one of four OSU alumni competing in the U.S. Senior Open, along with Brian Mogg, Joey Sindelar and Rod Spittle

Cook, on what it would mean to contend for the championship in Columbus: “We might be from slightly different eras, but we're all a team. If one of these great players were in contention, we'd be pulling for them just as hard as anybody. I would like to see nothing better than having somebody, maybe hopefully all four of us right up there on Sunday afternoon with a chance to win.”

“That's why we do this, is to have that thrill and that chance and to do it in front of a place and people that are so special to you in a community that loves their sports, loves their athletes, loves their alumni. It couldn't get better.”

Quote of the Day: “We bought in early about the team concept. We came to represent the Ohio State University as a golf team, not as individuals. We took care of things individually because we knew that if we did our job, we were going to win.”