124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Jack Nicklaus gives Rory McIlroy credit for helping him out-drive Gary Player

April 07, 2017

Charlotte Observer

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Rory McIlroy left Augusta National upbeat on Thursday following a back-nine rally that brought him back to even par on a difficult day of scoring. If he follows Jack Nicklaus on social media, he probably arrived at the course on Friday in an even better mood.

Nicklaus took to Instagram to discuss his emotional opening tee shot on Thursday night -- and give McIlroy some credit for helping him out-drive Gary Player:

There was no "might" about it, although Player seemed to think it was a tie. That was a little awkward. . .

On Tuesday, McIlroy talked about helping the 18-time major champ by adjusting the weight on his driver to get a little more pop. It seems Nicklaus was looking for a little help specifically to knock it past Player after his older friend out-drove him last year.

"It's amazing how competitive he still is," McIlroy said.

Yep, but Player is pretty competitive as well. He's probably already enlisting some help of his own for next year.