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'We can do a lot better in Washington': Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus celebrates The Presidents Cup

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus told CNBC he's disappointed about the political divide in Washington and that the country's elected officials could be doing a much better job.

Nicklaus spoke to "Squawk on the Street" from the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio, on the first day of the PGA Tour Presidents Cup.

When asked about the government shutdown, the 73-year-old Nicklaus said, "Washington has its own mess right now."

(Related: Warren Buffett speaks out against DC's 'extreme idiocy')

"I don't think we're any better than we were [during the presidential election]. As a matter of fact, I think we're probably worse," he said. On the government shutdown, "I don't see a rosy picture from my standpoint. … I think we can do a lot better in Washington."

(Related: Obama: 'I amexasperated' over gridlock)

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In the world of golf, Nicklaus added that despite intense competition, he expects Tiger Woods to break his record of 18 career major championships.

"Tiger is a great player. He's got a great record and he's going to continue to have a great record," he said, adding that golf "has never been better" and there are a number of programs in place to help the game gain exposure.

Nicklaus added that for the business of developing marquee golf courses, Asia shows the most promise and China is "absolutely booming." However, "things have picked up just marginally in the United States."

—By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter @ToscanoPaul and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street." Reuters contributed to this report.


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