Golf Talk Live - Arnold Palmer Transcript Segment 3
IN THE EARLY DAYS WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND HAD VERY LITTLE RESPONSIBILITY WITH RESPECT TO GOLF, I . I UH, DIDN'T HAVE ANY NERVES EITHER. I JUST ENJOYED PLAYING.
BUT UH, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU WIN A FEW AND UH YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE GOT A RESPONSIBILITY FOR KEEPING UP A RECORD, IT GETS TO BE PRETTY TOUGH. AND I DID UH BECOME QUITE SUBJECT TO NERVES, YEAH.
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LIKES JONES, WAS IT TOUGHER FOR YOU AFTER 1960 TO WIN WHEN YOU REALIZED THE EXPECTATIONS THAT EVERYBODY HAD FOR YOU TO WIN?
OH, I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION ABOUT THAT, PETER. I THINK THAT UH, THE MORE YOU DO AND THE MORE YOU - MORE THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN, UH,
AS TIME GOES ON, THE MORE YOU ARE AWARE OF UH WHAT PEOPLE EXPECT OF YOU. I THINK THAT UH, IT DEFINITELY AFFECTED ME UH IN LATER YEARS UH,
BECAUSE I FELT A RESPONSIBILITY TO WIN. AND I FELT A RESPONSIBILITY TO PLAY GOOD. UH, YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T WANT TO HIT A BAD SHOT EVER.
AND I DIDN'T WANT TO EVER MISS A PUTT THAT WAS IMPORTANT THAT I NEEDED TO MAKE. AND UH, AND THOSE THINGS HAPPEN. MAYBE UH,
MAYBE THERE'S SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR UH . UH, STOPPING EARLY, LIKE GARY AND JACK TOLD ME THEY WERE BOTH GONNA DO, IF YOU RECALL.
YEAH, RIGHT, RIGHT.
YOU KNOW, THEY WEREN'T GONNA PLAY AFTER THEY WERE 35. I MEAN, JEEZ, I CAN'T IMAGINE, HERE WE ARE STILL OUT HERE PLAYING WITH ALL THIS RESPONSIBILITY ON OUR SHOULDERS.
AND THOSE OLD GUYS, I MEAN, NICKLAUS AND PLAYER, GOD, THEY'RE OLD AND THEY'RE STILL PLAYING.
WHICH SAYS WHAT TO YOU?
WELL, IF I WERE AS OLD AS THEY WERE, I'D PROBABLY QUIT.
YOU KNOW, YOU JUST TALKED ABOUT MAKING ALL THE PUTTS IN THOSE DAYS, AND YOU DID. IN 1960 EVERYBODY SAID, 'THE HOLE IS SCARED OF HIM. THE BALL IS SCARED OF HIM.'
WHY WERE YOU SUCH A GREAT PUTTER RIGHT THEN? WHAT WERE DOING RIGHT?
OH, I JUST HAD A . A DRIVING DESIRE TO PUTT THE BALL IN THE HOLE. AND UH, IF YOU . YOU'RE TOO YOUNG TO REALLY KNOW THIS OR REMEMBER THIS, PETER. BUT UH,
YOU KNOW, YOU THINK OF HOW MANY PUTTS I EVER LEFT SHORT OF THE HOLE IN 1960. IF I LEFT IT SHORT OF THE HOLE, I CHOKED OR SOMETHING WENT WRONG IN MY STROKE
BECAUSE THERE WAS ONLY ONE THING IN MY MIND AND THAT WAS GETTING IT IN THE HOLE.
I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT KNOCKING IT 3 OR 4 FEET BY THE HOLE. THAT DIDN'T PHASE ME. UH, SO THAT WAS PROBABLY WHY I PUTTED AS WELL AS I DID.
BUT SO - SO IS TRUE OF MOST PLAYERS. THEY DON'T - THEY DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT . PLAYERS THAT ARE - THAT ARE GONNA DO SOMETHING IN THE GAME.
IF YOU START WORRYING ABOUT LEAVING - GETTING THE BALL TOO FAR BY THE HOLE WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG, YOU'VE GOT A PROBLEM.
DON'T LOOK AT ME WHEN YOU SAY THAT. LET'S (CHUCKLE) . LET'S TALK TO BOB IN ILLINOIS WHO'S GOT A QUESTION FOR YOU. HELLO BOB.
BOB FROM ILLINOIS
WELL, NOT A QUESTION AND I DON'T WANT TO TAKE A LOT OF TIME. BUT MR. PALMER, I JUST WANT TO THANK YOU.
YOU PROBABLY REMEMBER SPENDING A FEW MINUTES WITH OUR DAUGHTER CINDY WHO WAS A LEUKEMIA PATIENT BACK AT OLYMPIA FIELDS IN '97.
AND IF YOU NEVER HELD ANOTHER GOLF CLUB IN YOUR HAND, SIR, YOU ARE THE EMBODIMENT OF CLASS AND DIGNITY FOR THIS GAME. AND WE, AS A FAMILY, HAVE YOU IN OUR PRAYERS EVERY NIGHT.
BOB FROM ILLINOIS
THANK YOU, SIR.
SO MANY PEOPLE FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT YOU. HOW DO YOU REACT INSIDE WHEN YOU HEAR THAT?
OH PETER, THAT'S A TOUGH THING FOR ME UH, HAVING GONE THROUGH WHAT WE'VE JUST BEEN THROUGH AND . (SIGH) AND SEEING OTHER PEOPLE DO IT. UH .
WE JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION TO CANCER AND CANCER RESEARCH. YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY SAYS, 'BOY, YOU'RE ON THE WHEATIES BOX TOP' AND 'ISN'T IT GREAT?'
AND UNFORTUNATELY, PETER, NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE LOOK AT WHAT THAT STANDS FOR. AND WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT . I'M ON A WHEATIES BOX BUT ON THE SIDE, THERE'S A LITTLE COUPON THERE.
AND IF EVERYONE THAT EVER PURCHASED A BOX OF WHEATIES WOULD LOOK AT THAT SIDE AND PULL THAT COUPON OFF AND SEND IT TO GENERAL MILLS, THEY WILL MAKE A CONTRIBUTION.
AND THEY'RE GONNA DONATE A MILLION DOLLARS TO CANCER RESEARCH. AND THAT'S . THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO SEE.
WE'RE GONNA TAKE A SHORT BREAK, ARNOLD. AND WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK AND LET YOU SEE THE WHEATIES BOX AS WE LEAVE YOU FOR JUST A MOMENT.
Rahm (62) fires career low round
The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:
Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)
What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.
Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.
Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.
Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.
Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.
Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm
Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder
Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.
"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."
Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.
Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.
"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."
Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn
There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.
Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.
Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.
Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.
The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.
Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta
Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.
The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.
It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.
"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."
Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.
Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.
"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."