Golf Talk Live - Bruce Lietzke Transcript Segment 5

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 2, 2001, 4:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOU FIGURED OUT THAT YOU WOULD BE VERY, VERY GOOD AS OPPOSED TO VERY, VERY GREAT ALL THOSE YEARS AGO, HOW DID THAT CHANGE YOUR PHILOSOPHY ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD OR WOULDN'T TRY TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR CAREER?

BRUCE LIETZKE
UM, WELL, I JUST DECIDED - WELL ...

FIRST OF ALL, YOU'RE - YOU'RE ADDING VERY, VERY GOOD. I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER BEEN VERY, VERY GOOD. UH, I THINK I ...

PETER KESSLER
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE IT?

BRUCE LIETZKE
I THINK I WAS A GOOD PLAYER. UM, IT - IT DEPENDS HOW YOU'RE GONNA THROW THE WORD 'GREAT' AROUND. IF YOU'RE GONNA THROW THE WORD 'GREAT' AROUND FOR A, UH, 8 OR 9 HUNDRED PROS THAT HAVE PLAYED OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS,

THEN I WOULD BE A GREAT PLAYER. THE WAY I THROW THE WORD AROUND, THERE'S BEEN ABOUT 20 GREAT PLAYERS IN THE - IN THE WORLD OF GOLF. AND, AND I'M ...

PETER KESSLER
I WOULD AGREE WITH YOU.

BRUCE LIETZKE
AND I'M NOT ONE OF THOSE. I THINK I WAS A GOOD PLAYER - AM A GOOD PLAYER. UH, AND I JUST ... ONCE MY KIDS CAME ALONG, UH, IT REALLY DIDN'T MATTER WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED IN GOLF.

I - I STILL HAVE THINGS THAT, THAT PUSH ME ALONG, AND I LIKE TO PUSH MYSELF TO ACHIEVE THINGS I HAVEN'T DONE. AND, AND THERE'S ONE IN PARTICULAR: I'VE STILL NEVER WON A TOURNAMENT, UH, EASILY.

I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO TAKE A 3 SHOT LEAD - AND I'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT OCCASIONALLY AND - AND HOLD ON TO A 3 SHOT LEAD - I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO TURN A 3 SHOT LEAD INTO AN 8 SHOT LEAD. AND I WANTED TO PLAY THE LAST 5 HOLES JUST WALKING ALONG AND SMELLING THE FLOWERS AND TALKING TO THE KIDS. UH,

I NEVER DID THAT. THAT'S ONE THING, THAT'S ONE THING THE SENIOR TOUR, UH, MIGHT PROVIDE FOR ME. UH, THAT'S ONE OF MY OWN INTERNAL CHALLENGES, UH, THAT MY EGO, UH, HASN'T UH, HASN'T TAKEN CARE OF YET.

UH, BUT ONCE MY KIDS CAME ALONG, UM, THE GOALS OF CERTAIN TOURNAMENTS AND CERTAIN UH BIG, UH, ACHIEVEMENTS, NEVER BECAME IMPORTANT. ALL I DID WAS, WHEN CAN I ... WHEN WILL MY FAMILY DUTIES ALLOW ME TO SNEAK OUT AND PLAY A CERTAIN TOURNAMENT?

IF I HAD A COUPLE OF BIRTHDAYS, THEN WHATEVER TOURNAMENTS WERE GOING ON DURING THOSE BIRTHDAYS WERE OUT. UH, WHEN MY LITTLE LEAGUE COACHING CAREER CAME ALONG, THEN MY SUMMER TOURNAMENTS, THE U.S. OPEN WAS GONE, THE BRITISH OPEN WAS GONE, ...

ALL MY SUMMER TOURNAMENTS WERE GONE BECAUSE I WAS COACHING BASEBALL. SO, I JUST ALLOWED ME TO SNEAK AWAY, UH, WHENEVER MY FAMILY DUTIES ALLOWED ME TO DO THAT. AND IT DIDN'T REALLY MATTER WHAT I ACCOMPLISHED.

I, I KIND OF JUST FELT LIKE I WAS SNEAKING AWAY FOR A WEEK TO KIND OF SATISFY MY EGO A LITTLE BIT. AND IF I DIDN'T WIN THAT WEEK, THAT WAS OKAY. I JUST KIND OF DIPPED MY HAND INTO IT. AND AS IT TURNS OUT, OVER THE YEARS, I STILL WAS ABLE TO WIN A FEW TOURNAMENTS, UH, STILL SNEAKING OUT AND DOING IT.

AND THAT'S UH, THAT'S ALL I DECIDED I NEEDED TO DO.

PETER KESSLER
WHY DOES IT BOTHER YOU TO PLAY IN FRONT IN FRONT OF CROWDS?

BRUCE LIETZKE
I'VE JUST NEVER BEEN COMFORTABLE. I - I LEARNED TO ADJUST, AND I THINK I'VE ADJUSTED OKAY. UH, I'VE NEVER GOTTEN COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF CROWDS, WHETHER IT'D BE ON A GOLF COURSE OR A LARGE COCKTAIL PARTY OR UH,

UH, ANY KIND OF CONFINED AREAS. I DON'T THINK I'M CLAUSTROPHOBIC IN ANY WAY, BUT UM ... AND I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE, IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, BECOME REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE IN STRANGE CROWDS. AND FOR THE MOST PART, UH, THE SPECTATORS, UH, ARE - ARE STRANGERS TO ME.

AND I AM NEVER AT EASE, BUT I'VE LEARNED - I HAVE LEARNED TO ADJUST TO WHERE IT DOESN'T BOTHER MY GOLF GAME. UH, BUT PERSONALLY, I'M - I'M STILL UNCOMFORTABLE, UH, IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.

PETER KESSLER
YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU'RE NOT A SUPER CONFIDENT PERSON. BUT WHAT DO YOU CALL SOMEBODY WHO, INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AWAY FROM WORK TO GO HOME, SNEAKS AWAY FROM HOME TO GO TO WORK, DOESN'T PRACTICE, LEAVES YOUR GOLF CLUBS IN THE GARAGE FOR EXTENDED PERIODS,

AND HAS THE CONFIDENCE TO GO OUT AND PLAY THE KIND OF GOLF, WITHOUT LEAVING STUFF IN THE POTENTIAL BAG, OF WHICH YOU ARE CAPABLE AND OF WHICH YOU HAVE PLAYED?

BRUCE LIETZKE
WELL, I DON'T KNOW. AGAIN, YOU THREW THE WORD 'SUPER CONFIDENT' IN THERE AND MAYBE I'M NOT ... MAYBE I'M NOT THAT, BUT I DO HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CONFIDENCE IN, IN A LOT OF, A LOT OF THINGS I DO.

UH, MY APPROACH TO GOLF, I HAVE THE UTMOST CONFIDENCE IN THE WAY I HAVE APPROACHED IT AND NOT CHANGED MY SWING. THE MORE I PLAY, UH, THE MORE CONFIDENCE I'VE ATTAINED. UH, EACH AND EVERY YEAR, IT JUST REINFORCES THAT 'STAY AT HOME. DON'T, DON'T TOUCH THE GOLF CLUBS.'

MY SWING IS GONNA BE EXACTLY LIKE IT WAS 4 WEEKS AGO OR 5 WEEKS AGO. AND THE MORE I DO IT, IN THIS CASE IT'S BEEN 27 YEARS, AND I'M GETTING READY TO PLAY ABOUT 10 MORE, UM ...

I GUESS I AM A VERY CONFIDENT PERSON, UM, AND SOMEWHERE, SOMEWHERE YOU GET INTO THE 'SUPER CONFIDENT'. UH, IT MAYBE JUST DOESN'T SHOW A LOT, AND I'M NOT MUCH OF AN OUTGOING PERSON. AND I, I TRY NOT TO, UH,

I CERTAINLY DON'T EVER TRY TO SHOW ANY CONFIDENCE. UH, AND I ALWAYS TRY TO STAY ON AN EVEN KEEL ON THE GOLF COURSE. BUT, YOU'RE RIGHT, I - I DO HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE IN MY APPROACH, UH, AND THE WAY I, UH, HANDLE MYSELF AND, AND I HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE IN MY GAME.

PETER KESSLER
I LAUGHED RECENTLY WHEN I READ THAT YOU SAID, 'GEE, I HAVE TO COME UP WITH SOME NEW STRATEGIES FOR THE SENIOR TOUR.' AND I WAS THINKING, 'HE DIDN'T PLAY THE REGULAR TOUR ENOUGH TO HAVE A STRATEGY THERE. HOW'S HE GOT A NEW STRATEGY?'

(BRUCE LAUGHS)

BRUCE LIETZKE
YEAH, IT'S NOT LIKE I'M GONNA GET UP ON THE FIRST TEE AND SAY, 'WELL, I JUST NEED TO HOOK THIS TEE SHOT BECAUSE IT GOES TO THE LEFT.' YEAH, MY - MY GOLF STRATEGY ... YOU KNOW, CERTAIN WAYS TO PLAY CERTAIN HOLES. BUT UH,

I'VE BEEN ASKED, ESPECIALLY RECENTLY, WHAT MY EXPECTATIONS OF GOING ON THE SENIOR TOUR ARE. AND, IN - IN GENERAL, I HAVE FINALLY DECIDED THAT MY EXPECTATIONS ARE MY FIRST TEE SHOT IS GONNA GO OUT AND FADE. IN ABOUT 10 YEARS WHEN I HIT MY LAST TEE SHOT ON THE SENIOR TOUR,

IT'S GONNA GO OUT AND FADE. THOSE ARE MY EXPECTATIONS. I HAVE A LOT OF HOPES. AND MY HOPES ARE TO GET IN CONTENTION, UH, AS OFTEN AS I CAN. AND MY HOPES ARE I WILL WIN SOME OF THOSE TIMES WHEN I GET IN CONTENTION. UH,

BUT WHEN YOU GET INTO EXPECTATIONS, I - I DO EXPECT THAT GOLF BALL TO GO OUT AND FADE EVERY TIME I STAND ON THE TEE BOX.

PETER KESSLER
AS WE GO TO BREAK FOR A MOMENT, WE'RE GONNA TAKE A LOOK AT A SHOT OF YOUR FAMILY AND BILL ROGER'S FAMILY, WHO ARE WITH YOU ON YOUR EXTENDED 50 YEAR VACATION.

AND ... I DON'T SEE THE ROGER'S FAMILY. EVERYBODY (???) ...

BRUCE LIETZKE
THAT'S, THAT'S MY FAMILY THERE, MY WIFE, ROSE, AND CHRISTINE AND STEPHEN.

PETER KESSLER
AND WHY DON'T WE SEE UH, SLIGHTLY ...

BRUCE LIETZKE
AND THE OTHER PART OF OUR ORLANDO CROWD IS BILL ROGERS, HIS WIFE, BETH, ...

PETER KESSLER
WE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HE OWNED JEANS.

BRUCE LIETZKE
DAN AND BLAIR. (LAUGH) HE'S ALSO MY PARTNER IN THE LEGENDS TOURNAMENT. HE'D BETTER GET OUT THERE AND PRACTICE.

PETER KESSLER
YES, IF YOU BOTH REMEMBER TO SHOW UP. AND AS WE LEAVE FOR A MOMENT, LET'S LOOK AT STEPHEN HITTING A LITTLE POOL SHOT.

(VIDEO CLIP BEGINS)
BRUCE LIETZKE
COME ON, LET ME SEE YOU MAKE THAT 11 BALL.

STEPHEN LIETZKE, BRUCE'S SON (YOUNG MALE):
NOW?

BRUCE LIETZKE
YEAH. WELL ...

ROSE LIETZKE, BRUCE'S WIFE (FEMALE):
THERE YOU GO. CRANK IT OUT, BUDDY.

BRUCE LIETZKE
GO AHEAD, CHRIS, YOU CAN COME TO SANDY. OKAY ...

ROSE LIETZKE, BRUCE'S WIFE (FEMALE):
YOU'RE GONNA MAKE IT.

STEPHEN LIETZKE, BRUCE'S SON (YOUNG MALE):
UM ...

ROSE LIETZKE, BRUCE'S WIFE (FEMALE):
OH!

BRUCE LIETZKE
WHOA! HAS HE GOT TOUCH OR WHAT? LOOKED LIKE CRENSHAW PUTTING THERE.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion

By Rex HoggardJanuary 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

Vijay Singh’s attempts to speed up the proceedings in his ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour have been stalled, again.

Singh – who filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court in May 2013 claiming the Tour recklessly administered its anti-doping program when he was suspended, a suspension that was later rescinded – sought to have the circuit sanctioned for what his attorneys argued was a frivolous motion, but judge Eileen Bransten denied the motion earlier this month.

“While the court is of the position it correctly denied the Tour’s motion to argue, the court does not agree that the motion was filed in bad faith nor that it represents a ‘persistent pattern of repetitive or meritless motions,’” Bransten said.

It also doesn’t appear likely the case will go to trial any time soon, with Bransten declining Singh’s request for a pretrial conference until a pair of appeals that have been sent to the court’s appellate division have been decided.

“What really should be done is settle this case,” Bransten said during the hearing, before adding that it is, “unlikely a trail will commence prior to 2019.”

The Tour’s longstanding policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation, but earlier this month commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about the lawsuit.

“I'll just say that we're going through the process,” Monahan said. “Once you get into a legal process, and you've been into it as long as we have been into it, I think it's fair to assume that we're going to run it until the end.”

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Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 23, 2018, 7:45 pm

Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Tuesday at Torrey Pines South, site of this week's Farmers Insurance Open. Woods is making his first PGA Tour start since missing the cut in this event last year. Here's a look at some images and videos of Tiger, via social media:







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Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open

By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:59 pm

The PGA Tour remains in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. A field of 156 players will tackle the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines, with weekend play exclusively on the South Course.

Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge - including a new One & Done game offering - to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

Jon Rahm won this event last year by three shots over Charles Howell III and C.T. Pan. Here are 10 names to watch in La Jolla:

1. Jon Rahm: No need to overthink it at the top. Rahm enters as a defending champ for the first time, fresh off a playoff win at the CareerBuilder Challenge that itself was preceded by a runner-up showing at Kapalua. Rahm is perhaps the hottest player in the field, and with a chance to become world No. 1 should be set for another big week.

2. Jason Day: The Aussie has missed the cut here the last two years, and he hasn't played competitively since November. But he ended a disappointing 2017 on a slight uptick, and his Torrey Pines record includes three straight top-10s from 2013-15 that ended with his victory three years ago.

3. Justin Rose: Rose ended last year on a tear, with three victories over his final six starts including two in a row in Turkey and China. The former U.S. Open winner has the patience to deal with a brutal layout like the South Course, as evidenced by his fourth-place showing at this event a year ago.

4. Rickie Fowler: This tournament has become somewhat feast-or-famine for Fowler, who is making his ninth straight start at Torrey Pines. The first four in that run all netted top-20 finishes, including two top-10s, while the last four have led to three missed cuts and a T-61. After a win in the Bahamas and T-4 at Kapalua, it's likely his mini-slump comes to an end.

5. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker has become somewhat of a course specialist at Torrey Pines in recent years, with six top-10 finishes over the last eight years including wins in both 2012 and 2016. While he missed much of the second half of 2017 recovering from injury and missed the cut last week, Snedeker is always a threat to contend at this particular event.

6. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama struggled to find his footing after a near-miss at the PGA Championship, but he appears to be returning to form. The Japanese phenom finished T-4 at Kapalua and has put up solid results in two of his four prior trips to San Diego, including a T-16 finish in his 2014 tournament debut. Matsuyama deserves a look at any event that puts a strong emphasis on ball-striking.

7. Tony Finau: Finau has the length to handle the difficult demands of the South Course, and his results have gotten progressively better each time around: T-24 in 2015, T-18 in 2016 and T-4 last year. Finau is coming off the best season of his career, one that included a trip to the Tour Championship, and he put together four solid rounds at the Sony Open earlier this month.

8. Charles Howell III: Howell is no stranger to West Coast golf, and his record at this event since 2013 includes three top-10 finishes highlighted by last year's runner-up showing. Howell chased a T-32 finish in Hawaii with a T-20 finish last week in Palm Springs, his fourth top-20 finish this season.

9. Marc Leishman: Leishman was twice a runner-up at this event, first in 2010 and again in 2014, and he finished T-20 last year. The Aussie is coming off a season that included two wins, and he has amassed five top-10s in his last eight worldwide starts dating back to the Dell Technologies Championship in September.

10. Gary Woodland: Woodland played in the final group at this event in 2014 before tying for 10th, and he was one shot off the lead entering the final round in 2016 before Mother Nature blew the entire field sideways. Still, the veteran has three top-20s in his last four trips to San Diego and finished T-7 two weeks ago in Honolulu.

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Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'

By Will GrayJanuary 23, 2018, 6:28 pm

It's a new year, but USGA executive Mike Davis hasn't changed his views on the growing debate over distance.

Speaking with Matt Adams on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Davis didn't mince words regarding his perception that increased distance has had a negative impact on the game of golf, and he reiterated that it's a topic that the USGA and R&A plan to jointly address.

"The issue is complex. It's important, and it's one that we need to, and we will, face straight on," Davis said. "I think on the topic of distance, we've been steadfast to say that we do not think increased distance is necessarily good for the game."

Davis' comments echoed his thoughts in November, when he stated that the impact of increased distance has been "horrible" for the game. Those comments drew a strong rebuke from Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who claimed there was "no evidence" to support Davis' argument.

That argument, again reiterated Tuesday, centers on the rising costs associated with both acquiring and maintaining increased footprints for courses. Davis claimed that 1 in 4 courses in the U.S. is currently "not making money," and noted that while U.S. Open venues were 6,800-6,900 yards at the start of his USGA tenure, the norm is now closer to 7,400-7,500 yards.

"You ask yourself, 'What has this done for the game? How has that made the game better?'" Davis said. "I think if we look at it, and as we look to the future, we're asking ourselves, saying, 'We want the game of golf to be fun.' We want it to continue to be challenging and really let your skills dictate what scores you should shoot versus necessarily the equipment.

"But at the same time, we know there are pressures on golf courses. We know those pressures are going to become more acute."