Golf Talk Live - Bruce Lietzke Transcript Segment 6
ALRIGHT, HERE'S A QUESTION SUBMITTED TO OUR WEB SITE TODAY FOR YOU, BRUCE. AND IT IS, 'HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE YOU TO GET BORED ON THE SENIOR PGA TOUR? '. STEVE FISHER WANTS TO KNOW.
HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT WILL TAKE YOU TO GET BORED ON THE SENIOR PGA TOUR? STEVE FISHER, DALLAS, TX )
BOY, BORED? UM, I'M - I'M NOWHERE NEAR BURNOUT. HE'S ASKING ABOUT BORED. UH, I ... BURNOUT IS NOT A FACTOR IN MY LIFE, AS LITTLE GOLF AS I'VE PLAYED. UH, LIKE I SAID, I PLAN ON PLAYING 10 YEARS.
AND THE ONE THING I, I KIND OF - I FIND MYSELF FOCUSING ON IS, THERE'S A ... THE CHARLES SCHWAB COMPANY HAS STEPPED ON THE SENIOR TOUR AND PROVIDED A LITTLE BONUS MONEY. MUCH LIKE MY FRIENDS IN NASCAR IN DRAG RACING HAVE A YEAR LONG BONUS PROGRAM THAT THEY STRIVE FOR,
UH, I HAVE FOUND MYSELF, MORE AND MORE, LOOKING ON TO THAT BONUS, UH, YEAR END, UH, POOL. AND I ... AGAIN, I'M, I'VE BEEN RETIRED, AS YOU SAID, PETER, FOR A LONG TIME NOW. UH, I'M VERY ANXIOUS TO GET OUT AND PLAY SOME GOLF.
UH, I STILL LOVE TO PLAY GOLF, NEVER DID LOSE MY LOVE TO PLAY GOLF. AND I'VE BEEN KIND OF CHOMPING AT THE BIT FOR ABOUT 15 OR 16 YEARS NOW. AND I DON'T SEE MYSELF GETTING BORED. AND I REALLY BELIEVE, ESPECIALLY WITH THAT, UH, THAT BONUS MONEY,
I'M GONNA FEEL LIKE A NASCAR GUY OUT THERE, YOU KNOW, DASHING TO THE END, PUTTING FRESH TIRES ON AND UH, AND - AND GOING TO THE END OF THE YEAR, UH, FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS. AND UH, I DON'T SEE MYSELF BEING BORED. I - I'VE NEVER REALLY BEEN BORED.
I'VE UH, I'VE BEEN DISTRACTED FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS WITH FAMILY UH OBLIGATIONS BUT UH, NEVER BORED.
WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT BEING HOME FOR YOU?
WELL, THOSE ARE MY VACATIONS. UH, TOUR PLAYERS ARE VERY STRANGE PEOPLE. UH, MOST PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, WORK AND WHEN THEY GO ON VACATION, THEY GO 2 WEEKS TO ORLANDO OR VACATION. UH, WHEN FULLTIME TOUR PLAYERS GO ON VACATION,
THEY WANT TO GO HOME AND STAY AROUND THE HOUSE. UM, MY, MY CARS AROUND THE HOUSE UH KEEP MY MIND OCCUPIED BECAUSE I DON'T PLAY ANY GOLF WHEN I'M HOME. UM, MY, MY FAMILY DUTIES ... MY KIDS ARE OLDER, THEY'RE DRIVING.
THEY, THEY'RE BRANCHING OUT A WHOLE LOT MORE ON THEIR OWN. IT GIVES ME A LOT OF TIME DURING THE DAY WHEN THEY'RE IN SCHOOL. CARS KEEP ME VERY OCCUPIED AND THAT MAKES MY HOME VERY ATTRACTIVE.
AND I HAVE A VERY ATTRACTIVE WIFE WHICH MAKES MY HOME VERY ATTRACTIVE, AND I ENJOY CHASING HER AROUND THE HOUSE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. AND UH, THAT'S - THAT'S UH ...
AND THIS CAR YOU SEE RIGHT HERE, THAT - UH, IT TOOK ME 2 YEARS. THAT'S A KIT CAR AND I BUILT IT FROM SCRATCH. UH, I'VE DONE THAT FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS. SO THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT KEEP ME AROUND THE HOUSE,
THOSE KIDS, UH, CARS AND 3 DOGS, 3 CATS, ALL THE, ALL THOSE TRAPPINGS.
WHAT ARE THE TRAPPINGS OF SUCCESS THAT BOTHER YOU?
UH, (SIGH) ...
BOY, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. UH ...
UH, PROBABLY THE - THE ... UH, GOING BACK A LITTLE BIT TO BEING IN FRONT OF THE CROWDS AND ALL THAT. AND I, I HAVE A TOUGH TIME FEELING, FEELING LIKE I'M ON DISPLAY. AND I GUESS THAT'S THAT, THAT WHOLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE, UH, IN CROWDS OR UNFAMILIAR SITUATIONS.
UH, BUT THAT'S - THOSE HAVE BEEN PART OF MY DUTIES AS A PGA TOUR PLAYER. WE, WE ARE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS. AND A LOT OF TIMES, I PROBABLY HAVEN'T REALIZED THAT OR HAVEN'T LIVED UP TO THAT UH, UH,
THAT OBLIGATION. AND THE SENIOR TOUR, EVEN TO A, UH, A MORE OF A DEGREE, WE ARE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS, IN THE 2 DAY PRO-AMS AND ALL THAT. AND I'M GONNA HAVE TO LEARN TO BE A LITTLE MORE OUTGOING AND HAVE A LITTLE MORE FUN ON THE GOLF COURSE. UH ...
UH, THOSE ARE SOME GOALS THAT I NEED TO HAVE. BUT IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE. AND THOSE ARE SOME OF THE TRAPPINGS OF, OF UH, OF BEING IN A VERY PUBLIC, UH, DOMAIN. ESPECIALLY THE POPULARITY OF GOLF NOW, IT'S SO DIFFERENT THAN IT WAS 25 YEARS AGO.
GOLF WAS, PRO GOLF WAS JUST A QUIET LITTLE SPORT, AND WE WOULD JUST SLIP INTO TOWN AND SLIP ON OUT. AND BOY,
NO MORE SLIPPING.
PRO - THE PRO TOUR DOES NOT ... UH, GO LIKE THAT. UH, I DON'T KNOW IF THE SENIORS DO THAT OR NOT. I KNOW THE PGA TOUR DOES NOT. AND UH, UH, I'M GONNA TRY AND BE A LITTLE MORE FAMILIAR AND LITTLE MORE AT EASE, UH, DURING THOSE WEEKS THAT I'M PLAYING SENIOR GOLF,
UH, AND TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME UNCOMFORTABLE THAT - THAT ARE PART OF THOSE TRAPPINGS, I GUESS.
WE HAVE SENIOR PGA TOUR WINNER, DOUG TEWELL, WHO WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THOSE FUN THINGS, RIGHT DOUG?
DOUG TEWELL, CALLER/SENIOR PGA TOUR PLAYER (MALE):
YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT, PETER. BRUCE, I JUST - I REALLY JUST THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOU STAY HOME WITH THOSE KIDS FOR A COUPLE MORE YEARS 'CAUSE I HAVEN'T QUITE GOT MY SATCHEL FULL.
YOU THINK SO, DOUG? MAYBE EVEN THROUGH THOSE COLLEGE YEARS, SO MAYBE I SHOULD JUST STAY AT HOME THROUGH THOSE COLLEGE YEARS ALSO?
DOUG TEWELL, CALLER/PGA TOUR PLAYER (MALE):
I THINK SO. 'CAUSE BY THEN, I THINK I'LL BE ABOUT 57 AND BE READY TO JUST GO TO GRAND LAKE AND DO A LITTLE FISHING MYSELF.
YEAH. WELL, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, DOUG, UH, I CONSIDERED IT AND NO. I'M COMING OUT, IN FACT, I'M COMING OUT MY VERY FIRST ELIGIBLE WEEK, WHICH IS IN CHICAGO. AND I WILL UH, UH, MEET YOU AND GREET YOU THERE AND GO BACK TO THE THING WE'VE BEEN DOING FOR ... ALL THE WAY BACK THROUGH COLLEGE.
UH, AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO, TO GETTING BACK OUT. ALL - BUT WITH ALL THE FRIENDS I HAVE OUT THERE AND UH, UH, PUSHING YOU GUYS A LITTLE BIT, THAT'S MY, THAT'S MY PLAN. I'M GONNA PUSH YOU UH, AS FAR AS I CAN.
DOUG TEWELL, CALLER/PGA TOUR PLAYER (MALE):
WELL, WE'RE EXCITED TO HAVE YOU COMING OUT. AND I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, IT'S GONNA BE FUN. IT'S NICE TO HAVE ANOTHER FADER COMING OUT, YOU KNOW. 'CAUSE YOU KNOW HOW I WORK THAT BALL LEFT TO RIGHT, AND UH ...
BUT I WON'T SEE YOU CHICAGO. I'LL GIVE YOU A BREAK. I'M GONNA TAKE THAT WEEK OFF. AND THEN I'LL, I'LL GET TO GO HEAD TO HEAD WITH YOU THE FOLLOWING WEEK.
I FIGURE I NEED TO GO TALK TO THOSE TOUR OFFICIALS OUT THERE. AND THE ONES THAT DON'T LIKE TO PUT THOSE BACK RIGHT PIN PLACEMENTS, IF I CAN OFFER MONEY, WHATEVER IT IS, FISHING TRIPS, I WANT ALL BACK RIGHT PIN PLACEMENTS. AND YOU AND I WILL DO JUST FINE.
DOUG TEWELL, CALLER/PGA TOUR PLAYER (MALE):
WELL, I DID THAT EARLIER THIS YEAR AS A TRADITION. I BRIBED THEM VERY MUCH AND IT WORKED. I CAN TELL YOU, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WANTING THAT BIG LEAD COMING DOWN THE STRETCH, IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.
YOU LET ME KNOW WHICH GUYS YOU TALKED TO AND I'LL, I'LL BE READY TO TAKE CARE OF THEM.
YEAH, JUST ...
DOUG TEWELL, CALLER/PGA TOUR PLAYER (MALE):
WELL, WE WISH YOU A LOT OF LUCK AND WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING AND PLAYING AGAINST BUCK DOWN THERE AT THE LEGENDS.
DON'T FORGET, DOUG, HE'S THOUGHT ABOUT IT AND THE ANSWER IS 'NO.'
DOUG TEWELL, CALLER/PGA TOUR PLAYER (MALE):
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. AS WE LEAVE FOR JUST A MINUTE, HERE ARE YOU AND SCOTT MCCARRON ON YOUR WAY TO JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE 59'S AT THE SHARK SHOOTOUT.
YOU MAKE EVERYTHING - HOW DO YOU MAKE PUTTS WITH THAT THING?
OH THIS, I - I DID, I DID THIS WEEK. UH, I HAD A PARTNER THAT COULD FLY THE BALL ABOUT 320 OFF THE TEE AND I HAD A PUTTER THAT WAS REALLY WORKING ON THOSE GREENS AT SHERWOOD.
AND, AND AGAIN, A FELLOW FADER, UH, HE LIKES TO FADE THE BALL. AND BOY, HE DRIVES IT A MILE. AND UH, WE HAD A GREAT TIME THAT WEEK. WE HAD COME CLOSE THE YEAR BEFORE AND WE FINALLY DID IT THERE.
YOU COULD WIN WITH YOUR GRANDMOTHER. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
First Look: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play groups
AUSTIN, Texas – Although professional golf’s version of March Madness is considered just plain maddening in some circles following the switch to round-robin play three years ago, it’s still one of the game’s most compelling weeks after a steady diet of stroke play.
With this week’s lineup having been set Monday night via a blind draw, we take a deep dive into WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play bracketology (current world golf rankings in parentheses):
Pool play will begin Wednesday, with the winner from each of the 16 groups advancing to knockout play beginning Saturday:
Group 1: (1) Dustin Johnson, (32) Kevin Kisner, (38) Adam Hadwin, (52) Bernd Wiesberger
Teeing off: This sounds like the beginning of a joke that’s made the rounds at the United Nations, but what do you get when a pair of South Carolinians, a Canadian and an Austrian walk onto the first tee? Group 1 and what, on paper, looks like it could be the week’s most lopsided pod with the world No. 1, who never trailed on his way to victory last year, poised to pick up where he left off.
Group 2: (2) Justin Thomas, (21) Francesco Molinari, (48) Patton Kizzire, (60) Luke List
Teeing off: This isn’t exactly an Iron Bowl rematch, but having Thomas (Alabama) and Kizzire (Auburn) in the same group seems to be pandering to the Southeastern Conference crowd.
Group 3: (3) Jon Rahm, (28) Kiradech Aphibarnrat, (43) Chez Reavie, (63) Keegan Bradley
Teeing off: The Asian John Daly (aka Aphibarnrat) will have his hands full with Rahm, who lost the championship match to Johnson last year; while Bradley may be this group’s Cinderella after making a late push to qualify for the Match Play.
Group 4: (4) Jordan Spieth, (19) Patrick Reed, (34) Haotong Li, (49) Charl Schwartzel
Teeing off: This may be the week’s most awkward pairing, with Spieth and Reed turning what has been one of the United States' most successful tandems (they are 7-2-2 as partners in Presidents and Ryder Cup play) into an early-week highlight. It will be “shhh” vs. “Go Get that.”
Group 5: (5) Hideki Matsuyama, (30) Patrick Cantlay, (46) Cameron Smith, (53) Yusaku Miyazato
Teeing off: Cantlay could be the Tour’s most reserved player, Smith isn’t much more outspoken and Matsuyama and Miyazato speak limited English. This will be the quietest pod, and it’ll have nothing to do with gamesmanship.
Group 6: (6) Rory McIlroy, (18) Brian Harman, (44) Jhonattan Vegas, (51) Peter Uihlein
Teeing off: We're going to declare this the “group of death,” with McIlroy coming off a commanding victory last week at Bay Hill and Harman being one of the Tour’s most gritty competitors.
Group 7: (7) Sergio Garcia, (20) Xander Schauffele, (41) Dylan Frittelli, (62) Shubankhar Sharma
Teeing off: Three weeks ago, Phil Mickelson confused Sharma for a member of the media when he tried to introduce himself at the WGC-Mexico Championship. As a public service announcement: it’s SHAR-ma. You may be hearing it a lot this week.
Group 8: (8) Jason Day, (25) Louis Oosthuizen, (42) Jason Dufner, (56) James Hahn
Teeing off: This pod has a Presidents Cup flair to it, but Day and Oosthuizen should hope for a better outcome considering the International side’s awful record in the biennial bout.
Group 9: (9) Tommy Fleetwood, (26) Daniel Berger, (33) Kevin Chappell, (58) Ian Poulter
Teeing off: We showed up in Austin and a Ryder Cup broke out. Fleetwood is all but a lock to make this year’s European team, and fellow Englishman Poulter (23-14) has forged a career on his match-play prowess. For Berger and Chappell, who both played last year’s Presidents Cup, it’s a chance to impress U.S. captain Jim Furyk.
Group 10: (10) Paul Casey, (31) Matthew Fitzpatrick, (45) Kyle Stanley, (51) Russell Henley
Teeing off: Casey has a stellar record at the Match Play (23-13-1) and having finally ended his victory drought two weeks ago at the Valspar Championship the Englishman could likely seal his Ryder Cup fate with a solid week at Austin Country Club.
Group 11: (11) Marc Leishman, (23) Branden Grace, (35) Bubba Watson, (64) Suri
Teeing off: The best part of March Madness is the potential upsets, and while Suri, the last man in the field, isn’t exactly UMBC over Virginia, don’t be surprised if the little-known player from St. Augustine, Fla., stuns some big names this week.
Group 12: (12) Tyrrell Hatton, (22) Charley Hoffman, (36) Brendan Steele, (55) Alexander Levy
Teeing off: If Levy hopes to make the European Ryder Cup team he should consider this his audition. That is if captain Thomas Bjorn is watching.
Group 13: (13) Alex Noren, (29) Tony Finau, (39) Thomas Pieters, (61) Kevin Na
Teeing off: Finau and Pieters have the firepower to play with anyone in the field and Noren’s record the last few months has been impressive, but Na looks like one of those Princeton teams who can wear down anyone.
Group 14: (14) Phil Mickelson, (17) Rafael Cabrera-Bello, (40) Sotashi Kodaira, (59) Charles Howell III
Teeing off: Mickelson has been rejuvenated by his victory at the last World Golf Championship, Cabrera Bello is poised to earn a spot on this year’s European Ryder Cup team and Howell is playing some of the best golf of his career. Note to Kodaira, don’t try to introduce yourself to Lefty before your match.
Group 15: (15) Pat Perez, (24) Gary Woodland, (37) Webb Simpson, (50) Si Woo Kim
Teeing off: Perez explained that during a practice round on Monday he was talking trash with Branden Grace. Not sure Kim will be down for some trash talking, but it would certainly be entertaining and probably a little confusing for him.
Group 16: (16) Matt Kuchar, (27) Ross Fisher, (47) Yuta Ikeda, (54) Zach Johnson
Teeing off: If any of these matches comes down to a tie, may we suggest officials go to a sudden-death ping-pong match. No one can compete with Kuchar on a table, but it would be must-see TV nonetheless.
Randall's Rant: Hey, loudmouth, you're not funny
Dear misguided soul:
You know who you are.
You’re “that guy.”
You’re that guy following around Rory McIloy and yelling “Erica” at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
There was something creepy in the nature of your bid to get in McIlroy’s head, in the way you hid in the shadows all day. Bringing a guy’s wife into the fray that way, it’s as funny as heavy breathing on the other end of a phone call.
You’re that guy telling Justin Thomas you hope he hits it in the water at the Honda Classic.
There are a million folks invested in seeing if Thomas can muster all the skills he has honed devoting himself to being the best in the world, and you’re wanting to dictate the tournament’s outcome. Yeah, that’s what we all came out to see, if the angry guy living in his mother’s basement can make a difference in the world. Can’t-miss TV.
You’re that guy who is still screaming “Mashed Potatoes” at the crack of a tee shot or “Get in the Hole” with the stroke of a putt.
Amusing to you, maybe, but as funny as a fart in an elevator to the rest of us.
As a growing fraternity of golf fans, you “guys” need a shirt. It could say, “I’m that guy” on one side and “Phi Kappa Baba Booey” on the other.
I know, from outside of golf, this sounds like a stodgy old geezer screaming “Get off my lawn.” That’s not right, though. It’s more like “Stop puking on my lawn.”
Because McIlroy is right, in the growing number of incidents players seem to be dealing with now, it’s probably the liquor talking.
The Phoenix Open is golf’s drunken uncle, but he isn’t just visiting on the holiday now. He’s moving in.
What’s a sport to do?
McIlroy suggested limiting liquor sales at tournaments, restricting alcohol consumption to beer.
I don’t know, when the beer’s talking, it sounds a lot like the liquor talking to me, just a different dialect.
From the outside, this push-back from players makes them sound like spoiled country club kids who can’t handle the rough-and-tumble playgrounds outside their prim little bailiwick. This isn’t really about social traditions, though. It’s about competition.
It’s been said here before, and it’s worth repeating, golf isn’t like baseball, basketball or football. Screaming in a player’s backswing isn’t like screaming at a pitcher, free-throw shooter or field-goal kicker. A singular comment breaking the silence in golf is more like a football fan sneaking onto the sidelines and tripping a receiver racing toward the end zone.
Imagine the outrage if that happened in an NFL game.
So, really, what is golf to do?
Equip marshals with tasers? Muzzle folks leaving the beer tent? Prohibit alcohol sales at tournaments?
While the first proposition would make for good TV, it probably wouldn’t be good for growing the sport.
So, it’s a tough question, but golf’s governing bodies should know by now that drunken fans can’t read those “Quiet Please!” signs that marshals wave. There will have to be better enforcement (short of tasers and muzzles).
There’s another thing about all of this, too. Tiger Woods is bringing such a broader fan base to the game again, with his resurgence. Some of today’s younger players, they didn’t experience all that came with his ascendance his first time around. Or they didn’t get the full dose of Tigermania when they were coming up.
This is no knock on Tigermania. It’s great for the game, but there are challenges bringing new fans into the sport and keeping them in the sport.
So if you’re “that guy,” welcome to our lawn, just don’t leave your lunch on it, please.
How Faxon became 'The Putting Stroke Whisperer'
AUSTIN, Texas – During a charity event a few years ago Brad Faxon was asked what he’s thinking about when he putts. A hush fell across the green as everyone within earshot eagerly awaited the answer.
Imagine having the chance to quiz Leonardo da Vinci about the creative process, or Ben Hogan on the finer points of ball-striking. Arguably the best putter of his generation, if anyone could crack the complicated code of speed, line and pace, it would be Faxon.
Faxon mulled the question for a moment, shrugged and finally said, “Rhythm and tempo.”
If Faxon’s take seems a tad underwhelming, and it did that day to everyone in his group, the genius of his simplicity was on display last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Before arriving at Bay Hill, Rory McIlroy ranked 124th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting, losing .1 strokes per round to the field. In fact, he’d missed the cut a week earlier at the Valspar Championship when he needed 58 putts for two days and made just a single attempt over 10 feet.
It’s one of those competitive ironies that having the weekend off turned out to be just what McIlroy needed. He went home to South Florida to work on his game and ran across Faxon at The Bear’s Club.
Although Faxon’s take on the art of putting was probably more involved than it had been a few years earlier, he seemed to have touched on all the right points.
“Freed up my head more than my stroke,” McIlroy explained. “I sort of felt like maybe complicating things a bit and thinking a little bit too much about it and maybe a little bogged down by technical or mechanical thoughts.”
Earlier in the week McIlroy had a slightly different take on his putting turnaround at Bay Hill, where he led the field in strokes gained: putting, picking up 10 shots for the week, and rolled in 49 feet of putts over his last five holes to end a victory drought that had stretched back to the 2016 Tour Championship.
“Just playing around with it. Seeing balls go in in the front edge, trying to hit them in the left edge, the right edge, hit them off the back of the cup,” he said on Thursday. “Just trying to get a little bit more feel into it and a little more flow.”
If that doesn’t exactly sound like an exact science, welcome to the Faxon way. In recent years, he’s become something of the game's "Putting Stroke Whisperer," which is no huge surprise considering his status as one of the game’s best on the greens.
Between 1991, the year he won the first of eight Tour titles, through 2005, the year he won his last, Faxon ranked outside the top 20 in putting average just four times, and he led the circuit in that category three of those years. But in recent years he’s come into his own as a putting guru.
“The first clinic I attended that a Tour player gave, it was Hale Irwin, and he talked about rhythm and tempo, I was disappointed because I wanted to hear more than that,” Faxon explained. “I thought there would be more technical stuff. I thought it was the default phrase to take pressure off the player, but the more I’ve learned about teaching the best players in the world don’t have many complicated thoughts.”
Faxon’s career has been nothing short of impressive, his eight Tour titles spanning two decades; but it’s his work with players like McIlroy and Gary Woodland that has inspired him in recent years.
A man who has spent his life studying the nuances of the golf swing and putting stroke has created a teaching philosophy as simple, or complicated depending on the player, as rhythm and tempo.
“He teaches me, which is a good thing. He doesn’t have a philosophy,” Woodland said. “I was around him a lot in 2011, 2010, it’s unbelievable how well he can relay it now. He has video of a million guys putting and he’s one of the best to do it, but he can show you that you don’t have to do it one certain way and that was good for me.”
For Woodland, Faxon keyed in on his background as a college basketball player and compared the putting stroke to how he shoots free-throws. For McIlroy, it was a different sport but the concept remained the same.
“We were talking about other sports where you have to create your own motion, a free-throw shooter, a baseball pitcher, but what related to him was a free-kicker in soccer, he mentioned Wayne Rooney,” Faxon said. “You have to have something to kick start your motion, maybe it’s a trigger, some might use a forward press, or tapping the putter like Steve Stricker, sometimes it’s finding the trigger like that for a player.”
Faxon spent “a good two hours” with McIlroy last weekend at The Bear’s Club, not talking technique or method, but instead tapping into the intuitive nature of what makes someone a good putter. Midway through that session Faxon said he didn’t need to say another word.
The duo ended the session with a putting contest. Putting 30-footers to different holes, the goal was to make five “aces.” Leading the contest 4-2, Faxon couldn’t resist.
“Hey Rory, after you win Bay Hill this week you’ll have to tell the world you lost to Brad Faxon in a putting contest,” Faxon joked.
McIlroy proceeded to hole three of his next four attempts to win the contest. “I’m going to tell everyone I beat Brad Faxon in a putting contest,” McIlroy laughed.
Maybe it’s the way he’s able to so easily simplify an exceedingly complicated game, maybe it’s a resume filled with more clutch putts than one could count. Whatever it is, Faxon is good at teaching. More importantly, he’s having fun and doing something he loves.
“I have a hard time being called a teacher or a coach, it was more of a conversation with Rory, being able to work with someone like Rory is as excited as I’ve ever been in my career,” Faxon said. “It meant much more to me than it did Rory.”
Frittelli fulfilled promise by making Match Play field
AUSTIN, Texas – Dylan Frittelli attended the University of Texas and still maintains a residence in Austin, so in an odd way this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is a home game for the South African who plays the European Tour.
Frittelli actually attended the event last year as a spectator, when he watched the quarterfinal matches on Saturday afternoon, and made a promise to himself.
“I told a lot of people, I was running into them. I said, ‘I'll be here next year, I'll be playing in this tournament,’” said Frittelli, who climbed to 45th in the world ranking after two victories last year in Europe. “People looked at me, you're 190 in the world, that's hard to get to 64. It was a goal I set myself.”
Frittelli’s next goal may be a little payback for a loss he suffered in college when he was a teammate of Jordan Spieth’s. Frittelli is making his first start at the Match Play and could face his old Longhorn stable mate this week depending on how the brackets work out and his play.
“We had the UT inter-team championship. Coach switched it to match play my senior year, and Jordan beat me in the final at UT Golf Club. It was 3 and 2,” Frittelli said. “So I'm not too keen to face him again.