Golf Talk Live - Byron Nelson Transcript Segment 4
WE'VE GOT A SERIES OF SHOTS OF TIGER'S AND IT STARTS ON THE TEE WITH SOME DRIVES AND HIS PRE-SHOT ROUTINE. WE'LL TAKE YOU ALL THE WAY THROUGH
TO PUTTING AND IF YOU WOULD SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE AND WHAT YOU THINK OF HIS MOOD AND OF HIM THAT WOULD BE WONDERFUL STUFF. LET'S GO AHEAD
AND TAKE A LOOK.
I CAN SAY IT RIGHT AWAY THAT THERE'S NOBODY THAT I'VE EVER SEEN PLAY GOLF THAT HAS THE DETERMINATION THIS YOUNG MAN HAS TO GET BETTER.
HOW FOCUSED IS HE IN YOUR VIEW?
WELL THE WAY HE'S STANDING THERE HE, HE LOOKS LIKE HE'S GOING TO DO IT. THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT HIS WHOLE MANNERISMS.
(SOUND OF GOLF CLUB STRIKING BALL)
NOW THAT CLUB, THAT CLUB WAS DEAD ON LINE GOING BACK. YOU WATCH THE CLUB ON HIS BACK SWING. IT DID, SEE IT COMES STRAIGHT UP OVER HIS SHOULDERS, JUST POINTING RIGHT DOWN THE FAIRWAY WHERE'S HE'S GOING.
BEFORE HE CHANGED, BEFORE HE WORKED ON HIS GAME, WHY THAT CLUB WOULD LAYOFF SOME AT THE TOP AND THEN IT'D COME AROUND A LOT OF TIMES AND HE'D HIT SOME BAD HOOKS AND THEN HE'D BLOCK THE NEXT NINE AND HE'D HIT IT TO THE RIGHT. HE'D GO LEFT
AND RIGHT. A PLAYER, WHEN HE'S GOING LEFT AND RIGHT SCARES HIM. IF HE'S GOING ALL LEFT OR ALL RIGHT, HE CAN CORRECT THAT BUT WHEN YOU GOT IN HIS WAY AND SEE NOW WHAT, SEE HOW COMFORTABLE HE LOOKS DOWN THERE.
THAT'S A 2 IRON. THAT WAS THE LAST HOLE OF THE REGULATION OF THE PGA
AND HE IS A, YOU KNOW, HE, HE DOESN'T PARTICULARLY LOOK IT, BUT THIS BOY IS STRONG. SEE THE DIVOTS HE TAKES. HE CAN TAKE DIVOTS AND CATCH THAT BALL AND HIT IT ON THE GREEN WHEN NOBODY ELSE OUT THERE CAN REALLY DO IT, THAT
FROM THAT LIE.
HOW ABOUT THE SHORTNESS OF THAT SWING GIVEN THE LENGTH OF THE SHOT.
WELL IT, THAT WAS ACTUALLY, SEE, ORIGINALLY WHEN HE CAME OUT THERE AND WON, THAT'S ONE OF THE BEST WAYS HE'S IMPROVED HIS GAME. HE'S SHORTENED HIS BACK SWING SO HE COULD, HE CAN GO MORE THROUGH. YOU TAKE A LONG BACK SWING ON A SHORT
SHOT, THEN YOU'VE GOT TO STOP THE SWING OR YOU KNOW, AND YOU HIT IT TOO FAR. AND OF COURSE HE HAS THE BEST FEEL AROUND THE GREEN, THE TOUCH HE HAS. HE GOES, HE GOES BACK, NOW THAT'S SHORT AND THROUGH. A GOLF SHORT
SHOT IS HIT FROM THE BALL THROUGH, NOT BACK TO THE BALL. SEE THAT CLUB, IT SHOWS YOU HOW HIS LEFT HAND, THE LEFT HAND GOES RIGHT ON THROUGH TOWARD NO ONE. HE DOESN'T LET THAT CLUB HEAD PASS HIS HANDS TO PULL THE
BALL AROUND TO THE LEFT. THE CLUB STAYS RIGHT ON THE LINE. THE CLUB HEAD ON THE LINE THAT BALL'S SUPPOSED TO MOVE ON. HE DOES THAT BETTER THAN ANYBODY.
HOW ABOUT HIS LITTLE REPERTOIRE AROUND THE GREEN, BYRON?
WELL, HE DOES THE SAME THING, HE'S VERY UNIFORM. HE'S DONE IN PRACTICE ON IT AND WORKED ON IT ENOUGH AND I THINK A LOT OF IT BY NATURE, THE SHOT LIKE THIS, HE HIT, HE HITS THE BALL HIGH. HE CAN HIT IT LOW.
HE'S PRACTICED ON THIS AND IT'S JUST HIS NATURE TO SEEM TO WANT TO WORK ON THAT SHOT AND ANY SHOT THAT HE PLAYS A ROUND, HERE'S WHERE HE'S SO ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC IS OUT OF THIS ROUGH. SEE HE'S JUST OFF THE EDGE OF THE GREEN AND HE USES A 60 DEGREE
WEDGE AND LOOK AT THIS, BREAK THE BALL LIKE THAT AND I KNOW, I'VE HEARD KEN VENTURI ON THERE SAY WELL I'LL SEE IF HE GETS THIS ONE DOWN IN TWO AND HE'LL KNOCK IT UP THERE LIKE THAT JUST TIME AND TIME AGAIN AND HE DOES
THAT AND SEE, NOW THAT'S A TOUGH SHOT BECAUSE HE'S STANDING, STANDING UNCOMFORTABLE AND HE HAS TO BEND HIS KNEES MORE AND THEN OF COURSE, AND HE, SEE, TOO BAD.
TOO BAD HE DIDN'T HOLE IT.
AND THAT WAS OF COURSE AT LAST YEAR'S U.S. OPEN. THE 2000 OPEN AND HERE HE IS ON THE VERY NEXT HOLE, ON THE 18TH HOLE AT PEBBLE BEACH, AGAIN TRYING TO HOLE THE SHOT.
RIGHT. THE FEEL THAT HE HAS TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT. EVEN THE SHOT HAS TO BE EXECUTED PROPERLY, NUMBER ONE, BUT NUMBER TWO, THERE HAS TO BE A FEEL IN YOUR HANDS AND YOUR BODY
OF THE SPEED OF HOW THAT CLUB IS GOING THROUGH TO GET THIS FEEL. YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT CONSCIOUS THAT YOU'RE AHEAD, YOU'RE JUST CONSCIOUS OF THE FEEL THAT THERE, THAT YOU CAN DO THAT AND HE DOES IT.
HOW DO YOU LIKE HIM FROM 12 TO 15 FEET?
BEST I EVER SAW. BEST I EVER SAW. THERE'S SOME OF THE, SOME OF THE TOP PLAYERS OUT THERE THAT COMPETE AND JUST TOLD ME THAT... WATCH THAT, THAT IT'S BETTER, EVEN MONEY THAT HE'LL MAKE THEM 12, 15 FEET.
TWEN... I SAID TO THE 12. TEN TO TWELVE FEET. HE'S BETTER THAN EVEN MONEY THAT HE'LL MAKE IT. WELL NOW THAT
WELL NORMALLY 20% WOULD BE A GOOD NUMBER.
YEAH, WELL, 5TH WOULD BE PLENTY.
ALRIGHT, NOW HERE'S BYRON NELSON AND TIGER WOODS. WHAT DO YOU SEE SIR?
TWO PLAYERS THAT KNEW HOW TO PLAY.
ANY SIMILARITIES, DIFFERENCES?
NO, I THINK THAT I'M LEANING A LITTLE BIT MORE FORWARD AND TO THE LEFT SIDE THAN HE IS. THE BALL'S ABOUT IN THE SAME POSITION. VERY CLOSE, SAME POSITION. THE ARMS ABOUT, WHAT THEY CALL THE 'V'. PRETTY MUCH THE SAME, AND MY KNEES ARE A LITTLE BIT MORE
RELAXED ON THE RIGHT SIDE THAN HIS. HE'S A LITTLE MORE EVEN, HIS WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION THEN WHAT I USED.
OF COURSE HE SWUNG THAT, NOW YOU SEE HE'LL SWING THE CLUB BACK A LOT FURTHER THAN WHAT I, I HAD A THREE QUARTER SWING BASICALLY, UNLESS I WANTED TO HIT IT REAL HARD, I'D GO
A LITTLE MORE. NOW WE'RE HALF WAY BACK AND SEEING THE, SEE, BOTH OF US ARE DOING THE SAME THING THERE. BOTH THE ARMS ARE STAYING STRAIGHT. THE HANDS ARE NOT, STILL DEAD HANDS, PRETTY WHAT'S IN THE SWING HALF WAY BACK. NOW YOU, NOW THE NEXT ONE
YOU SEE, NOW SEE WHERE HE WENT TO AND SEE MINE. SEE HOW MUCH HIGHER MY CLUB IS, MY CLUB, HIS CLUB IS DOWN A FOOT, MMM, A FOOT AT LEAST FOUR MORE THAN MINE DOWN, AND THE LEFT ARM, AND MY LEFT ARM HAD TURNED AS MUCH AS HIS, BUT SEE HOW MUCH HIS SHOULDER IS TURNED, MINE'S NOT TURNED THAT MUCH.
THAT'S THE MAIN DIFFERENCE AT THE TOP OF THE SWING. NOW HE IS, HIS LEGS ARE NOT BENT QUITE AS MUCH AS MINE BUT HE NEVER WILL HAVE TO LEARN TO PLAY IN THE WIND AS MUCH AS I DID IN TEXAS, BUT HIS, YOU CAN'T FAULT THAT WHERE
HE IS THERE AND NOW, COMING THROUGH THE BALL, SEE I LEAN MORE THROUGH AND STAY BACK A LITTLE BIT MORE, WEIGHT NOW BACK, A LITTLE MORE ON MY RIGHT SIDE THAN WHAT HE HAS. HE'S PRETTY WELL MOVED HIS WEIGHT INTO THE LEFT SIDE BUT HE'S STILL FROM HIS
HEAD AND NOT MOVED OFF OF THAT BALL AND NEITHER HAS MINE. SEE MY EYES ARE RIGHT ON THE BALL. HE HAS NOT MOVED THAT, AND OUR LEFT LEGS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME BECAUSE HIS WEIGHT HAS MOVED
A LITTLE BIT MORE TO THE LEFT THAN WHAT MINE HAS AT THIS MOMENT. BOTH HANDS STILL THERE. HANDS ARE ABOUT THE SAME POSITION. NOW SEE MY HANDS, MY HANDS ARE A LITTLE BIT, HE HAS MOVED HIS HANDS A LITTLE FURTHER THROUGH THAN WHAT I HAVE
IN THIS SWING AND MY CLUB HEAD IS ABOUT TO PASS MY HANDS A LITTLE MORE THAN HIS, IN OTHER WORDS, HE'S GOING, HIS ARMS AND SHOULDERS, HE'S TURNING HIS SHOULDERS MORE THAN ME, SO YOU SEE, HIS LEFT SHOULDER, SEE MY LEFT
SHOULDER'S HIGHER THAN THE ONE, THAN WHAT HIS IS.
LET'S TAKE IT THROUGH TO THE FINISH.
NOW THEN, NOW AT THE FINISH, SEE IN THIS POSITION, SEE, NOW FROM THIS POSITION SEE, NOW HE IS, HE IS STRAIGHT LEGS AND MY LEGS ARE BENT. THEY SAID I HAD A DIP IN MY SWING. WELL, IF YOU HAD A, HAD A WAY TO SEE THOSE EXACT
AT IMPACT, WHERE WE EXACTLY HIT THE BALL, THEN MY LEGS WERE PRETTY MUCH LIKE HIS WERE, BUT I STAYED DOWN LONGER BECAUSE I PRACTICED A LOT AGAINST THE WIND AND TO KEEP THE CLUB LOW AGAINST THE WIND, WHY I LEARNED THAT, TO STAND DOWN LONGER THAN WHAT HE DOES.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK, AND YOU OF COURSE PRACTICED INTO THE WIND TO WORK ON THAT, DIDN'T YOU?
RIGHT I DID.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE DOWN THE LINE VIEW. GO AHEAD COMMENT ON THE TOP OF THE FINISH.
WELL, SEE HE'S STILL, NOW SEE HIS, HOW MUCH MORE HIS SHOULDERS TURNED THAN WHAT MINE IS AND THE CLUB WAS GOING THAT MUCH. SEE MY CLUB IS STILL JUST BACK OVER MY SHOULDER, AND HIS CLUB IS GOING WAY THROUGH A LOT
MORE. HE'S TURNED THROUGH MORE. SEE HOW MUCH MORE HIS HIPS ARE TURNED THROUGH THAN MINE? MINE ARE JUST BACK TO ABOUT SQUARE SO TO SPEAK, LEVEL, AND STRAIGHT OUT AND HIS IS TURNED. HIS LE... HIS RIGHT HIP IS PAST HIS LEFT HIP AND MINE IS NOT.
IS THAT A FUNCTION OF YOURS BEING THREE QUARTERISH AND HIS BEING FULLER?
THAT'S CAUSED BY THAT. IF I, SEE I HAD A, I HAD A WAY, I PLAYED GOLF ABOUT LIKE I WAS RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY AT 60 MILES AN HOUR. YOU DON'T GET MUCH TROUBLE AT 60 MILES AN HOUR.
YOU MIGHT RUN INTO SOMEBODY OR WHERE THE POLICE
AND ONCE IN A WHILE, NOW THEN, WE GO IN ANOTHER POSITION, NOW RIGHT AT THIS POINT HE'S CLOSER TO THE BALL THAN WHAT I AM AND I THINK THAT'S GOOD. I THINK THAT, BUT I HAD MORE
FLEXY, SEE MY LEGS ARE FLEXED MORE THAN HIS, SO IT MADE ME BE A LITTLE BIT FURTHER, FURTHER AWAY FROM THE BALL, AND I'M NOT AS TALL AS HE WAS.
NOW WHEN THEY, WHEN THEY START
BACK, WHY, SEE HIS RIGHT ARM STILL STAYS PRETTY STRAIGHT, WHERE MINE IS BENDING A LITTLE BIT COMING INTO THE SIDE. JUST A LITTLE BIT, AND NOTHING WRONG WITH EITHER ONE OF THOSE, BUT, BUT SEE THAT POSITION RIGHT THERE
NOW THAT'S I, JUST ABOUT ALMOST IDENTICAL.
AND YOU BOTH HAVE THE CLUB IN FRONT OF YOU THE ENTIRE SWING, DON'T YOU?
ABSOLUTELY. ABSOLUTELY. NOW SEE MY LEFT, NOW WATCH AND SEE, NOW I GO, THEY STAY DOWN LOWER AND THROUGH HERE MORE THAN WHAT HE DOES, BECAUSE HE STANDS A LITTLE STRAIGHTER, HE'S A LITTLE MORE UPRIGHT, AND HE TURNS HIS SHOULDERS MORE AND I USE MORE FEET AND LEGS
AND HIPS THAN WHAT HE DID, ESPECIALLY ON THE BACK SWING THROUGH THE HITTING AREA. NOW YOU SEE I, I, SEE MY HEAD IS NOT MOVING TILL THE CLUB HEAD'S GONE, AND HIS CLUB HEAD'S GONE, HIS HEAD IS STILL RIGHT THERE AND HE GOES STRAIGHT BACK AS FAR AS HE CAN GO BEFORE HE COMES UP AND
GOING THROUGH, HE GOES STRAIGHT FORWARD, THROUGH, BEFORE THE CLUB COMES UP AND THAT'S WHY HE GETS ALL THAT TREMENDOUS DRIVE THROUGH THAT WHOLE AREA BECAUSE THE USE OF THE HIPS AND THE SHOULDERS THROUGH THAT AREA.
AND GOING STRAIGHT BACK AS FAR AS YOU CAN WITHOUT LOSING HIS BALANCE AND STILL KEEPING HIS WEIGHT INSIDE HIS FEET.
ABSOLUTELY. SEE THE AVERAGE PERSON OUT THERE WOULD BE, IF YOU PUT HIM BESIDE TIGER YOU'D SEE THE CLUB COMING RIGHT UP ALMOST. WHERE TIGER
GOES OUT THIS WAY. IF THE MAN IS COMING UP THIS WAY, THAT MEANS HE'S GOING TO HAVE SHORTER TRAVELING TIME FOR HIS CLUB, HE CAN'T GENERATE THAT MUCH SPEED AND MAKES THE
SWING A LITTLE MORE CHOPPY AND YOU CAN'T HIT THE BALL AS STRAIGHT AS YOU CAN GOING BACK AND THROUGH LOWER.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
Honda leaders face daunting final day
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The winner may need a cut man in his corner more than he needs a caddie on his bag in Sunday’s finish to the Honda Classic.
Smelling salts might come in handy, too.
“It just feels like you are getting punched in the face every single hole here,” Daniel Berger said of the test PGA National’s Champion Course offers. “Every single shot is so hard.”
Final rounds have been especially rough and tumble since the Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007.
That usually makes Sundays here as much about who can figuratively take a punch as who can throw one.
Luke List will have his jaw tested after taking sole possession of the lead Saturday with a second consecutive round of 4-under-par 66, but he can take comfort in the fact that punishment is doled plentifully around here.
“Just realizing that everyone is facing the same obstacles out there is huge,” List said. “You're not alone out there, if you make a bogey or a bad swing here or there.”
At 7-under 203, List is one shot ahead of a pair of major championship winners, Justin Thomas (65) and Webb Simpson (66). He is two ahead of Tommy Fleetwood (67), the reigning European Tour Player of the Year, and Jamie Lovemark (68).
List, 33, is seeking his first PGA Tour title in his 104th start. He will have to hold off some heavyweights, including Tiger Woods (69), who is seven shots back but feeling like he has a chance again. Woods closed with a 62 here six years ago when he finished second to Rory McIlroy.
“You never know what can happen the last few holes here,” Woods said. “A lot of things can happen and have happened in the past.”
Crazy things have happened here.
Three years ago, Padraig Harrington was five shots down with eight holes to play and won. He made two double bogeys in the final round but ended up beating Berger in a playoff.
Berger, by the way, was nine shots back entering the final round.
That was the year Ian Poulter took a share of lead into Sunday, hit five balls in the water and still finished just a shot out of the playoff.
Last year, Rickie Fowler made four bogeys and a double bogey in the final round and still won by four shots.
List will have a heavyweight playing alongside him in the final pairing, with 24-year-old Justin Thomas looking to claim his eighth PGA Tour title. Thomas was last season’s PGA Tour Player of the Year.
List has never held a 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event.
“You guys build up certain players,” List said. “I know I'll be an underdog going against Justin Thomas and guys like that, which is fine.”
There is some inspiration for List in what Ted Potter Jr. did two weeks at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Potter, largely unknown even though he already had a PGA Tour title to his credit, held off stars Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day in the final round to win.
Thomas earned the right to play alongside List in the final pairing Sunday with his 65, which equaled the low round of the tournament.
Thomas makes his home in nearby Jupiter and knows the punishment the Champion Course can dish out.
“It's a difficult course,” Thomas said. “If you let it get to you, it can be frustrating, but if you go into it understanding and realizing it's difficult, you just kind of embrace it and deal with it.”
Thomas played the Bear Trap’s trio of daunting holes (Nos. 15-17) in 2 under on Saturday. He birdied the 15th and 17th holes.
Fleetwood got in contention Saturday with a pair of eagles. He’s a four-time European Tour winner.
“I would love to get my first win on the PGA Tour this week,” he said. “It’s just great to be out here. It's great to be playing on courses like this that are such a test of every part of your game.”
Alex Noren, a nine-time European Tour winner, is also seeking his first PGA Tour title. He is three shots back. He lost in a playoff to Day at the Farmers Insurance Open last month.
Though this is just Noren’s second start at the Honda Classic, he knows how wildly momentum can swing on the Champion Course. He shot 65 Saturday after shooting 75 on Friday.
“I’m a few back, but anything can happen,” Noren said.
That’s the theme around here.
Thomas: Winning hometown Honda would 'mean a lot'
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Justin Thomas is trying to join Rickie Fowler as a winner of his hometown event.
Thomas will play in the final group alongside Luke List on Sunday at the Honda Classic after matching the low round of the week with a 5-under 65. He is at 6-under 204, one shot back of List.
The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year is one of several residents of nearby Jupiter. After Fowler won last year, Thomas (who missed the cut) returned to the course to congratulate his neighbor on his fourth Tour title.
“I hope I give him the opportunity or the choice to come back,” Thomas said. “But I’ve got a lot of golf in front of me before I worry about him coming here.”
More important to Thomas, however, is winning this event, which is played at PGA National, one of the most difficult non-major courses on Tour.
“It would mean a lot,” he said. “It means a lot to win any golf tournament, but it would mean more because of how prestigious this golf tournament is and the list of winners that have won this event, how strong of a field it is, how difficult of a golf course.
“A decent number of my wins have been on easier golf courses, so it would be cool to get it done at a place like this.”
Woods paired with hotshot rookie Burns at Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rookie Sam Burns will be in the biggest spot of his career Sunday – playing alongside Tiger Woods.
Burns, the reigning Nicklaus Award winner who turned pro after two standout years at LSU, will go off with Woods at 12:45 p.m. at the Honda Classic.
Burns, 20, who earned his Web.com Tour card via Q-School, is playing this week on a sponsor exemption, his fourth of the season. He is 13th on the Web.com money list this year, after a tie for second two weeks ago in Colombia.
Burns and Woods are tied for 11th, at even-par 210.
Sunday is an important round for Burns, who can earn a spot into the Valspar Championship with a top-10 finish here.
List leads Honda; Thomas one back
Luke List, one of a legion of PGA Tour players who live in Jupiter, just two exits up I-95 from PGA National, shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the Honda Classic. Here's how things stand going into the final round at PGA National:
Leaderboard: Luke List (-7), Justin Thomas (-6), Webb Simpson (-6), Tommy Fleetwood (-5), Jamie Lovemark (-5), Alex Noren (-4)
What it means: Leader List has played well this season, with no finish lower than T-26 in six starts. Thomas, of course, is the reigning Player of the Year. The next best pedigree among the leaders belongs to Simpson, winner of the 2012 U.S. Open and three other PGA Tour titles.
Round of the day: Thomas and Noren both shot 5-under 65s. Thomas made two of his six birdies in the Bear Trap (at the par 3s, Nos. holes 15 and17), while Noren played that stretch (15-17) in 1 over. Noren made his hay elsewhere, including an eagle at the last that canceled out his two bogeys.
Best of the rest: List, Simpson and Kelly Kraft all shot 66.
Biggest disappointment: After an opening 76, Jimmy Walker probably thought he was back on track with a 68 that allowed him to make the cut. Alas, the improvement was temporary, as he ballooned back to a 74 on Saturday.
Shot of the day: Tommy Fleetwood hit a fairway wood from 282 yards to within 8 feet of the cup on the 18th hole. He then made the putt for his second eagle of the day.
Quote of the day: "The course played a fair bit easier with not as much wind." - Thomas
Biggest storyline going into Sunday: List may be in the lead, but most eyes will be on Thomas, a five-time winner last year who has yet to lift a trophy in 2018. And of course, more than a few people will be keeping tabs on Tiger Woods. He'll begin the day seven shots back, trying to channel Tiger of 2012 - when he posted a 62 on Sunday at PGA National (which was good only for a runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy).