Golf Talk Live - Freddie Haas Transcript Segment 5
YOU KNOW, SENATOR HUGHEY LONG, WHO OF COURSE HAD HIS LIFE CUT SHORT, GOT SHOT IN THE MID 30'S, HIS CARE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY MISHANDLED BUT YOU KNOW AFTER PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT IN THE 1930'S HE WAS ARGUABLY THE NEXT LARGER THAN LIFE POLITICIAN IN THE
COUNTRY WHO WAS GETTING READY HIMSELF TO MAKE A RUN AT THE PRESIDENCY. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE MOMENT THAT CAUSED YOU TO GO TO LSU THROUGH YOUR INTRODUCTION TO HUGHEY LONG.
(LAUGHS). MY UNCLE WAS A STATE SENATOR AND WE HAD, I HAD TO BUILD A GOLF COURSE IN DURMONT (?), ARKANSAS SO THAT I COULD WIN THE ARKANSAS STATE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP. I HAD TO
GET A, SOME WAY OR ANOTHER A SCHOLARSHIP TO GO TO, GO TO COLLEGE. WE JUST DIDN'T HAVE ONE IN THE EARLY 30'S. JUST WASN'T THERE, AND SO WE BUILT IT, WE STARTED OUT WITH COTTON SEED HOLE (?) GREENS, WE FINALLY WENT
TO SAND WITH OIL (?) GREENS AND WE HAD TO BUILD A DAMN AROUND IT WHEN IT RAINED TO KEEP IT, ANYWAY, WE HAD A FIVE GREEN GOLF COURSE AND TWO TEES FOR ONE HOLE SO WE HAD SIX HOLES AND WE PLAYED THREE TIMES, WE GOT 18 HOLES THERE.
WELL, DAD WAS IN THE COTTON BUSINESS AT THAT TIME BUT HE ALSO WAS IN THE GOLF BUSINESS BUILDING THIS COURSE AND SOME NICE SCOTCH MAN CAME UP WHILE WE WERE JUST GETTING READY TO OPEN IT UP AND HE SAID LOOKS LIKE YOU
GOT A GOLF COURSE HERE. HE SAID, WHO'S YOUR PRO? DAD SAID WE DON'T HAVE ONE. HE SAID I'M YOUR PRO. DAD SAID WELL WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS? HE SAID I GOT SOME GOLF CLUBS. OOH HE SAID YOU GOT SOME
GOLF CLUBS? THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE ANY GOLF CLUBS IN DURMONT, ARKANSAS ARE MY SON AND ME. SO HE SAID COULD I SEE THOSE CLUBS? HE SAID
YEAH, SO HE PULLED UP HIS BACK OF TRUNK AND THERE WERE SOME GOLF CLUBS. WOODEN SHAFTS, SHAMY GRIPS, ALL RUSTY, ALL (LAUGHS) THERE WAS NO TWINE ON THE WOOD, NO INSERT IN THE FACE AND SO DAD SAID, WELL, LOOKS
LIKE GOLF CLUBS, WHAT, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SELL THEM FOR? HE SAID WELL THESE PEOPLE AROUND HERE DON'T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT THE GAME, HE SAID I'M GOING TO SELL THEM FOR FIVE BUCKS.
DAD SAID WELL I TELL YOU, I JUST GOT A CATALOG FROM SPALDING THIS MORNING. THEY ARE NOW SELLING STEEL SHAFTED WOODS RETAIL FOR NINE DOLLARS AND IRONS, STEEL SHAFTED, FOR SIX BUCKS.
DESIGNED BY BOBBY JONES.
DESIGNED BY BOBBY JONES. SO HE SAID I'M GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU TO MOVE ALONG BECAUSE HE SAID YOU'RE TRESPASSING ON A FELLA GOLF PROFESSIONAL'S PROPERTY. I JUST APPOINTED MYSELF AS GOLF PRO HERE.
WELL HE STAYED THERE FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS AND THEN UNCLE LEO, IN BASHTRUM (?), LOUISIANA SAID COME ON DOWN HERE AND FRED RUN BOLLHOUSE (?) COUNTRY CLUB, SO DAD WENT DOWN THERE AND I WASN'T THERE A WEEK AND UNCLE LEO SAID COME ON DOWN AND PLAY IN THE LOUISIANA STATE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP. I SAID SURE, BUT I SAID
EDWIN MCLURES' GOING TO BE THERE ISN'T HE? HE SAID YEAH. I SAID WELL GOSH HE'S WON IT FIVE OR SIX TIMES. WHO, WHO IN THE WORLD CAN BEAT EDWIN MCLURES FROM SHREPOL (?). HE
SAID WELL, COME ON LET'S GO. WELL I PLAYED EDWIN IN THE SEMI FINALS AND I FINALLY NOSED HIM OUT AND I HAD TO PLAY A FRESHMAN AT LSU IN THE FINAL. LOOKS LIKE I MIGHT WIN THIS TOURNAMENT. BUT THAT GUY GAVE ME A PRETTY GOOD PASTY. HE PLAYED GOOD.
THE GUY PRACTICED ALL THE TIME. NEVER PLAYED. NOBODY KNEW HOW GOOD HE WAS BUT I'LL TELL YOU HE WAS GOOD... AND AS I GOT THROUGH UNCLE LEO COMES UP WITH HUGHEY LONG AND
I'VE FORGOTTEN WHETHER HE WAS A SENATOR OR A GOVERNOR.
WAS HE A SENATOR?
I BELIEVE SO, SIR.
WELL ANYWAY, I SAID SENATOR, WELL, HOW DO YOU DO SIR? HE SAID YOUR UNCLE TELLS ME YOU CAN GET ME THE BEST GOLF TEAM IN THE COUNTRY. HE
SAID I WANT TO PUT IT TO PRINCETON, AND YALE, AND HARVARD AND MICHIGAN AND STANFORD
AND EVERYBODY ELSE FOR ALL KINDS OF REASON .
I WANT THE BEST, NOW HE SAID. I SAID BUT I'VE GOT A SCHOLARSHIP TO GO TO ARKANSAS. HO HO HO HE SAID NO WAY. HE SAID MEET ME AT THE STADIUM TOMORROW MORNING AT 8:00 AND WE'LL
TALK ABOUT THIS, SO AT 8:00 WE WERE THERE. WE TALKED ABOUT THIS THING AND I FINALLY SAID TO HIM, I SAID SORRY (?) TO, WE NEED A PLACE TO PLAY. HE SAID WELL YOU CAN GO OUT TO
WESTDALE AND PLAY OUT THERE. I SAID (?) THAT'S FIVE MILES OUT THERE. IT'S A PRETTY LONG WALK TO GET OUT THERE. I SAID HOW WE GOING TO GET OUT THERE. HE SAID WELL WHERE WOULD WE PUT A GOLF COURSE AROUND HERE. I, I SAID
WELL, YOU SEE THAT AREA OVER THERE. YOU GOT A LOT OF COWS OVER THERE. I SAID CAN'T YOU JUST MOVE THOSE COWS OVER THAT RAILROAD TRACK OVER THERE AND LET'S BUILD A GOLF COURSE RIGHT THERE.
(LAUGHINGLY) OH NO HE SAID SON WE'LL NEVER MOVE THOSE COWS. HE SAID DO YOU KNOW I WOULD LOOSE THE VOTE OF EVERY FARMER IN LOUISIANA IF I DISPLACED THOSE COWS?
WELL, 25 YEARS LATER THEY CALLED ME UP AND HE SAID FRED WANTS YOU TO HELP DEDICATE THE GOLF COURSE HERE AT LSU. I SAID OH YEAH? I SAID WHERE IS IT? WELL GUESS WHERE IT WAS.
WHERE THE COWS WERE.
EXACTLY WHERE THOSE COWS WERE.
AND OF COURSE HE DID CONVINCE YOU TO GO TO LSU AND YOU DID WIN YOUR NCAA AND WE WILL TAKE A SHORT BREAK.
(LAUGHS) THAT'S RIGHT.
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."