Golf Talk Live - Gene Sarazen Transcript Segment 3

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 28, 1996, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER

BOB JONES WAS ONE OF THE GREAT MEN OF ALL TIME WASN'T HE GENE?

GENE SARAZEN

YES HE WAS. I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT A GREAT HONOR HE ENSTOWED UPON ME BECAUSE THE SHELL COMPANY COULDN'T GET HIM TO COME OUT OF THE GOLF COURSE TO UH BE UH LIKE A SCORER AND I HAD TO GO DOWN TO ATLANTA AND I WENT TO HIS OFFICE AND I ASKED HIM IF, WOULDN'T HE PLEASE COME OUT AND SO THEY CARRIED HIM DOWN STAIRS AND PUT HIM IN THE CAR AND HE CAME OUT TO THE COURSE AND I'LL NEVER FORGET, HE GOT IN THE CART WITH ME AND WE START TALKING ABOUT OUR LIVES. I WAS TELLING JONES, YOU KNOW YOU AND I WERE BORN ABOUT A COUPLE OF WEEKS APART. I SAYS WE MET A COUPLE OF GIRLS BY THE NAME OF MARY. WE MARRIED IN JUNE. WE'VE HAD QUITE A TIME HAVEN'T WE? HE SAYS YEAH WE DIDN'T DO SO BAD.

PETER KESSLER

NO YOU DIDN'T DO SO BAD. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF JONES' SWING.

GENE SARAZEN

JONES? WELL HE HAD A GREAT SWING BUT HE COULDN'T PLAY AS MANY TOURNAMENTS AS THESE PLAYERS TODAY BECAUSE UH HIS SWING WAS MORE OF AN ARTIFICIAL SWING. HAD A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING RHYTHM BUT IT TAKES MORE THAN JUST A BEAUTIFUL RHYTHM TODAY YOU GOT TO HIT THAT BALL AND KEEP PLAYING WEEK AFTER WEEK. I DON'T THINK HE COULD HAVE DONE THAT.

PETER KESSLER

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HE CONSISTENTLY BEAT JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY MOST OF THE TIME?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I CAN'T HELP BUT TO THINK OF TIGER WOODS. HE, HE GOES TO COLLEGE AND OF COURSE THE PLAYERS TODAY, MOST OF THEM ARE COLLEGE ACCRUED, NOT COLLEGE GRADUATES. THEY GO TO COLLEGE TO MAJOR IN GOLF.

PETER KESSLER

ABSOLUTELY.

GENE SARAZEN

THERE'S SO MUCH MONEY IN THE GAME BUT TAKE THE, TIGER NOW FOR INSTANCE, HE JUST GEARED HIMSELF FOR THAT AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP AND THEN HE REALIZED HOW GOOD HE WAS, HE SAYS I THINK I'LL TURN PRO AND BECOME A, A PROFESSIONAL.

PETER KESSLER

IT'S FUNNY WE HAVE SOMEONE, ONE OF OUR VIEWERS WHO WANTS TO ASK YOU A QUESTION ABOUT THE PLAYERS OF YESTERDAY VERSUS THE PLAYERS OF TODAY. WE HAVE ED WITH US. HELLO ED.

ED - CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS :

HI HOW ARE YOU PETER?

PETER KESSLER

DOING FINE THANKS.

ED - CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS :

THANK YOU. CONGRATULATIONS ON A TERRIFIC JOB THAT YOU DO ON THE TALK BACK SHOW.

PETER KESSLER

WELL THANKS. WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION FOR GENE.

ED - CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS :

UH GENE I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU WHAT YOU THINK OF THE MODERN DAY PLAYER AS COMPARED TO THE PLAYERS OF YOUR TIME?

PETER KESSLER

HIS QUESTION GENE IS , WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PLAYERS TODAY VERSUS THE PLAYERS WHEN YOU WERE IN YOUR PRIME? HAGEN AND YOU AND JONES AND TOMMY ARMOUR.

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I'LL TELL YOU PETER EVERY GENERATION HAS THREE OR FOUR GREAT PLAYERS. IN THE 20'S IT WAS JONES, HAGEN, MYSELF AND JIM BARNES AND JACQUE HUTCHINSON. THEN CAME THE 30'S AND THESE BOYS FROM TEXAS. BYRON NELSON, RALPH GUDAL, BEN HOGAN AND A HOST OF OTHERS BUT TODAY THERE'S SO MANY GREAT PLAYERS, GOOD PLAYERS, NOT QUITE GREAT YET BUT THEY WILL BE BUT UH I THINK THIS TOURNAMENT THAT'S BEING PLAYED HERE AT CHATEAU ELAN IS GOING TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR, FOR FOREIGN PLAYERS BECAUSE A LOT OF THESE PLAYERS THAT YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF FROM THE BACK WOODS ARE COMING HERE AND YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SEE THEM.

PETER KESSLER

WELL IT'S A FASCINATING CONCEPT BECAUSE YOU'RE HAVING OPEN CHAMPIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

GENE SARAZEN

THAT'S RIGHT. MOST OF THEM COULDN'T GET OUT OF THE, GET OUT OF THE WOODS NOW THEY HAVE. NOW THEY HAVE THEIR EXPENSES PAID AND THEY, THE LAST PRIZE IS $5000. WE NEVER THOUGHT OF $5000.

PETER KESSLER

WHAT DID THEY PAY YOU WHEN YOU WON THE U.S OPEN IN 1922?

GENE SARAZEN

I THINK IT WAS $500.

PETER KESSLER

UNBELIEVABLE ISN'T IT.

GENE SARAZEN

THE BRITISH OPEN WAS $500 AND THE MASTERS WAS $700 AND THE PGA WAS $500.

PETER KESSLER

WELL NO WONDER HAGEN WAS ALWAYS BROKE. RIGHT? I MEAN HE WOULD SPEND HIS MONEY TWO MINUTES AFTER WINNING A GOLF TOURNAMENT.

GENE SARAZEN

OH YES. WE DIDN'T MAKE ANY MONEY. WE WERE ALWAYS BORROWING MONEY.

PETER KESSLER

YOU KNOW YOU'VE HAD TWO INCREDIBLE WINNERS HERE IN YOUR FIRST, IN YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS, IN ERNIE ELS AND FRANK NOBILO. THIS IS PROVING TO BE A GREAT CHAMPIONSHIP SITE ISN'T IT?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I THINK THAT WITHIN TEN YEARS THAT THIS WILL BE A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF FRANK NOBILO'S AND ERNIE ELS COMING OUT OF THE BACK WOODS, A LOT OF THEM. GOOD PLAYERS THAT YOU NEVER HEARD OF. THE SAME THING HAS HAPPENED TO THE SENIOR GOLF. PLAYERS THAT YOU NEVER HEARD OF ARE COMING OUT WINNING, BEATING FELLOWS LIKE NICKLAUS AND I, I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE IT AND THEY'RE ALL BECOMING MILLIONAIRES.

PETER KESSLER

BUT YOU CAN ONLY BEAT THE GUYS WHO SHOW UP. I MEAN WHEN YOU AND BOBBY JONES AND WALTER HAGEN WERE BEATING EVERYBODY IN THE `20'S AND 30'S YOU COULD ONLY BEAT THE GUYS WHO WERE AROUND. YOU KNOW YOU ONCE SAID ABOUT BOB JONES AND I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT IT, YOU ONCE DESCRIBED HIM AS CONSIDERATE. WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?

GENE SARAZEN

OH JONES WAS A VERY CONSIDERATE PLAYER. FOR INSTANCE, I'LL NEVER FORGET PLAYING A ROUND WITH HIM ON THE FIRST HOLE AT UH I FORGET THE CHAMPIONSHIP BUT THE GALLERY, YOU KNOW, JONES WOULD HIS SHOT AND THEN THE GALLERY WOULD RUN, THEY'D DISREGARD ME AND JONES GOT ON THE GREEN AND HE ADDRESSED THE CROWD. HE TOLD THEM THAT THEY COULDN'T MOVE UNTIL UH HIS PARTNER PLAYED HIS SECOND SHOT AND FROM THEN ON THEY ALL BEHAVED PROPERLY.

PETER KESSLER

YOU HAD A CHANCE AND SO DID BOB TO PLAY WITH YOU, IN THE, IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH ROUNDS OF A NUMBER OF U.S. OPEN WHEN JONES WON HIS FIRST IN 1923, YOU PLAYED WITH HIM IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH ROUND BEFORE THE PLAY OFF WITH BOBBY CROOKSHANK (???) THAT HE ULTIMATELY WON. WHAT WAS IT ABOUT JONES' INSIDES THAT MADE HIM SO GOOD DOWN THE STRETCH GENE?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL JONES WAS A NERVOUS PLAYER BUT SOMETIME A LITTLE NERVOUS IS GOOD FOR YOU. GIVES YOU A LOT OF ZIP AND JONES HAD THAT. HE COULD HIT THAT BALL BEAUTIFUL RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE BUT SOME HOW OR OTHER HE HAD HIS BAD MOMENTS TOO AND UH I THINK HE DID THE RIGHT THING TO RETIRE FROM GOLF BECAUSE UH HE COULDN'T TAKE THE PRESSURE. JONES AND I BECAME FRIENDS A LONG TIME. I REMEMBER PLAYING IN THE MASTERS AND I'D GO DOWN TO HIS COTTAGE TO HAVE A, HAVE A LITTLE DRINK WITH HIM AND HE'D SAY I KNOW YOU'D COME DOWN BECAUSE YOU SHOT A GOOD SCORE. HE SAYS THAT WHEN YOU SHOOT A HIGH SCORE YOU DON'T COME DOWN TO HAVE A DRINK WITH ME.

PETER KESSLER

DID YOU DRINK THE CORN WHISKY WITH HIM?


GENE SARAZEN

NO I HAD SCOTCH.

PETER KESSLER

THAT WAS PRETTY STRONG STUFF THAT CORN WHISKY HE DRANK, WASN'T IT?

GENE SARAZEN

OH VERY STRONG.

PETER KESSLER

WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK AND WE'LL TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WALTER HAGEN. DON'T GO AWAY.

GENE SARAZEN

I RECALL THE EARLY DAYS WHEN YOU AND I PLAYED IN THE OPEN AT COLUMBIA. WE PLAYED FOUR ROUNDS TOGETHER AND WE WALKED OUT ON THE TEE AND UH WE WERE A COUPLE OF CLUB THROWERS AND WE SAID NOW LOOK IF YOU THROW A CLUB YOU'RE GOING TO PAY ME $5.00 AND IF I THROW A CLUB I'M GOING TO PAY YOU $5.00. I DON'T THINK I THREW A CLUB SINCE.

BOBBY JONES :

WELL I HAVE. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT.

BREAK
NEXT SEGMENT
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Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

“What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

“I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.