Golf Talk Live - Jack Nicklaus Transcript Segment 1
WHEN 58 YEAR OLD JACK NICKLAUS THRILLED US BY FINISHING TIED FOR 6TH IN THE 1998 MASTERS DESPITE SEVERE PAIN TRIGGERED BY A DEGENERATIVE LEFT HIP, HE WAS VISIBLY DISAPPOINTED THAT HE HADN'T GOTTEN THE JOB DONE.
NOW HE'S GOT A NEW HIP AND WE SUSPECT THAT THE COMPETITIVE FIRE HAS NOT BEEN COOLED . HIT.
HE'S NOT PLANNING TO PLAY A MAJOR, MAJOR SCHEDULE JUST TO SEE IF HE CAN MAKE THE CUT.
JACK PLAYS TO WIN OR HE DOESN'T PLAY. MEET THE PLAYER AGAINST WHOM ALL OTHER PLAYERS ARE MEASURED NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
THE TWO GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME ARE BOBBY JONES AND JACK NICKLAUS. WHEN JONES BECAME THE 2ND AMERICAN AFTER BENJAMIN FRANKLIN TO BE MADE A FREEMAN OR A CITIZEN OF THE BURGH OF SAINT ANDREW, SCOTLAND,
HE SAID THAT IF HE COULD ONLY HAVE THE EXPERIENCES IN GOLF THAT HE HAD IN SAINT ANDREWS, HE WOULD HAVE HAD A VERY RICH, FULL AND SATISFYING LIFE IN GOLF.
IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT AT SAINT ANDREWS JONES SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED THE BRITISH OPEN IN 1927, WON THE BRITISH AMATEUR IN HIS GRAND SLAM YEAR OF 1930,
WAS DEVASTATING IN WALKER CUP PLAY THERE, AND WAS WELCOMED AS A HERO WHEN HE RETURNED FOR A CASUAL ROUND BEFORE THE 1936 OLYMPICS IN HITLER'S BERLIN.
IF JACK NICKLAUS HAD ONLY HIS EXPERIENCES AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL DURING MASTERS WEEK AS HIS GOLF CAREER, HE STILL WOULD BE ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS IN GOLF'S 600 YEAR HISTORY.
JACK MADE IT HAPPEN WHEN WE DIDN'T LIKE HIM BECAUSE HE WAS CROWDING ARNIE'S SPACE.
JACK WON WHEN WE RESPECTED HIM AND BEGAN TO LIKE HIM.
JACK WON WHEN HE LOOKED LIKE A MOVIE STAR AND WE HAD FALLEN IN LOVE WITH HIM.
JACK WON BEFORE THE GREENS WERE FRIGHTENING.
AND JACK WON WHEN THE GREENS DEMANDED THE SENSITIVITY OF A SAFE-CRACKER.
HE WON THE FIRST TIME WHEN GRINDING OUT POWERS WAS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.
HE WON BY SMASHING SCORING RECORDS WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED COMBINATION OF POWER, JUDGEMENT AND FINESSE.
HE WON WHEN A PLAYOFF WAS REQUIRED TO IDENTIFY THE CHAMPION.
HE WON WHEN NO ONE ELSE WANTED IT BADLY ENOUGH.
HE WON WHEN HE SUPPORTING CAST OF CHARACTERS WANTED IT JUST AS BADLY.
HE WON WHEN WE WERE HOPING FOR FAIRYTALES.
HE REMINDED US OF HOGAN AT THE '53 BRITISH OPEN AS HE IMPROVED HIS SCORE EVERYDAY AND GAVE THE CLEAR IMPRESSION OF BEING CAPABLE OF SHOOTING WHATEVER WAS REQUIRED TO WIN.
JUST AS HE ALWAYS HAS AND JUST AS IN OUR MIND'S EYE AND IN OUR DAYDREAMS .
HE ALWAYS WILL.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE GREATEST PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME AND PERHAPS JUST AS IMPORTANT,
ONE OF THE GREATEST SPORTSMEN WHO EVER PLAYED ANY GAME, JACK NICKLAUS. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
THANKS, PETER, APPRECIATE THAT.
HOW EXTRAORDINARY A GIFT IS IT WITH YOUR NEW HIP, AND SETTING ASIDE GOLF FOR THE MOMENT, TO BE ABLE TO REDISCOVER THE JOYS OF GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK, THE SIMPLE PLEASURES OF YOUR LIFE?
WELL I'M , YOU KNOW, I'M NOT QUITE THERE YET. UH, BUT UH .
I DID MY HIP FOR QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES. AND, YOU KNOW, I HAVEN'T HURT SINCE THEN. UH .
AND I'M -- I CAN DO THINGS NOW. I CAN GO OUT AND WALK AND I CAN GO DO OTHER THINGS. I'M NOT QUITE BACK TO BEING ABLE TO HIT A GOLF BALL FULL YET. I'M - I PLAYED THE LAST 4 DAYS AND UH . UH, I CAN'T EXACTLY SAY THAT IT'S CALLING MUCH ABOUT - I WOULDN'T CALL IT MUCH PLAYING.
BUT I, I HAVE PLAYED. AND UH, I'M SORT OF SEMI-BUNTING THE BALL AROUND THE GOLF COURSE. BUT I NEED TO GET BACK INTO IT AND START THINKING ABOUT IT. AND UH, IT'S PAIN-FREE. IT'S FUN. AND UH, A LITTLE, AND A LITTLE FRUSTRATING, I SUPPOSE, AT TIMES.
BUT IT'S A . UH, IT'S NICE TO . IT'S NICE TO SEE IT MOVING IN THAT DIRECTION.
WHAT SCORES DID YOU BUNT IT AROUND IN?
WELL I PLAYED UH 9 HOLES AT LOXAHATCHEE AND SHOT 38. I PLAYED 9 HOLES AT SEMINOLE AND SHOT 38. THEN I PLAYED 18 AT LOST TREE YESTERDAY AND I SHOT 38 - 37. AND I PLAYED 9 AT LOXAHATCHEE THIS MORNING AND SHOT 39.
I'M A GOOD SOLID 4.
THAT'S A GOOD PLACE
I'M A GOOD SOLID 4. (LAUGH)
THERE'S EVERY REASON TO THINK YOU WILL IMPROVE AND PAIN-FREE, RIGHT?
YEAH, I DON'T HURT.
YOU KNOW, IT'S SO RARE WHEN SOMETHING EXCEEDS OUR WILDEST EXPECTATIONS, BUT MOST PEOPLE, WHEN THEY GO TO AUGUSTA NATIONAL FOR THE FIRST TIME DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY WATCHED EVERY SINGLE SHOT ON TELEVISION THAT'S EVER BEEN FILMED,
IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO EXCEED ONE'S WILDEST AND GREATEST EXPECTATIONS. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION THE FIRST TIME?
UM, WELL I DON'T REALLY KNOW. I WAS 19 YEARS OLD. UH, IT REALLY HASN'T CHANGED, PETER. I MEAN, I THINK WHEN YOU DRIVE THROUGH THE GATES, GO DOWN MAGNOLIA LANE, THE THRILL FOR ME LAST YEAR WAS JUST AS GREAT A THRILL AS IT WAS IN 1959 THE FIRST TIME I WENT DOWN IT.
I MEAN, IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU DON'T EXPECT TO SEE. UH, YOU HAVE YOUR . YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE AND IT EXCEEDS THEM.
AND UH, TO WALK INTO, OR TO DRIVE IN OR WALK IN, WHATEVER YOU DO AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL, UH, INTO THE AREA SEE THE CLUBHOUSE, SEE THE GROUNDS, SEE THE UH .
THE PERFECTION AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL. UH, IT'S A . IT'S PRETTY MIND BOGGLING PARTICULARLY FOR A 19 YEAR OLD.
AND UH, AND WHEN THAT CAN STILL IMPRESS YOU AS A 59 YEAR OLD, UH, THAT'S -- I THINK THAT MUST BE A PRETTY SPECIAL PLACE.
IN THE EARLY 60'S YOU COULD ALMOST ARGUE AT ANY MAJOR TOURNAMENT AND INCLUDING, OF COURSE, THE MASTERS THAT, THAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE GOLDEN AGE OF GOLF IN THE SENSE OF HAVING THE MOST PLAYERS FROM THE MOST GENERATIONS WITH A REAL CHANCE TO WIN.
I THINK OF YOU PLAYING WITH HOGAN IN '60 AT THE OPEN AND, OF COURSE, HE HIT THOSE FIRST 34 GREENS AND COULD HAVE WON.
AND HE SAID, YOU SHOULD HAVE WON. AND IN '63 WHEN YOU WON YOUR FIRST MASTERS, SNEAD, SAM, WAS LEADING WITH 3 HOLES TO PLAY AND LOOK WHO WAS THERE:
NELSON, HOGAN, SNEAD, YOU, ARNIE, GARY, TONY LEMA, UH, BOROS, CASPER . UNBELIEVABLE AND UNLIKE AN OLD-TIMER'S GAME LIKE BASEBALL WHERE THE 35 YEAR OLDS PLAY BEFORE THE 25 YEAR OLDS,
EVERYBODY HAS A CHANCE TO WIN.
THAT'S RIGHT. IN '66 I PLAYED THE LAST ROUND WITH HOGAN. SO, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU JUST CONTINUE RIGHT ON THROUGH. AND UH,
UH . IT'S A, IT'S AN AMAZING PLACE. I THINK THAT UH YOU CAN COUNT AN AWFUL LOT FOR EXPERIENCE AT AUGUSTA.
BUT YOU CAN ALSO CAN COUNT AN AWFUL LOT FOR STRENGTH AND YOUTH. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, ONE ALMOST COUNTERACTS THE OTHER. IN OTHER WORDS, TIGER, WHAT HE DID A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WAS YOUTH, PURE YOUTH.
UM, O'MEARA, WHAT HE DID LAST YEAR WAS PURE EXPERIENCE. AND YOU PUT THE 2 OF THEM TOGETHER AND, YOU KNOW, THEY .
THEY COMPETE VERY WELL AT AUGUSTA. THERE'S NOT MANY PLACES THAT THEY DO COMPETE WELL AGAINST EACH OTHER.
YOU'VE SAID THAT THE MASTERS IS YOUR FAVORITE TOURNAMENT BUT THAT YOU WOULD RANK IT AS THE LEAST IMPORTANT MAJOR. HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THOSE TWO THOUGHTS IN YOUR HEAD?
WELL, I MEAN, AS A TOURNAMENT, IT'S BEEN - ALWAYS BEEN MY FAVORITE TOURNAMENT TO GO PLAY IN. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THE START OF THE GOLFING YEAR. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN GREAT FUN.
BUT I THINK THAT IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT JONES REALLY WANTED THE MASTERS TO BE, AND HE SAYS IT'S NOT A CHAMPIONSHIP. IT'S A TOURNAMENT.
HE SAYS THE WINNERS OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP COME PLAY IN THE MASTERS. SO, IN OTHER WORDS, YOU QUALIFY TO PLAY IN THE MASTERS BY HOW YOU'VE PLAYED IN THE CHAMPIONSHIPS OF THE U.S. OPEN, THE BRITISH OPEN AND THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP.
AND SO, BY HIS ADMISSION AND BY HIS INTENTIONS, THEY WANTED THAT TO BE AN EVENT THAT WAS A TOURNAMENT THAT WAS . THAT REWARDED THE CHAMPIONSHIPS.
AND IT GREW INTO . INTO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP. SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT THAT I, I CONSIDER IT LESS IMPORTANT THAN ANY OTHER EVENT. UH, QUITE TO THE CONTRARY. UH,
BUT, DO I THINK THAT UH . UH, JONES' WISHES SHOULD BE HONORED? AND I THINK THAT WAS JONES' WISHES.
WHEN JONES DID HIS INCREDIBLE INSTRUCTIONAL SERIES FOR WARNER BROTHERS IN THE EARLY 30'S, WHICH I THINK HAS NOT YET BEEN SURPASSED, HE CALLED IT 'HOW I PLAY GOLF'.
WHEN YOU WROTE ONE OF YOUR EARLY BOOKS, YOU CALLED IT 'GOLF MY WAY'.
BOTH OF THOSE ARE FAIRLY MODEST TITLES IN THE SENSE THAT NEITHER OF YOU THOUGHT TO SAY HOW TO PLAY GOLF BUT RATHER HERE'S HOW I
DID YOU RECOGNIZE THAT IN HIS TITLE AND DID YOU IN A DIRECT WAY IMITATE AND THEREFORE FLATTER HIM WITH YOURS?
DIDN'T KNOW HIS TITLE . TO BE VERY HONEST WITH YOU. UM, MY TITLE CAME BECAUSE I DIDN'T THINK THAT IF I WAS GOING TO TALK ABOUT PLAYING GOLF AND HOW I PLAY GOLF, I WASN'T TRYING TO TELL SOMEBODY HOW TO PLAY GOLF.
I WAS TRYING TO LET THEM MAKE THEIR OWN DETERMINATION OF HOW TO PLAY GOLF AND TELL YOU HOW I PLAY GOLF. THIS IS THE WAY I DID IT. NOW YOU CAN TAKE FROM THAT WHAT YOU WANT.
IF IT CAN HELP YOU, IF UH, IF YOU PICK SOMETHING OUT OF IT THAT REALLY MAKES IT - YOUR GAME BETTER, TERRIFIC. BUT THIS IS HOW I DO IT. AND UH,
I DID NOT - I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW BOBBY JONES' TITLE. SO UH, UM . MINE WAS UH . I GUESS, IN MANY WAYS, CAME FROM KEN BOWDEN. KEN WAS PROBABLY THE, THE UH . UH, THE ONE WHO PICKED THAT TITLE.
WE WILL TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK AND WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH JACK NICKLAUS RIGHT AFTER THIS.
Singh's lawsuit stalls as judge denies motion
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.”
Videos and images from Tiger's Tuesday at Torrey
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:
Tiger sighting on the range! pic.twitter.com/rcJYLCes7R— Morning Drive (@GCMorningDrive) January 23, 2018
Back on TOUR.pic.twitter.com/OPmjaXFo1l— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 23, 2018
Power Rankings: 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
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.
Davis on distance: Not 'necessarily good for the game'
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."