Golf Talk Live - JoAnne Carner Transcript Segment 1
FEB. 5, 2001
WHEN JOANNE CARNER WAS THE GREAT GUNDY, SHE WAS JOYFULLY BUILDING ONE OF THE BEST RECORDS IN THE HISTORY OF AMATEUR GOLF. WHEN JOANNE BECAME BIG MAMA AS A PROFESSIONAL, HER WINNING RECORD
AS A PLAYER AND AS AN ENTERTAINER WAS EVERY BIT AS BRILLIANT. MEET THE INCREDIBLE LPGA HALL OF FAMER, JOANNE CARNER, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
LIKE BABE ZAHARIAS BEFORE HER, JOANNE GUNDERSON CARNER LOVED THE SHEER THRILL AND EXCITEMENT OF THE PHYSICAL ACT OF GIVING A GOLF BALL A HEALTHY WALLOP AND A LONG RIDE. SHE DIDN'T USED TO THINK ABOUT HOW TO DO IT. SHE USED TO THINK ABOUT THE
TARGET, AND AT HER BEST, NO ONE WAS MORE CONFIDENT IN THEIR ABILITY TO WIN. NO ONE ENJOYED THE BATTLE OF MATCH PLAY MORE. NO ONE RECEIVED MORE PLEASURE, JUST PLAYING, AND THE KICK WAS JUST AS GREAT PLAYING 18 HOLES ON HER OWN FOR FUN AS IT WAS PLAYING FOR A U.S. OPEN TITLE.
AS AN AMATEUR, JOANNE GUNDERSON, A.K.A. THE GREAT GUNDY OF KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON, WON THE USGA GIRL'S JUNIOR, THE U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR 5 TIMES, AND OWNED AN UNBLEMISHED AND UNDEFEATED RECORD ON FOUR
CURTIS CUP TEAMS. SHE WON THE AMATEUR IN 1957,1960, '62, '66 AND '68. SHE WAS THE LAST AMATEUR TO WIN AN LPGA EVENT, THE BURDINES INVITATIONAL, THE RICHEST EVENT ON TOUR IN 1969. JOANNE HAD NO MORE WORLDS TO CONQUER IN AMATEUR GOLF
AND TURNED PRO AT THE AGE OF 30 IN 1970 AND WON HER FIRST PRO EVENT AS A PRO IN HER ROOKIE OF THE YEAR SEASON AT THE WENDELL WEST OPEN OVER MARILYN SMITH IN A PLAYOFF. FROM 1974 THROUGH 1984, THE 43 TIME TOUR WINNER
WAS LEADING MONEY WINNER THREE TIMES, WAS SECOND LEADING MONEY WINNER THREE TIMES AND NEVER WORSE THAN NINTH. JOANNE AND HER HUSBAND DON WERE ALMOST NEVER APART DURING
BOTH PHASES OF HER CAREER. THEY FISHED, THEY RELAXED, AND FOUND SERENITY LIVING OUT OF A TRAILER, WHICH COULD USUALLY BE FOUND PARKED BY A LAKE WITH THE SMELL OF DON'S COOKING PERMEATING THE AIR.
JOANNE HAS FOUND INCREDIBLE SUCCESS AS A PLAYER AND IN HER PERSONAL LIFE. SHE HAS GIVEN JOY TO MILLIONS OF FANS. SHE HAS SET RECORDS FOR OTHERS TO SHOOT AT AND SHE HAS NEVER TIRED OF THE THRILL OF SEEING THE LITTLE WHITE BALL PAINTED AGAINST THE SKY.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. I AM HONORED TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THE GAME'S ALL TIME GREAT PLAYERS, ONE OF THE GAME'S ALL TIME GREAT CHARACTERS, JOANNE CARNER. I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU HERE.
THANK YOU, PETER.
SO TELL ME, HOW COOL WAS IT TO BE THE GREAT GUNDY?
UM... YOU KNOW THAT WAS PROBABLY WHEN I PLAYED THE BEST, SO I, I HAD NO FEAR... I JUST, IT WAS MATCH PLAY, AMATEUR GOLF THEN, AND THAT WAS, I WAS BETTER AT THAT THAN, THAN I AM AT MEDAL PLAY, BUT, I JUST THOROUGHLY ENJOYED IT AND, AND WAS REALLY GOOD AT IT.
A LOT OF PEOPLE, WHEN THEY BECOME CELEBRITIES, AREN'T AS CRAZY ABOUT BEING A CELEBRITY AS THEY THOUGHT THEY MIGHT BE. YOU LIKED BEING THE GREAT GUNDY, DIDN'T YOU?
OH YES. OH YES. WELL I'VE ALWAYS HAD A NICKNAME ANYWAY, PETER, BUT... GREAT GUNDY WAS, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE FIRST ONES AND IT JUST STUCK WITH ME AND, AND TO THIS DAY I STILL HAVE PLAYERS WHO, WHO CALL ME GUNDY, YOU KNOW... BACK IN THE AMATEUR
DAYS, YOU KNOW, JUDY BELL, THE USGA WENNA (??) STILL CALLS ME GUNDY, YOU KNOW, SO, MANY, MANY GOOD MEMORIES WITH THAT ONE.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE PART OF THE REASON THAT YOU WERE ALWAYS A FEEL PLAYER IS BECAUSE YOU PLAYED SO MUCH OF YOUR EARLY GOLF AS A KID BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON?
(LAUGHS) YEAH, THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT. WHEN I, WHEN I STARTED WE LIVED NEAR A LITTLE NINE HOLE PUBLIC GOLF COURSE AND WE WERE ALLOWED TO PLAY AFTER THE PAYING CUSTOMER, SO WHEN EVERYBODY WAS HAVING DINNER AT NIGHT THEN WE WOULD PLAY AND, AND
OF COURSE THEN SUNSET WOULD, WOULD COME IN AND WE WOULD PLAY IF IT WAS A MOONLIGHT. REAL GOOD MOONLIGHT. WE WOULD PLAY. YOU KNOW WE'D BE TEN, TWELVE, FOURTEEN KIDS, ALL OUT THERE PLAYING, AND THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD TELL WAS BY THE, THE LIGHT ON
THE BACK OF THE GOLF BALL. THEN YOU COULD TELL. YOU COULD SEE IT, TAKE OFF, BUT OTHER THAN THAT YOU HAD TO GO BY FEEL, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WERE SAYING. SO YOU HAD TO GUESS WHETHER YOU SLICED IT OR HOOKED IT OR WHATEVER, YOU KNOW.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE A NATURAL? THAT IT CAME TO YOU EASILY?
IT CAME VERY EASY. I, I NEVER REALLY PRACTICED BUT I PLAYED, YOU KNOW, AND WE MADE FUN. WE USED TO MAKE UP ALL THESE GAMES, YOU KNOW, OVER, RAISED IN THE SEATTLE AREA YOU HAD ALL THESE HILLS AND EVERYTHING
AROUND THE GREENS, SO WE WOULD, WE WOULD MAKE UP GAMES TO CHIP AND RUN UP AND DOWN THE HILL AND SIDE HILL LIES AND ALL THAT SO I STARTED OUT, YOU KNOW, LEARNING TO BE A SHOT MAKER AND, AND IT WAS ALWAYS FUN AND WE ALWAYS HAD CONTESTS GOING ALL THE TIME.
TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST TIME THEY TRIED TO RUN YOU OUT OF TOWN WHEN YOU WON THAT FIRST TOURNAMENT WITH A 24 HANDICAP.
AND SQUEEZED OUT A LITTLE 79 ON THEM.
WELL I, I WENT INTO AN INNER CLUB MATCH IN TACOMA, WASHINGTON, AND, BEAUTIFUL GOLF COURSE CALLED FIRCREST AND I HAD THIS 24, 25 HANDICAP AND I WENT IN THERE AND I HIT LIKE TWO OR THREE BALLS OUT OF
BOUNDS, TWO OR THREE THREE PUTTS AND, AND STILL SHOT 79. WELL OF COURSE THEN THEY JUST CUT MY HANDICAP, YOU KNOW, RIGHT IN HALF, RIGHT THEN.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE BEING THE YOUNGEST OF FIVE KIDS MADE YOU TOUGHER AND MADE YOU MORE OUTGOING BECAUSE YOU NEEDED TO BE VOCAL TO BE HEARD?
UM... I THINK I WAS SPOILED.
YOU KNOW. YEAH. THE BABY. YOU KNOW, I GOT ALL, I THINK MY OLDER SISTERS, AND UH, MY BROTHER'S THE NEXT CLOSEST TO ME. HE'S 13 MONTHS OLDER THAN I AM, SO WE WERE ALMOST LIKE TWINS GROWING UP BUT, I THINK THEY GOT ALL THE HARD
WORK AND MADE, MADE TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE AND TO KEEP YOUR EDUCATION GOING AND, AND ALL THIS, MUCH MORE SEVERELY THAN I DID, ALTHOUGH I WAS ONE OF TWO THAT WENT TO COLLEGE BUT WHEN I CAME ALONG, I WAS YOUNG ENOUGH THAT, YOU KNOW,
THEY, THEY SORT OF EASED OFF A LITTLE ON THAT, YOU KNOW. I DID HAVE TO FIGHT FOR MY, MY RIGHTS AND WHAT NOT BUT BASICALLY I THINK I WAS SPOILED. LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT THOUGH.
WHEN YOU MADE IT TO THE FINALS OF YOUR FIRST NATIONAL JUNIOR AND DIDN'T WIN
WERE YOU HAPPY ABOUT HAVING GOTTEN THAT FAR, OR WERE YOU ANGRY THAT YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT ALL THE WAY?
WELL I LOST TO A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, SO I WASN'T THAT DISAPPOINTED BUT I WAS DISAPPOINTED, YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW WHY, PETER, BUT I, I JUST GREW UP BELIEVING I COULD BEAT ANYBODY. I REALLY HAD NO FEAR AGAINST ANYBODY MALE OR FEMALE.
WHERE DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT CAME FROM
I HAVE, I HAVE NO IDEA. YOU KNOW I'VE HAD, I'VE HAD SEVERAL PEOPLE WORKING ON THEIR DOCTORATES COME AND TALK TO ME ABOUT MENTAL ATTITUDE OF THE GAME AND WHAT MADE YOU SUCCESSFUL AND SO ON AND, AND I SAID IF I KNEW I'D WRITE A BOOK, YOU KNOW, BUT UH IT'S
JUST INSTILLED IN ME, AND WHEN I TALK TO MY BROTHER, HE SAYS, YOU KNOW, YOU WERE JUST A BORN COMPETITOR RIGHT FROM THE EARLIEST DAYS I REMEMBER, YOU KNOW.
DID YOU EVER HAVE TO, IN THOSE DAYS, THINK ABOUT HOW TO MAKE YOUR GOLF SWING OR DID YOU JUST, DID YOU JUST DECIDE WHERE YOU WANTED THE BALL TO GO?
UH.... WELL I THINK YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT, BUT I LEARNED BY SAM SNEAD'S ORIGINAL BOOK. MAY, MAYBE NOT HIS ORIGINAL BUT IT'S ONE OF THOSE REAL THIN OLD ONES.
THE EDUCATION OF A GOLFER?
UM.... I'M, I'M NOT SURE OF THE TITLE OR NOT, BUT ANYWAY, IN THERE WAS JUST PHOTOGRAPHS AND, AND IT SAID, YOU KNOW, THE LEFT HAND GOES LIKE THIS, THE CLUB LAYS RIGHT ACROSS HERE, YOU KNOW, SO, I PUT MY PALM UP, LOOK AT THE PICTURE, AND THEN, PUT MY HAND
ON THERE AND THEN THE RIGHT HAND GOES LIKE THIS AND THEN, THEN YOU PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER AND I'D GET IT IN FRONT OF A MIRROR AND SEE IF IT LOOKED LIKE THE PICTURE, AND WHAT NOT, SO, I STARTED WITH A REALLY GOOD GRIP WHICH IS OFF SAM SNEAD'S BOOK, AND THEN FROM THERE, I COULD LEARN
TO WORK THE BALL AND WHAT NOT, BUT I HAD TO GO TO A LITTLE FINER PRO TO LEARN TO, TO WORK IT A LITTLE MORE AND, AND LEARN SOME OF THE WEDGE SHOTS, LIKE, IN THE SEATTLE AREA YOU NEVER HIT THE, THE BALL FIRST. YOU
ALWAYS HIT A HALF AN INCH BEHIND A WEDGE.
AND, AND IT JUST STOPS DEAD. STOPS DEAD, YOU KNOW. IT WON'T SPIN BACK OFF THE GREEN, IT WON'T BOUNCE FORWARD YOU KNOW, AND YOU CAN HIT IT VERY, VERY AGGRESSIVE, BUT MOST PEOPLE TRIED NOT TO HIT BEHIND THE WEDGE.
I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, DURING THIS BREAK, WE'LL JUST RUN OVER AND YOU SHOW ME HOW TO HIT THAT
SHOT REALLY QUICK
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. DON'T GO AWAY.
The Tiger comeback just got real on Friday
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Slow play was a big storyline on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, but not so much anymore.
Not with Tiger Woods speeding things up Friday at the Honda Classic.
Not with Woods thumping the gas pedal around PGA National’s Champion Course, suddenly looking as if he is racing way ahead of schedule in his return to the game.
The narrative wondrously started to turn here.
It turned from wondering at week’s start if Woods could make the cut here, after missing it last week at the Genesis Open. His game was too wild for Riviera, where a second-round 76 left him looking lost with the Masters just six weeks away.
It turned in head-spinning fashion Friday with Woods climbing the leaderboard in tough conditions to get himself into weekend contention with a 1-over-par 71.
He is just four shots off the lead.
“I’d be shocked if he’s not there Sunday with a chance to win,” said Brandt Snedeker, who played alongside Woods in the first two rounds. “He’s close to playing some really, really good golf.”
Just a few short months ago, so many of us were wondering if Woods was close to washed up.
“He’s only going to improve,” Snedeker said. “The more time he has, as the weather gets warmer, he’ll feel better and be able to practice more.”
Snedeker has had a front-row seat for this speedy Tiger turnaround. He played the third round with Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open last month. That was Woods’ first PGA Tour start in a year.
How much improvement did Snedeker see from that Torrey Pines experience?
“It was kind of what I expected – significantly improved,” Snedeker said. “His iron game is way better. His driver is way better. I don’t’ see it going backward from here.”
This was the hope packed into Friday’s new narrative.
“I’m right there in the ballgame,” Woods said. “I really played well today. I played well all day today.”
Tiger sent a jolt through PGA National when his name hit the top 10 of the leaderboard. He didn’t do it with a charge. He did it battling a brutish course in wintry, blustery winds, on “scratchy” and “dicey” greens that made par a good score.
When Woods holed a 25-foot putt at the ninth to move into red numbers at 1 under overall and within three shots of the lead, a roar shook across the Champion Course.
“It got a little loud, which was cool to see,” Snedeker said. “It’s great to have that energy and vibe back.”
Woods sent fans scampering to get into position, blasting a 361-yard drive at the 10th, cutting the corner. He had them buzzing when he stuck his approach to 9 feet for another birdie chance to get within two of the lead.
“I thought if he makes it, this place will go nuts, and he could get it going like he used to,” Snedeker said.
Woods missed, but with the leaders falling back to him on this grueling day, he stuck his approach at the 12th to 10 feet to give himself a chance to move within a shot of the lead.
It’s another putt that could have turned PGA National upside down, but Woods missed that.
“It really is hard to make birdies,” he said. “At least I found it hard. It was hard to get the ball close, even if the ball is in the fairway, it's still very difficult to get the ball close, with the wind blowing as hard as it is. It’s hard to make putts out here.”
Patton Kizzire, a two-time PGA Tour winner who won just last month at the Sony Open, could attest to how tough the test at Honda has become. He played alongside Woods this week for the first time in his career. He shot 78 Friday and missed the cut.
Kizzire had a close-up look at what suddenly seems possible for Woods again.
“He’s figuring it out,” Kizzire said. “He hit some nice shots and rolled in some nice putts. It was pretty impressive.”
Woods could not hide his excitement in getting himself in the weekend hunt, but his expectations remain tempered in this comeback. He knows the daily referendums his game is subject to, how we can all make the highs too high and the lows too low.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Woods said.
Woods lost a tee shot in a bush at the second hole and made bogey. He hit his tee shot in the water at the 15th and made double bogey. He three-putted the 16th to make bogey. He knows this course can derail a player’s plans in a hurry, but he knows his game is quickly coming around.
“I’m right there where I can win a golf tournament,” Woods said. “Four back on this golf course with 36 holes to go, I mean, anybody can win this golf tournament right now. It’s wide open.’”
Woods hit his shot of the day at the 17th to right his game after the struggles at the 15th and 16th. He did so in front of the Goslings Bear Trap Party Pavilion, cutting a 5-iron to 12 feet. It was the hardest hole on the course Friday, with nearly one of every three players rinsing a shot in the water there. Woods made birdie there to ignite an explosion of cheers. He got a standing ovation.
“I was telling you guys, I love Riviera, I just don't play well there,” Woods said. “So here we are, we're back at a golf course I know and I play well here.”
So here we are, on the precipice of something special again?
Woods seems in a hurry to find out.
List, Lovemark lead; Tiger four back at Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Even with a tee shot into the water for another double bogey, Tiger Woods could see the big picture in the Honda Classic.
He was four shots out of the lead going into the weekend.
Luke List delivered a round not many others found possible in such difficult conditions Friday, a 4-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jamie Lovemark (69). They were at 3-under 137, the highest score to lead at the halfway point of the Honda Classic since it moved to PGA National in 2007.
So bunched were the scores that Woods was four shots out of the lead and four shots from last place among the 76 players who made the cut at 5-over 145. More importantly, he only had 13 players in front of him.
''This is a difficult golf course right now,'' Woods said. ''Making pars is a good thing. I've done that, and I'm right there with a chance.''
And he has plenty of company.
Tommy Fleetwood, who won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour last year, scratched out a 68 and was one shot out of the lead along with Webb Simpson (72), Russell Henley (70) and Rory Sabbatini (69).
Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger each shot 72 and were in a large group at 139. They were among only 10 players remaining under par.
Fleetwood laughed when asked the last time he was at 2 under after 36 holes and only one shot out of the lead.
''Maybe some junior event,'' he said. ''It's good, though. These are the toughest test in golf. Generally, one of the best players prevail at the end of weeks like this. Weeks like this challenge you to the ultimate level. Whether you shoot two 80s or you lead after two rounds, you can see what you need to do and see where your game is. Because this is as hard as it's ever going to get for you.''
The difficulty was primarily from the wind, which blew just as hard in the morning when List shot his 66 as it did in the afternoon. More aggravating to the players are the greens, which are old and bare, firm and crusty. It's a recipe for not making many putts.
Defending champion Rickie Fowler had six bogeys on his front nine and shot 77 to miss the cut.
''It's unfortunate that the greens have changed this much in a year,'' Fowler said. ''They typically get slick and quick on the weekend because they dry out, but at least there's some sort of surface. But like I said, everyone's playing the same greens.''
It looked as though List was playing a different course when he went out with a bogey-free 32 on the back nine, added a pair of birdies on the front nine and then dropped his only shot when he caught an awkward lie in the bunker on the par-3 seventh.
''It's very relentless,'' List said. ''There's not really too many easy holes, but if you hit fairways and go from there, you can make a few birdies out there.''
List and Lovemark, both Californians, have never won on the PGA Tour. This is the third time List has had at least a share of the 36-hole lead, most recently in South Korea at the CJ Cup, where he shot 76-72 on the weekend.
''It's kind of irrelevant because there's going to be 30 guys within a couple shots of the lead,'' List said. ''It's going to be that type of week.''
He was exaggerating – there were 11 players within three shots of the lead.
And there was another guy four shots behind.
Woods brought big energy to a Friday afternoon that already was hopping before he overcame a sluggish start and holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to make the turn at 1 under for his round, and leaving him two shots out of the lead. Everyone knew it just from listening to the roars.
Woods had his chances, twice missing birdie putts from inside 10 feet at Nos. 10 and 12, sandwiched around a 12-foot par save. His round appeared to come undone when he found the water on the 15th and made double bogey for the second straight day.
Then, he hit out of a fairway bunker, over the water and onto the green at the dangerous 16th hole and faced a 65-foot putt. He misread the speed and the line, so badly that it was similar to a car driving from Chicago to Denver and winding up in Phoenix. A bogey dropped him to 2 over.
The big moment was the 17th hole, 184 waters into the wind and over water. That's where Rory McIlroy made triple bogey earlier in the day that ruined his otherwise solid round of 72, leaving him seven behind. Making it even tougher for Woods is the Brandt Snedeker hit 5-iron before him to about 6 feet. Woods got to the tee and the wind died, meaning 5-iron was too much and 6-iron wouldn't clear the water.
He went with the 5-iron.
''I started that thing pretty far left and hit a pretty big cut in there because I had just too much stick,'' Wood said.
It landed 12 feet below the hole for a birdie putt.
Thomas made 17 pars and a double bogey when he three-putted from 6 feet on No. 16. He felt the same way as Woods.
''I'm in a good spot – really good spot – going into this week,'' Thomas said.
Woods to play with Dufner (12:10 p.m.) in third round
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods will play alongside Jason Dufner in the third round of the Honda Classic.
Woods and Dufner, both at 1-over 141, four shots back, will tee off at 12:10 p.m. ET Saturday at PGA National. They’re in the 10th-to-last group.
Co-leaders Luke List and Jamie Lovemark will go at 1:40 p.m.
Some of the other late pairings include Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, who will be playing together for the third consecutive day, at 1 p.m.; Louis Oosthuizen and Thomas Pieters (1:10 p.m.); and Webb Simpson and Russell Henley, in the penultimate group at 1:30 p.m.
Woods doesn't mind 'fun' but brutal 17th hole
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods doesn’t mind the boisterous crowd that surrounds the par-3 17th hole at PGA National.
And why should he?
When the wind died down Friday afternoon, Woods played a “big ol’ cut” with a 5-iron that dropped 12 feet from the cup. He made the putt – one of just nine birdies on the day – and when he walked off the green, the fans gave him a standing ovation.
Bounce-back— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) February 23, 2018
That gets Tiger back to +1. pic.twitter.com/l1yix0hzig
The scene is expected to be even more raucous Saturday at the Honda Classic, especially with Woods in contention.
There is a Goslings Bear Trap tent just to the right of the tee. The hole has become a hot topic in recent years, after a few players complained that the noise from the nearby crowd was distracting as they tried to play a wind-blown, 190-yard shot over water.
Woods was asked his thoughts on the party setup after finishing his second-round 71.
“As long as they don’t yell in our golf swings, we’re fine,” he said. “They can be raucous. They are having a great time. It’s fun. They are having a blast, and hopefully we can execute golf shots, but as long as they don’t yell in our golf swings, everything’s cool.”
After the recent Waste Management Phoenix Open, a few players told Woods that fans were trying to time their screams with the players’ downswings.
“There’s really no reason to do that,” Woods said. “I think that most of the people there at 17 are golfers, and they understand how hard a golf shot that is. So they are being respectful, but obviously libations are flowing.”
The 17th played as the most difficult hole on the course Friday, with a 3.74 scoring average and a combined score to par of 104 over. More than a quarter of the tee shots found the water.