Golf Talk Live - Johnny Bulla Transcript Segment 3

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
(MUSIC)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, IN 1944, AT THE TAMOSHANNER TOURNAMENT, YOU WERE THE FIRST CAUCASIAN TO OFFER TO AND TO PLAY WITH AN AFRO-AMERICAN PLAYER IN A TOUR EVENT. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT, JOHNNY?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL, GEORGE MAY WAS TRYING TO FIND SOMEBODY TO HELP HIS TOURNAMENT AND THERE WERE SIX AFRICAN AMERICANS THAT HAD SENT THE ENTRY IN TO TRY TO QUALIFY FOR THE NATIONAL OPEN AT OLYMPIA FIELDS AND THEY
 
TURNED THEM DOWN WHEN THEY SHOWED UP, SO I TOLD GEORGE, I WAS FLYING AT THE TIME WITH EASTERN AND I'D GET IN THERE IN THE MORNING SOMETIMES, I'D HAVE BREAKFAST WITH HIM, AND I SAID GEORGE, YOU CAN REALLY MAKE THIS GOLF TOURNAMENT A LOT GREATER IF YOU INVITE THE BLACK
 
BOYS TO PLAY AND THEY'LL BE WONDERFUL. JOE LEWIS WILL COME, TED RODES. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN TOURNAMENT, BUT THEY'RE PLAYING WITHIN A TOURNAMENT, AND I SAID, IF THEY'RE GOOD ENOUGH, PLAY THE REGULAR TOURNAMENT AND HE SAID
 
WELL, NONE OF THE BOYS WILL PLAY WITH THEM. I SAID I WILL. HE SAYS WELL, UH I'LL PAIR IF THERE'S ANY GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE THE TOURNAMENT AND IT TURNED OUT THAT SEARS, WHO IS THE CADDIE FROM NEW ORLEANS, WAS IN THE
 
EUROPEAN THEATRE AND HE WAS GIVEN A TWO WEEK LEAVE TO COME OVER TO GO TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND HE CAME BACK AND PRACTICED FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, OUTSIDE OF TIGER, HE WAS, HE'S THE BEST
 
AFRICAN AMERICAN I EVER SAW PLAY. HE FINISHED SEVENTH IN THAT TOURNAMENT THAT YEAR, AND HE HAD ONLY PLAYED PRACTICE FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS BEFORE BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN IN THE ARMY FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. I THOUGHT HE WAS FANTASTIC AND THE SAD PART, HE WAS SHIPPED OVER TO THE PACIFIC AND WAS KILLED.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
AND OF COURSE 17 YEARS LATER, CHARLIE SIFFORD WAS THE GUY WHO GOT THE PGA OF AMERICA TO REMOVE THEIR CAUCASIAN ONLY CLAUSE TO ALLOW AFRO AMERICANS TO PLAY ON TOUR AND CHARLIE JOINS US BY TELEPHONE RIGHT OVER HERE, RIGHT, RIGHT NOW, JOHNNIE.
 
HELLO CHARLIE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
HEY. HOW YOU DOING?
 
PETER KESSLER
 
HOW ARE YOU, SIR?
 
DOING FINE.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
CHARLIE, ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
(LAUGHS) YES, I'M STILL LIVING, JOHNNY (LAUGHS).
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY THE SECOND OF JUNE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THAT'S RIGHT, I'LL BE 79.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL I'LL, I'LL BE 87.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
YEAH YOU GOT ME.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WE HAVE THE SAME BIRTHDAY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
I FIGURED THAT.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
I TOLD HIM I WOULD NEVER KISS HIM. HE'S TOO UGLY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
(LAUGHS)
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
(LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
TELL, TELL US ABOUT JOHNNY, CHARLIE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
I TELL YOU JOHNNY BULLA IS ONE OF THE FINEST, YOU KNOW, AND THE BEST PEOPLE NOW PERSON I EVER MET IN MY LIFE.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
HOW COME?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
BECAUSE HE'S JUST A GENTLEMAN. HE'S A MAN. HE, HE PLAYED WITH US WHEN NO, NONE OF THE OTHER GUYS WOULD PLAY WITH US... IN THE TOURNAMENT.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
DO YOU WANT TO REACT TO THAT?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
CHARLIE, THAT'S, THAT'S SWEET OF YOU SAYING THAT. I'M NOT THAT GOOD, BUT YOU KNOW I WAS ALWAYS FOR YOU.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THAT'S RIGHT.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
HEY CHARLIE, WAS HE AS BAD A PUTTER AS HE ALWAYS CLAIMS HE WAS?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
WELL HE WASN'T THAT BAD OF A PUTTER (LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
THAT'S NOT SAYING HE WAS VERY GOOD THOUGH EITHER IS IT, CHARLIE?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
(LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THAT'S MY MAN, I CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT (LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
(LAUGHS) WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF CHARLIE'S GAME, JOHNNY?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
CHARLIE HIT THE BALL GOOD AND HE, HE HAD A LOT OF DETERMINATION AND HE WORKED HARD AT IT WITH ALL THE ADVERSITY THAT HE HAD I THOUGHT HE DID REMARKABLY WELL.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
CHARLIE, THANKS FOR CHECKING IN TONIGHT.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
THANK YOU CHARLIE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THANK YOU (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
GREAT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
SEE YOU OUT IN PHOENIX, JOHNNY.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
THAT A BOY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
A COUPLE OF YEARS BEFORE THAT TAMOSHANNER THEY HAD, JUST AS, THE, THE U.S. HAD NOW BEEN, YOU KNOW, IN WORLD WAR TWO, IN EARLY '42, THEY HELD A TOURNAMENT CALLED THE HAIL AMERICA NATIONAL OPEN, AND HOGAN WON THAT TOURNAMENT AND THEY GAVE HIM A MEDAL THAT LOOKS IDENTICAL
 
BECAUSE IT IS, TO THE ONE THAT YOU GET FOR WINNING THE U.S. OPEN. WAS IT A U.S. OPEN IN YOUR VIEW, OR NOT?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
NO, NO BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR IT. THIS IS FUNNY, FRANK STEININE CALLED ME A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND SAYS I PLAYED WITH YOU AND BOBBY JONES, I THINK, IN THE HAIL AMERICA.
 
I SAYS, FRANK, YOU DIDN'T PLAY WITH ME, I WAS FLYING FOR EASTERN IN '42, AND I SAID YOU DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR IT. BOB PLAYED IN IT AND THEN WENT INTO THE SERVICE, BUT NOBODY QUALIFIED FOR THAT TOURNAMENT AND IT WASN'T, IT WASN'T AN, AN OPEN. IT WAS UNDERSTOOD IT WASN'T AN OPEN.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
WHAT WAS THE THINKING IF, IF YOU HAVE SOME INSIGHT INTO IT INTO GIVING HOGAN A MEDAL THAT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAD JUST WON THE U.S. OPEN.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL YEAH BUT THERE WOULDN'T BE AN INSCRIPTION ON THE BACK, U.S. OPEN. IT WASN'T ON THERE. THE, THE MEDAL, OF COURSE THEY HAD A LOT OF THOSE MEDALS FROM THE OPENS, AND THAT WAS GREAT, BUT IT WAS NOT A NATIONAL OPEN. IT, THEY, THEY, THEY DIDN'T HAVE
 
THE QUALIFYING FOR IT. IT WAS JUST ANOTHER TOURNAMENT AS FAR AS THE USGA WAS CONCERNED.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
AND OF COURSE IT WASN'T CALLED THE UNITED STATES OPEN,
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
NO NO
 
PETER KESSLER
 
IT WAS THE HAIL AMERICA NATIONAL OPEN.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
EXACTLY. EXACTLY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH JOHNNY BULLA.
 
(MUSIC)
 
NEXT SEGMENT
Luke List, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood and Tiger Woods at the 2018 Honda Classic Getty Images

Honda leaders face daunting final day

By Randall MellFebruary 25, 2018, 12:46 am

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.”

Amen.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


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.

Getty Images

Thomas: Winning hometown Honda would 'mean a lot'

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:53 pm

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.”


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


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.”

Getty Images

Woods paired with hotshot rookie Burns at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 24, 2018, 11:38 pm

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.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


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.

Getty Images

List leads Honda; Thomas one back

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 11:25 pm

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.


Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


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).