Golf Talk Live - Karrie Webb Transcript Segment 1
KARRIE WEBB IS PLAYING THE KIND OF BREATHTAKING GOLF THAT HAS US COMPARING HER WITH THE LEGENDS OF THE LPGA.
SHE KEEPS IMPROVING HER TECHNIQUE. SHE STAYS OUT OF HER OWN WAY. SHE DOESN'T FORGET HER FRIENDS. AND SHE TREATS US TO MAJESTIC GOLF NEARLY EVERY TIME SHE PLAYS.
MEET KARRIE WEBB ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
NOW THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE IN WOMEN'S GOLF, THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND LEADING MONEY WINNER ON THE U.S. TOUR LAST YEAR WITH SIX TOURNAMENT WINS INCLUDING THE PRESTIGIOUS DU MAURIER CLASSIC, FROM QUEENSLAND, KARRIE WEBB.
WHY DO WE INSIST ON COMPARISONS AND SPECULATIONS WHENEVER A PLAYER GETS OFF TO A GREAT CAREER START? THEY BECOME THE NEXT NICKLAUS OR NEXT MICKEY WRIGHT.
WE STUDY THE STATS, CHECK THE RANKINGS AND COUNT MAJORS. AND YET THE MOST FUN IS ALWAYS HAD BY JUST WATCHING THE SHOW.
AND IN THE CASE OF KARRIE WEBB, THE SHOW GETS BETTER WITH EVERY RUN.
LIKE A GREAT NOVEL, HER STORY TEMPO QUICKENS UNTIL WE'RE STARTLED BY THE SPEED. THE VICTORIES AND CONFIDENCE SERVE EACH OTHER AS THE CLIMB STEEPENS ON HER RARELY TRAVELED ROAD.
AT TWENTY-FIVE, KARRIE WEBB IS CERTAIN TO BE A HALL OF FAMER BY SEASON'S END, THE YOUNGEST PLAYER TO GRACE THE TOUGHEST HALL IN SPORTS.
THE SWING IS MAJESTIC AND UPRIGHT AND ON PLANE AND POWERFUL AND MERELY UNERRING IN ITS EFFICIENCY. AND THE PUTTING MOTION HAS NOW REACHED THE SAME POINT OF BRILLIANCE.
THE LITTLE SPHERE DISAPPEARING MORE OFTEN THAN NOT. SHE LOVES HER WORLD. HER WORLD LOVES HER BACK.
KARRIE WEBB NOW MAKES US FEEL LIKE SHE'S ENJOYING HER PERFORMANCES AS MUCH AS WE ARE. AND WHY NOT? THEY'RE THE FINEST IN THE WORLD.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, KARRIE WEBB. AND GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
THANKS PETER. IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK.
YOU KNOW, WHEN BYRON NELSON WAS WINNING EVERYTHING IN 1944 AND '45, HE SAID THAT HE ACTUALLY GOT BORED HITTING SO MANY PERFECT SHOTS IN A ROW. ARE YOU BORED YET?
OH NO, I'M LOVING IT.
WALTER HAGEN SAID AFTER HE WON HIS SECOND MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP THAT ANYBODY COULD WIN ONE BUT IT TAKES A REALLY GREAT PLAYER TO WIN TWO. THINK HE HAD SOMETHING THERE?
(CHUCKLE) WELL UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S DEFINITELY BEEN A - A GOOD RIDE. AND UM, YOU KNOW, I REALLY HAVEN'T - I HAD A DOWN YEAR UH SINCE I'VE BEEN OUT HERE.
SO, YOU KNOW UH . YOU KNOW, AFTER LAST YEAR UH WINNING SIX TIMES AND PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND - AND ALL THE HONORS THAT I RECEIVED AT THE END OF THE YEAR,
YOU KNOW, IT WAS UH, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ASKED ME WHAT I WOULD - UM, HOW THIS YEAR WOULD BE. AND IT'S REALLY HARD TO LIVE UP TO SUCH A GREAT YEAR THAT I HAD LAST YEAR,
THAT I REALLY DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF EXPECTATIONS BUT HOPED TO SEE A LITTLE BIT MORE OF THE - THE GOOD GOLF I PLAYED LAST YEAR. AND UH, YOU KNOW, SO FAR I'VE SEEN A - A LOT MORE OF IT.
SO THAT MEANS YOU'RE HAPPY THAT YOU WENT WITH THE DECISION TO BE A PROFESSIONAL GOLFER INSTEAD OF THE MOTORCYCLE COP YOU WERE ORIGINALLY THINKING ABOUT?
(GIGGLE) YEAH UM, 'CHIPS' (TV SHOW), YOU KNOW, THAT - THAT (LAUGH) . THAT UH, I'M GLAD IT DIDN'T SWAY ME TOO MUCH WHEN I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD.
SO THE HALL OF FAME MUST BE TOO EASY NOW. IF YOU'RE GONNA BE IN BY YEAR END AT THE AGE OF TWENTY-FIVE, IS IT TOO SIMPLE?
NO UM, I THINK THAT IT'S JUST MADE IT MORE OF A UM, A LONG TERM GOAL FOR - FOR SOME GIRLS THAT UM, HAVE A LOT OF TALENT AND A LOT OF AMBITION. AND UH,
YOU KNOW UH, WITH ANNIKA GETTING IN EARLY THIS YEAR AND - AND IN VERY QUICKLY AND - AND HOPEFULLY ME IN THE - IN THE NEAR FUTURE UM, WELL AHEAD OF THE TEN YEARS UH, THAT IT - THAT WE'RE REQUIRED TO BE ON TOUR,
UM, I THINK WE'RE JUST TWO OF THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. I THINK UH, AND THAT'S ALWAYS GOING TO COME ALONG. UM, YOU KNOW, THOSE SORT OF PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS GONNA COME ALONG AND - AND PEOPLE ARE GONNA SAY THAT IT'S TOO EASY.
BUT UM, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T SAY IT'S TOO EASY. LOOK AT JULI INKSTER. UM, YOU KNOW, I WOULD NEVER TELL HER THAT IT'S TOO EASY 'CAUSE I DON'T THINK IT IS. AND I THINK SHE DESERVES TO BE IN THE HALL OF FAME JUST AS MUCH AS ANYONE.
I WAS KIDDING A LITTLE BIT.
I KNOW, BUT IT'S - IT'S BEEN A BIT OF A SERIOUS TOPIC UH OF THE - IN THE - IN THE UM, JUST IN THE EARLY PART OF THIS YEAR AS FAR AS UM, BEING TOO EASY OR TOO DIFFICULT.
YOU'VE PREPARED YOURSELF TO PLAY THE BEST GOLF THAT YOU CAN, TO BE IN CONTENTION, AND TO BE ABLE TO CLOSE AND WIN GOLF TOURNAMENTS. YOU GOT READY TO DO THAT.
BUT COULD ANYTHING HAVE PREPARED YOU FOR THIS INTENSE INTEREST IN EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAY, THINK AND DO?
NO UM, YOU KNOW, I'VE SAID THIS QUITE OFTEN, JUST AS FAR AS UH . UM, YOU KNOW, COMING TO THE STATES WHEN I WAS TWENTY-ONE AND UM, YOU KNOW, DOING WHAT I DID IN MY ROOKIE YEAR,
UM, I THINK I, SUBCONSCIOUSLY, WAS PREPARED TO - TO PLAY WELL DEEP DOWN. UM BUT, TO - TO DEAL WITH UH EVERYTHING ELSE THAT COMES ALONG WITH IT UM, SOME - SOME PLAYERS ENJOY THAT AND - AND THAT COMES NATURALLY TO THEM, TO BE ABLE TO - TO SPEAK TO - TO STRANGERS ABOUT THEIR LIFE AND - AND THEIR GOLF.
AND UM, FOR ME IT WAS - IT'S - IT'S BEEN A LEARNING EXPERIENCE EVER SINCE IT STARTED HAPPENING TO ME. AND UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT I'VE - I'VE DEFINITELY GOTTEN A LITTLE BIT MORE USED TO IT EVERY YEAR AND A LOT MORE COMFORTABLE WITH IT.
AND UH, I THINK THAT PART UM, FOR ME, I'M JUST GROWING WITH IT AND - AND FEELING MORE AND MORE COMFORTABLE EVERY YEAR THAT I - THAT I'M DEALING WITH IT.
PEOPLE WOULD SAY ABOUT JACK NICKLAUS THAT HIS GREATEST STRENGTH WAS THE STRENGTH OF HIS MIND. YOUR MOM SAYS THAT YET - THAT IS YOUR GREATEST ASSET. DO YOU AGREE WITH HER?
UM, I THINK SO. UM, AND I THINK UH, MY MOM UM, YOU KNOW, HAVING THREE DAUGHTERS UH, DEFINITELY RAISED ALL OF US TO BE PRETTY UM INDEPENDENT AND - AND TO GO AFTER WHAT WE WANTED TO. AND UH, BOTH MY MOM AND DAD NEVER UM,
EVER . YOU KNOW, STOPPED ME FROM PURSUING AT ELEVEN YEARS OLD COMING HOME AND TELLING THEM THAT I WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL GOLFER, NEVER UM ONCE STOPPED ME FROM UM DREAMING OF THAT AND THEN ACHIEVING THE DREAM.
STEVE ELKINGTON SAID ABOUT YOUR GOLF SWING, 'IT'S INCREDIBLE AND SHE'S THE ONLY WOMAN I'VE EVER SEEN WHO SWINGS LIKE A MAN.' HOW DO YOU TAKE THAT AND WHAT DO YOU THINK HE MEANT BY THAT?
(CHUCKLE) WELL UM, I - I LOVE WATCHING UH STEVE SWING, AND I THINK HE'S GOT ONE OF THE BEST SWINGS IN THE GAME HIMSELF. BUT UM, YOU KNOW, THAT'S A GREAT COMPLIMENT. AND UH, YOU KNOW, I JUST THINK THAT UM,
JUST IT - IT GOES BACK TO, YOU KNOW, MAYBE UM, YOU KNOW, A BIT OF NATURAL ABILITY OBVIOUSLY BUT UM, YOU KNOW, I'VE HAD ONE COACH MY WHOLE LIFE, KELVIN HALLER.
AND UH, YOU KNOW UM, HE HAD A VERY GOOD VISION BACK WHEN I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD TO - TO DEVELOP THE SWING THAT I HAVE TODAY.
IS IT HARD FOR YOU TO KEEP YOUR OLD FRIENDS FROM THE TIME THAT YOU WERE GROWING UP? CAN YOU STILL BE YOU?
YEAH UM, I'M FORTUNATE UH, IN A WAY THAT UM, MY HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS UM, AND - AND THE FRIENDS THAT I GREW UP PLAYING GOLF WITH UM, HAVE REALLY UH NEVER STOPPED TREATING ME ANY DIFFERENTLY.
UM, AND UH MY HIGH SCHOOL FRIENDS ARE THE BEST BECAUSE THEY NEVER UNDERSTOOD GOLF WHEN I WAS AT HIGH SCHOOL. AND THEY STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND GOLF, JUST THAT, YOU KNOW, I MAKE A LOT OF MONEY FROM IT NOW AND - AND AM UH, UM, SUCCESSFUL AT IT.
BUT UM, WHEY I GO HOME BACK TO AYR, UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S JUST LIKE, WE REMINISCE ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL AND CATCH UP ON STUFF THAT EVERYONE'S DOING IN THEIR LIVES. AND UM, IT'S - IT'S A GOOD REALITY CHECK JUST TO - TO GET BACK AND SEE THEM.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO BECOME CELEBRITIES SAY THAT 'IT'S NOT TRUE THAT YOU CHANGE. IT'S THAT EVERYBODY AROUND YOU SEEMS TO CHANGE.' HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED THAT AT ALL?
UM, I DON'T THINK FROM THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CLOSE TO ME. I THINK UM, YOU KNOW, I'VE DEFINITELY TRIED TO BE THE SAME PERSON THAT I - THAT I WAS FIVE YEARS AGO. BUT UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT THEY KNEW ME BEFORE I AM WHO I AM AND NOW CLAIM TO KNOW ME.
AND THEY'RE THE ONES THAT HAVE CHANGED, UM, JUST BY UM, YOU KNOW, I CAN - I CAN BE BACK IN AYR AND WALK UP THE MAIN STREET AND TALK TO A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT I KNOW.
UM, BUT THEN I CAN BE STOPPED BY PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW, BUT KNOW - SAY THEY KNOW ME, AND OUT OF THE BLUE STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH ME AND I - I DON'T KNOW THEM FROM - ABOUT THEM (???). SO IT'S - IT'S REALLY HARD TO - TO HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY BACK TO THEM.
IS IT HARD TO TRUST PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME? DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS?
UM, NOT NECESSARILY, I THINK UM . I MEAN, THERE ARE TIMES THAT I THINK I - I HAVE A GOOD FEELING UH WHETHER SOMEONE IS GENUINELY MY FRIEND OR UH MY FRIEND BECAUSE OF WHO I AM.
AND UH, YOU KNOW UH, I - I HAVEN'T HAD TOO MUCH TROUBLE WITH THAT. I'M A PRETTY TRUSTING PERSON. BUT UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK UH, YOU KNOW, I HAVEN'T - I HAVEN'T COME ACROSS TOO MANY PEOPLE THAT HAVE UH, THAT HAVE BECOME MY FRIEND JUST BECAUSE OF WHO I AM.
WE'RE GONNA TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. AND WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH KARRIE WEBB. STAY WITH US.
Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59
Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.
While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.
He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.
"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."
Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.
"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."
Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot
When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.
Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.
"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"
The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.
Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.
"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."
DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.
Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.
"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."
Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.
Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.
"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."
Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.
"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."
LPGA lists April date for new LA event
The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.
When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.
The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.
The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.