Golf Talk Live - Karrie Webb Transcript Segment 5
KARRIE AND OTHER GREATS
FIRST 5 YEARS ON LPGA TOUR
NANCY LOPEZ 23 1
KARRIE WEBB 20 2
BETSY RAWLS 16 3
ANNIKA SORENSTAM 16 2
MICKEY WRIGHT 13 2
KATHY WHITWORTH 10 0 )
YOU TALKED ABOUT ALL THE GREAT PLAYERS THAT WERE AHEAD OF YOU BUT YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE AND YOU HAVE. HERE'S YOU AND SOME OF THE OTHER GREATS, FIRST FIVE YEARS ON TOUR.
YOU'RE NOT IN HORRIBLE SHAPE AFTER FIVE YEARS. ANY REACTION TO THAT LIST?
IT'S LOOKING ALRIGHT. YEAH, IT'S LOOKING - IT'S LOOKING ALRIGHT. I . YOU GUYS - YOU GUYS SHOW ME SO MANY DIFFERENT STATS THAT I WOULD NEVER EVEN THINK OF, THAT WHEN I COME HERE, I LEARN SOMETHING EVERY TIME.
WELL GOOD. NOW WILL YOU COME BACK HERE EVERY YEAR? WE'VE MISSED YOU. IT'S BEEN THREE YEARS SINCE YOU WERE HERE LAST. AND AS I TOLD YOU AT THE BREAK, THERE'S TOO MANY WINS FOR ME TO GO OVER ALL TWENTY, WHICH IS WHY WE'VE PICKED TWO.
SO LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NABISCO WHICH, OF COURSE, YOU WON BY TEN SHOTS. AND AS WE'RE LOOKING AT IT, IS IT EASY TO KEEP YOUR CONCENTRATION WHEN YOU HAVE THE KIND OF LEAD THAT YOU ULTIMATELY BUILT OR DOES YOUR MIND WANDER A LITTLE BIT?
WELL . WELL, IT - IT . I TRIED NOT TO WANDER UH AT ALL. BUT UM, PLAYING WITH UH AREE WONGLUEKIET UM, YOU KNOW, I WAS TOTALLY UH WATCHING HER GAME ON - ON SUNDAY. IT ACTUALLY PROBABLY MIGHT HAVE ADDED ME A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE UH,
AND IF SHE'S WATCHING THIS, THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GONNA LET HER BEAT ME, A THIRTEEN YEAR OLD. AND UH (LAUGH) . SO THAT PROBABLY - THAT PROBABLY GOT ME GOING ON UH, ON SUNDAY.
AND YOU'RE HER IDOL.
SO UH, AND SHE'S AN AWESOME PLAYER. AND UH, YOU KNOW UM, I'M JUST GLAD WE'VE GOT FIVE YEARS BEFORE HER AND HER SISTER, NAREE, ARE OUT ON TOUR BECAUSE UH, THEY'RE GONNA MAKE A LOT OF MONEY AND WIN A LOT OF TOURNAMENTS.
IF WE ASK TIGER WHAT HIS REACTION IS TO THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE FANS AND THE MEDIA, HE SAYS IT'S NOT A PROBLEM BECAUSE HIS EXPECTATIONS ARE HIGHER FOR HIMSELF THAN EVERYBODY ELSE'S. DO YOU FELL THAT WAY ABOUT YOU?
YEAH, DEFINITELY. I THINK UM, YOU KNOW UH, I'M VERY HARD ON MYSELF, ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. AND YOU CAN ASK A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT KNOW ME AS FAR AS MY GOLF GAME, UM, I'M VERY HARD ON MYSELF.
AND - AND . YOU KNOW, I'M NEVER HAPPY WITH UH, YOU KNOW, SECOND RATE GOLF. AND UM, YOU KNOW, A T THE NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP, I - I PLAYED EXTREMELY WELL FOR FOUR DAYS IN A ROW. AND UH, YOU KNOW,
I HELD UP THE TROPHY ON SUNDAY SO I CAN'T BE MORE - ANY MORE HAPPY THAN THAT.
AND YOU REMEMBERED TO DO THAT SMILE THING IN THIS SHOT THAT WE JUST SAW WHICH WAS A 'SEE I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN'.
RIGHT, RIGHT, THAT I'VE BEEN TAUGHT TO DO. (LAUGH)
EVERYBODY TALKS TOO ABOUT THE SOUND THAT YOUR CLUB MAKES AGAINST THE BALL, THAT YOU CAN CLOSE YOUR EYES AND THERE'S AN UNMISTAKABLE SOUND OF WHAT A BALL DOES WHEN IT'S GONNA END UP A COUPLE OF FEET FROM THE HOLE. AND YOU JUST DO ANOTHER 'HO-HUM' AFTER IT.
(SCORE BOARD SHOWN:
1 REDMAN M.
2 WONGLUEKIET A.
2 JOHNSON C
3 JONES )
HAVE YOU BEGUN TO BE IMPRESSED WITH YOU YET?
UH, YOU KNOW, I STILL - I STILL HAVE TO UH, TO PINCH MYSELF EVERY NOW AND THEN TO LOOK UP ON THAT BOARD AND KNOW THAT THAT'S ACTUALLY . THAT WEBB IS ACTUALLY ME.
WAS YOUR DREAM THIS BIG?
IT THINK IT WAS THE - THE ULTIMATE OF ULTIMATE DREAMS. I THINK UH, YOU KNOW, I DID UH, I THINK, FANTASIZE THAT ONE DAY I COULD BE IN THIS POSITION. BUT UH, YOU KNOW, YOU JUST NEVER KNOW IF YOU CAN EVER - EVER ACTUALLY GET HERE.
TELL ME ABOUT THIS NEXT PART AS WE .
WELL UH, BACK ON SIXTEEN WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT DAY THAT I TALKED TO EVAN ABOUT UH GOING IN THE LAKE. AND I TOLD HIM HE HAD TO COME IN WITH ME. AND UH, YOU KNOW, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. BUT UH,
I SAID THAT I WANTED TO RUN IN WITH HIM AND DO TWO BIG CANNONBALL DIVES INTO THE WATER. BUT I DIDN'T KNOW IF IT WAS DEEP ENOUGH. SO AS DOTTIE PUSHED ME IN, I WAS RUNNING IN THERE THINKING THIS MIGHT NOT - I WAS GONNA DO A BIG CANNONBALL BUT .
I WAS LIKE, COULD YOU IMAGINE IF I INJURED MYSELF DOING THAT AND NOT KNOWING IT WAS - AND YOU KNOW, HITTING THE - HITTING THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE DOING THAT?
SO AS I WAS IN MIDAIR ON THAT JUMP, I JUST TOTALLY, LIKE, SPREAD MY LEGS OUT AND LANDED ON MY BACK.
(LAUGH) VERY ELEGANT AND CLASSIC.
YEAH, IT WAS VERY ELEGANT.
NEXT TIME YOU HAVE EVAN GO IN FIRST TO THE SPOT.
ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT (LAUGH).
YOU CAN LET HIM CHECK. HE CAN LIMP AROUND THE GOLF COURSE. IT WON'T BE A PROBLEM. STUART IN VIRGINIA, HOW ARE YOU TONIGHT?
STUART, CALLER FROM VIRGINIA
WONDERFUL. THANKS FOR TAKING MY CALL.
STUART, CALLER FROM VIRGINIA
UM, KARRIE UM, I WAS CURIOUS AS TO WHAT YOU THINK OF YOUR FAMILY?
OH, I LOVE MY FAMILY. UH, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE - THEY'RE THE - ONE OF BIGGEST PARTS OF MY LIFE. AND UH, YOU KNOW UM . YOU KNOW, I - I WOULDN'T BE WHERE I AM WITHOUT THEM. UM, THEY'RE VERY SPECIAL TO ME.
AND UM, THE ONLY THING THAT, YOU KNOW UH, IS UNFORTUNATE FOR ME IS THAT THEY LIVE IN AUSTRALIA AND UM, I DON'T GET TO SEE THEM PROBABLY AS OFTEN AS I WOULD LIKE.
HOW GOOD ARE YOU ABOUT KEEPING THE RELATIONSHIP AS ACTIVE AS POSSIBLE THROUGH PHONE CALLS?
OH, VERY ACTIVE. I THINK UM, YOU KNOW, I CALL THEM, YOU KNOW, NOT - NOT - UH, ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK. BUT UM, YOU KNOW WHEN I - WHEN I DO CALL MY - WELL, AND PLUS MY SISTERS ARE, YOU KNOW, THEY DON'T LIVE AT HOME ANYMORE .
SO I MAKE THREE PHONE CALLS TO - TO THEM A WEEK. AND UM, ACCUMULATED, IT PROBABLY ADDS UP TO ABOUT FOUR HOURS OF - OF TALKING TIME. SO I ALLOW MYSELF A - A GOOD UM, A GOOD SPACE OF TIME THERE TO - TO TALK TO THEM BECAUSE UH,
YOU KNOW, I HAVE A LOT TO TELL THEM BUT UM, MOST IMPORTANTLY I LIKE TO HEAR WHAT'S HAPPENED AT HOME.
AS EACH YEAR HAS CONTINUED TO GET BETTER IN TERMS OF YOUR PERFORMANCE ON THE COURSE, DO YOU FIND YOURSELF FINE TUNING MORE YOUR SCHEDULE TO BUILD IT TO PEAK AROUND THE MAJORS,
SPECIFICALLY 'THIS TOURNAMENT, DON'T PLAY THAT TOURNAMENT, TAKE A WEEK OFF HERE'?
I THINK UH, YOU KNOW, EVEN FROM MY ROOKIE YEAR UM, I ALWAYS TRIED TO DO THAT. BUT UM, YOU KNOW, YOU LEARN UM DIFFERENT THINGS. AND SOME OF THE MAJORS . LIKE THE U.S. OPEN IS A DIFFERENT DATE EVERY YEAR.
SO THE TOURNAMENTS LEADING UP TO THAT, TO THE U.S. OPEN, ARE DIFFERENT EVERY YEAR. UM, AND YOU KNOW, ALL I KNOW IS THAT I DON'T LIKE TO PLAY TOO MANY TOURNAMENTS, YOU KNOW, TWO AT THE MOST, LEADING UP TO A - TO A MAJOR.
AND DEPENDING ON THE SCHEDULE, WHETHER I PLAY AFTER A MAJOR. AND IF I DO PLAY AFTER A MAJOR, I JUST KNOW THAT I COULD BE TIRED AND NOT TO EXPECT TOO MUCH THAT WEEK, UM, YOU KNOW, AND OBVIOUSLY GET MYSELF READY FOR A MAJOR.
I THINK, I DON'T NECESSARILY LIKE GOING INTO A MAJOR UM WITHOUT PLAYING A TOURNAMENT THE WEEK BEFORE. BUT IF I DON'T NECESSARILY THINK THAT UM, THE COURSE THE WEEK BEFORE SETS UP, YOU KNOW, TO BE SIMILAR TO THE COURSE I'M PLAYING THE NEXT WEEK, THEN I WON'T PLAY.
IS IT TRUE THAT YOU ARE SUPERSTITIOUS TO THE EXTENT THAT ON THURSDAY THE BALL HAS A NUMBER FOUR, AND ON FRIDAY, THREE, AND TWO AND ONE ON SATURDAY, SUNDAY?
WITHOUT FAIL EVERY WEEK?
OH, EVERY WEEK, EVERY WEEK. I THINK UM . UH, BEFORE I DID - UH, BEFORE I DID THAT, I NEVER USED TO USE THE NUMBER THREE'S BUT UM, BECAUSE THAT - THAT COULD MEAN A THREE-PUTT. SO .
BUT WHEN I WAS IN EUROPE UM, MY BALLS WERE LIMITED AND UH, I DECIDED THAT, YOU KNOW, I COULDN'T THROW AWAY THE THREE'S. I NEEDED TO USE THEM. SO I HAD TO COME UP WITH A BETTER - A BETTER SUPERSTITION THAN 'THREE MEANS A THREE-PUTT ' AND THAT JUST THREE MEANT JUST PLAYING ON FRIDAY.
YEAH, THREE MEANS LIKE, NINE THREE'S ON YOUR SCORE CARD IS WHAT IT MEANS NOW. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
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.
Tour's Integrity Program raises gambling questions
The video begins with an eye-opening disclaimer: “Sport betting markets produce revenues of $1 trillion each year.”
For all the seemingly elementary elements of the 15-minute video PGA Tour players have been required to watch as part of the circuit’s newly created Integrity Program, it’s the enormity of the industry – $1 trillion annually – that concerns officials.
There are no glaring examples of how sport betting has impacted golf, no red flags that sent Tour officials into damage control; just a realization that with that kind of money it’s best to be proactive.
“It's important that in that world, you can operate not understanding what's happening week in and week out, or you can assume that all of our players and everybody in our ecosystem understands that that's not an acceptable activity, or you can just be proactive and clarify and educate,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan explained earlier this month. “That's what we have attempted to do not with just the video, but with all of our communication with our players and will continue to do that.”
But if clarification is the goal, a copy of the training video obtained by GolfChannel.com paints a different picture.
Although the essence of the policy is straightforward – “prohibit players from betting on professional golf” – the primary concern, at least if the training video is any indication, is on match fixing; and warns players to avoid divulging what is considered “inside information.”
“I thought the questions were laughable. They were all like first-grade-level questions,” Chez Reavie said. “I would like to think everyone out here already knows the answer to those questions. But the Tour has to protect themselves.”
Monahan explained that the creation of the integrity policy was not in reaction to a specific incident and every player asked last week at the Sony Open said they had never encountered any type of match fixing.
“No, not at all,” Reavie said. “I have friends who will text me from home after a round, ‘Oh, I bet on you playing so-and-so.’ But I make it clear I don’t want to know. I don’t gamble like that. No one has ever approached me about losing a match.”
It was a common answer, but the majority of the video focuses on how players can avoid being placed in a compromising situation that could lead to match fixing. It should be noted that gamblers can place wagers on head-to-head matchups, provided by betting outlets, during stroke-play rounds of tournaments – not just in match-play competitions.
Part of the training video included questions players must answer to avoid violating the policy. An example of this was how a player should respond when asked, “Hello, buddy! Well played today. I was following your progress. I noticed your partner pulled out of his approach on 18, looked like his back. Is he okay for tomorrow?”
The correct answer from a list of options was, “I don’t know, sorry. I’m sure he will get it looked at if it’s bothering him.”
You get the idea, but for some players the training created more questions.
How, for example, should a player respond when asked how he’s feeling by a fan?
“The part I don’t understand, let’s say a member of your club comes out and watches you on the range hitting balls, he knows you’re struggling, and he bets against you. Somehow, some way that could come back to you, according to what I saw on that video,” said one player who asked not to be identified.
Exactly what constitutes a violation is still unclear for some who took the training, which was even more concerning considering the penalties for a violation of the policy.
The first violation is a warning and a second infraction will require the player to retake the training program, but a third violation is a fine “up to $500,000” or “the amount illegally received from the betting activity.” A sixth violation is a lifetime ban from the Tour.
Players are advised to be mindful of what they post on social media and to “refrain from talking about odds or betting activity.” The latter could be an issue considering how often players discuss betting on other sports.
Just last week at the Sony Open, Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas had a “friendly” wager on the College Football Playoff National Championship. Kisner, a Georgia fan, lost the wager and had to wear an Alabama football jersey while playing the 17th hole last Thursday.
“If I'd have got the points, he'd have been wearing [the jersey], and I was lobbying for the points the whole week, and he didn't give them to me,” Kisner said. “So I'm still not sure about this bet.”
It’s unclear to some if Kisner’s remark, which was a joke and didn’t have anything to do with golf, would be considered a violation. From a common sense standpoint, Kisner did nothing wrong, but the uncertainty is an issue.
Much like drug testing, which the Tour introduced in 2008, few, if any, think sport betting is an issue in golf; but also like the anti-doping program, there appears to be the danger of an inadvertent and entirely innocent violation.
The Tour is trying to be proactive and the circuit has a trillion reasons to get out in front of what could become an issue, but if the initial reaction to the training video is any indication they may want to try a second take.
Lexi looks to shine as LPGA season begins next week
Lexi Thompson may be No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, but in so many ways she became the new face of the women’s game last year.
That makes her the headliner in a fairly star-studded season opener at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic next week.
Three of the top four players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings are scheduled to tee it up on Paradise Island, including world No. 1 Shanshan Feng and co-Rolex Player of the Year So Yeon Ryu.
From the heartache at year’s start with the controversial loss at the ANA Inspiration, through the angst in the middle of the year with her mother’s cancer diagnosis, to the stunning disappointment at year’s end, Thompson emerged as the story of the year because of all she achieved in spite of those ordeals.
Next week’s event will mark the first time Thompson tees it up in an LPGA tournament since her season ended in stunning fashion last November with a missed 2-foot putt that cost her a chance to win the CME Group Tour Championship and the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and become the world No. 1.
She still walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for the season’s low scoring average.
She also walked away sounding determined to show she will bounce back from that last disappointment the same way she bounced back from her gut-wrenching loss at the year’s first major, the ANA, where a four-shot Sunday penalty cost her a chance to win her second major.
“Just going through what I have this whole year, and seeing how strong I am, and how I got through it all and still won two tournaments, got six seconds ... it didn’t stop me,” Thompson said leaving the CME Group Tour Championship. “This won’t either.”
Thompson was named the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year in a vote of GWAA membership. Ryu and Sung Hyun Park won the tour’s points-based Rolex Player of the Year Award.
With those two victories and six second-place finishes, three of those coming after playoff losses, Thompson was close to fashioning a spectacular year in 2017, to dominating the tour.
The new season opens with Thompson the center of attention again. Consistently one of the tour’s best ball strikers and longest hitters, she enjoyed her best year on tour last season by making dramatic improvements in her wedge play, short game and, most notably, her putting.
She doesn’t have a swing coach. She fashioned a better all-around game on her own, or under the watchful eye of her father, Scott. All the work she put in showed up in her winning the Vare Trophy.
The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic will also feature defending champion Brittany Lincicome, as well as Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Brooke Henderson, I.K. Kim, Danielle Kang and Charley Hull.