Golf Talk Live - Lanny Wadkins Transcript Segment 3

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 14, 2000, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
WELCOME BACK AND WE'LL TAKE A SPECIAL PHONE CALL RIGHT NOW FROM MAJOR CHAMPION, MAJOR GUY, SOMEONE WHO JUST WON AGAIN ON THE PGA TOUR AFTER A LITTLE BIT OF AN ABSENCE, WELCOME PAUL AZINGER.

PAUL AZINGER
HEY PETER AND LANNY.

LANNY WADKINS
HELLO PAUL. HOW YOU DOING?

PETER KESSLER
HELLO PAUL.

PAUL AZINGER
GOOD MAN. CONGRATULATIONS.

LANNY WADKINS
THANK YOU, THANK YOU. SAME TO YOU.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, THEY EDITED IT UP SO BAD HERE AT - AT HOME, I - I MISSED A LOT OF IT.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, IT WAS UH, IT WAS FUN. IT WAS UH TENSE BUT I FELT GOOD. I THINK I FELT AS GOOD IN THE UH, PLAYOFF AS I'VE FELT IN A LONG TIME.

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW, HE .

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, YOU HAD SOME GREAT SHOTS, MAN. I'M PUMPED FOR YOU. I'M JUST A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED I'M NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO PICK YOUR POCKETS ON THE REGULAR TOUR.

LANNY WADKINS
`ZINGER, I CAN TAKE YOU ANY TIME JUST GO - IN FACT, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, WHEN YOU WON IN HAWAII, I - I ALMOST DECIDED I WAS GONNA CHUCK THE SENIOR TOUR AND GO BACK TO THE REGULAR TOUR, IF IT WAS THAT EASY.

(PAUL LAUGHS)

PETER KESSLER
BECAUSE IF HE CAN WIN, ANYBODY CAN WIN.

LANNY WADKINS
THAT'S . THAT WAS MY THOUGHT EXACTLY. UH, I MEAN, HE'S A . I MEAN, I'VE TAUGHT HIM THE HAMMER GAME AND - AND SO . HE'S - AND HE'S STILL LEARNING.

AND UH, HE'S GOT A FEW MORE LESSONS, AND THEY'RE COSTLY LESSONS. BUT YOU KNOW, WE'LL GET HIM THERE.

PAUL AZINGER
YOU KNOW, I - I WILL BE HONEST. I . I AM GONNA MISS LANNY BIRDYING 2 OF THE LAST 3 HOLES TO - TO BEAT ME 1-UP. IT'S - IT'S KIND OF LIKE UH . YOU KNOW, THERE'S NOTHING I COULD DO TO STOP THE GUY.

AND I KNEW YOU'D BE . I KNEW YOU'D BE GOOD OUT THERE ON THAT SENIOR TOUR. I DIDN'T KNOW YOU'D BE GOOD THAT FAST THOUGH, LANNY. THAT WAS GREAT.

PETER KESSLER
HE WAS UPSET THAT HE DIDN'T SHOOT 60 YESTERDAY.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, YOU KNOW, HE SETS A DIFFERENT STANDARD, I THINK, THAN A LOT OF GUYS. THERE WERE SOME GUYS WHO WERE SOME - A FEW CADDIES THAT WERE NAY SAYING LANNY, SAYING 'NAH, I DON'T KNOW IF LANNY'S GONNA BE ABLE TO .

TO DO IT. I THINK - I THINK IT'LL BE HARDER THAN HE THINKS AND .' I KEPT SAYING 'I DON'T KNOW, MAN. LANNY STILL WANTS IT PRETTY BAD.' AND I THINK IT - IT PROVED TO BE THE CASE YESTERDAY.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, THAT - MAYBE THAT'S WHY THEY'RE CADDYING.

PAUL AZINGER
THAT'S TRUE.

PETER KESSLER
AND IS THERE ANY SHOT THAT YOU MISSED? LANNY'D BE HAPPY TO DESCRIBE HOW IT LANDED RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOLE. WHICH ONE DID YOU MISS, PAUL?

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, ACTUALLY YOU KNOW WHICH ONE I DID MISS BECAUSE THEY WERE EDITING IT AND I - I . YOU KNOW, I DON'T LIKE TO WATCH THE COMMERCIALS .

BUT YOU STIFFED IT ON THAT UH FIRST PLAYOFF HOLE AND YOU MISSED THE PUTT. AND I . WHEN I CAME BACK ON, I DIDN'T SEE WHAT HAD HAPPENED ON THE PUTT. YOU DIDN'T LEAVE IT SHORT, DID YOU?

LANNY WADKINS
UH . NO, I'D .

`ZINGER, COME ON. I .

(PAUL LAUGHS)

I LEFT - THE - THE THING THAT YOU MISSED ON THE EDIT WAS THAT UH, WATSON HAD THE SAME PUTT UH, BUT IT WAS 2 OR 3 INCHES LONGER UH, FOR BOGEY.

AND UH, HE MADE IT. AND I WALKED BY - I WAS WATCHING HIS PUTT THE WHOLE TIME `CAUSE IT WAS THE SAME LINE. AND THEN AS I WALKED BY, HE SAID, 'DID YOU SEE THAT, LANNY?'

I SAID, ' I SAW EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT.' AND SO (LAUGH) . AND THEN UH, I STARTED LAUGHING AND LOOKED AT IT. AND I HIT IT RIGHT AT THE LEFT EDGE. IT STAYED THERE AND LIPPED OUT.

SO I ACTUALLY THOUGHT I MADE IT WHEN I HIT IT.

PAUL AZINGER
THAT'S SIMILAR TO THE PUTT YOU HAD IN REGULATION TOO. IT LOOKED LIKE IT SHOULD'VE GONE RIGHT AND DIDN'T.

LANNY WADKINS
YEAH, THE ONE IN REGULATION WAS A PRETTY STRAIGHT PUTT. I MUST HAVE PULLED IT JUST SLIGHTLY. THIS ONE I THOUGHT I'D MADE, CAUGHT THE LEFT EDGE AND DIDN'T GO.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, I'M HAPPY FOR YOU, BUD. YOU - YOU REALLY UH, YOU SHOWED ME SOMETHING. AND I THINK UH, THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE REAL HAPPY FOR YOU EXCEPT FOR A FEW OF THOSE SENIOR GUYS. I THINK THEY'RE PROBABLY A LITTLE WORRIED RIGHT NOW.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, THAT'S OKAY.

PETER KESSLER
I THINK THEY WERE - GUYS WERE PRETTY HAPPY FOR YOU TOO AFTER SEEING YOU WIN, PAUL.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, I GOT LANNY'S MESSAGES. HIS LOVELY WIFE, PENNY, LEFT ME A MESSAGE SAYING THAT UH, 'LANNY SAID IF HE'D HAVE KNOWN THE REGULAR TOUR WAS GONNA BE THAT EASY, HE'D . HE PROBABLY WOULD WANT TO STICK AROUND.'

LANNY WADKINS
WELL THAT'S, YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE CASE. BUT UH . ANYWAY, I'M - I'M GLAD FOR YOU. AND UH, YOU KNOW, THE TRICK IS TO GO DO IT AGAIN THOUGH.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, LISTEN LANNY, I KNOW YOU'RE GONNA HAVE A GREAT YEAR. AND UH, I'M JUST PUMPED FOR YOU. AND I HAD TO CALL AND CONGRATULATE YOU `CAUSE I LOST YOUR PHONE NUMBER AT THE HOUSE.

LANNY WADKINS
THAT FIGURES. UH, YOU'RE SO ORGANIZED.

(PAUL LAUGHS)

PETER KESSLER
GREAT OF YOU TO CALL.

PAUL AZINGER
ALRIGHT, YOU GUYS HAVE A GOOD SHOW.

PETER KESSLER
TAKE GOOD CARE.

LANNY WADKINS
THANKS.

PETER KESSLER
AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON THE GOLF CHANNEL SOON. I KNOW YOU'RE COMING TO VISIT US.

PAUL AZINGER
SUNDAY.

PETER KESSLER
SUNDAY?

PAUL AZINGER
SEE YA.

PETER KESSLER
LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

LANNY WADKINS
BYE PAUL.

PETER KESSLER
AFTER HE'S COMING, SHORTLY HE'S GONNA BE ON ACADEMY LIVE WITH HIS TEACHER, JOHN REDMAN,

LANNY WADKINS
OH, OKAY.

PETER KESSLER
CAN SHOW US HOW HE ACTUALLY MAKES THAT GOLF SWING WITH THAT GRIP OF HIS.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, BE SURE AND LISTEN TO JOHN. DON'T LISTEN TO PAUL `CAUSE HE HAS A, YOU KNOW, A DIFFERENT THEORY EVERY DAY. SO, YOU KNOW, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT JOHN SAYS.

PETER KESSLER
YOU GETTING ANY . ANY SORT OF 'DE JA VU' SENSE WHEN YOU SEE WHAT TIGER'S UP TO RELATIVE TO WHAT JACK WAS UP TO WHEN HE WAS AT HIS ABSOLUTE BEST IN THE EARLY 70'S WHEN YOU JOINED THE TOUR?

LANNY WADKINS
UH, INTERESTING. YEAH, I MEAN, THEY BOTH PLAY A ... A DIFFERENT GAME FROM A LOT OF PLAYERS ON TOUR AT - AT THEIR RESPECTIVE TIMES.

JACK WAS UH, SO MUCH LONGER AND STRONGER WHEN HE FIRST CAME ON TOUR, HAD A, YOU KNOW, A WIDER STANCE THAN HE HAS TODAY, BIGGER SWING.

UH, I MEAN . REVERSE, SEE JUST - JUST KILLS IT. UH . I THINK JACK AT THAT - THIS POINT IN TIME IN HIS CAREER COMPARED TO TIGER WAS A - A BETTER PUTTER. UH,

TIGER HAS AS MUCH IMAGINATION AND PROBABLY PLAYS MORE SHOTS THAN JACK. JACK WAS JUST UH . JUST HIT IT SO SOLID,

YOU KNOW, TIME AFTER TIME, AND DROVE IT LONG AND STRAIGHT UH, GREAT IRON PLAYER. AND I THINK JACK MADE UP FOR A LOT OF UH, MAYBE HIS SHORT IRON INABILITIES AT THAT POINT IN TIME,

UH, MAYBE HIS BUNKER PLAY AT THAT POINT IN TIME, WITH HIS PUTTING. UH .

HE WAS JUST AN AMAZING PUTTER. HE - JACK, I ALWAYS THOUGHT, HAD THE - HAD THE AMAZING ABILITY TO MAKE MORE

10, 12, 15-FOOTERS FOR PAR AS ANYBODY I EVER SAW. HIS LEVEL OF CONCENTRATION UH, ON THOSE PUTTS WAS JUST BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE'S. AND THAT'S . THAT - THAT REALLY SEPARATED HIM FROM - FROM A LOT OF PLAYERS.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THE IMPROVEMENT IN TIGER'S GAME JUST IN A COUPLE OF YEARS. HE DIDN'T LIKE THE GOLF SWING HE WON THE MASTERS BY 12 SHOTS WITH IN `97.

LANNY WADKINS
I WOULD HAVE DISCARDED IT IN A HEARTBEAT, YEAH. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
AND HE DID TOO. AND HE AND BUTCH HARMON HAVE REBUILT THE GOLF SWING THAT HE HAS NOW. HIS BODY'S DIFFERENT. HIS GOLF SWING'S DIFFERENT.

DID YOU EVER SEE ANYBODY IMPROVE THAT MUCH WHO WAS ALREADY TERRIFIC?

LANNY WADKINS
NO, HE'S - HE'S AMAZING. UH, I THINK THE THING THAT IMPRESSES ME THE MOST ABOUT TIGER IS JUST HIS COMPLETE WORK - WORK ETHIC. JUST THE WAY HE REDEFINED HIS BODY,

I MEAN, HIS - HIS PHYSICAL CONDITIONING IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE. HE'S - HE'S A GREAT ATHLETE, NOT JUST A GREAT GOLFER. UH .

HIS SWING IS REALLY SOLID, STAYS ON LINE. I JUST LOVE THE WAY HE ACCELERATES THROUGH THE BALL. UM, HE'S LEARNING TO PLAY MORE AND MORE SHOTS. AND UH, AND I THINK THAT'S JUST GONNA MAKE HIM A MUCH BETTER PLAYER. I.

RIGHT THERE IS A THREE-QUARTER SWING THAT HE MAKES AND UH, LOOKS LIKE HE JUST HAS COMPLETE CONTROL OVER IT, YOU KNOW. HE JUST . YOU KNOW, HE'S RIGHT DOWN THE LINE FOR A LONG TIME AND - AND JUST FIRING IT. SO UH .

AND TIGER'S GOT A LOT OF IMAGINATION. HE PLAYS A LOT OF SHOTS AROUND THE GREENS. I THINK HE'S BECOMING A BETTER PUTTER ALL THE TIME. I THINK AS HE GETS .

YOU KNOW, THE THING I NOTICED WHEN HE FIRST CAME OUT, I THOUGHT HIS SPEED COULD BE BETTER PUTTING. UH, HE RAN A LOT OF PUTTS 4 OR 5 FEET BY THE HOLE.

THAT TAKES ITS TOLL ON YOU. YOU KNOW, AND IT - IT'S HARD TO CONTINUALLY MAKE THOSE TIME AND TIME AGAIN. AND UH, I JUST THINK THAT UH, AS HIS SPEED GETS BETTER .

YOU KNOW, WHEN YOUR SPEED'S THE RIGHT SPEED, THE HOLE'S BIGGER. AND PUTTS FALL IN THE SIDE EVERY NOW AND THEN. AND I THINK THAT'S GONNA HAPPEN - HAPPEN WITH TIGER.

PETER KESSLER
PEOPLE USED TO SAY THAT WHEN JACK'S NAME WOULD POP UP ON THE LEADER BOARD THAT SOME GUYS WOULD ACTUALLY NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY THEIR GAME ANYMORE. IS THE SAME THING TRUE, DO YOU THINK, ABOUT TIGER TODAY?

LANNY WADKINS
I THINK TO AN EXTENT. I THINK THAT UH IT DEPENDS ON WHO'S LOOKING AT THE LEADER BOARD. I THINK THAT UH .

AT THAT LEVEL, WHEN I WAS COMING OUT, I RELISHED THE CHANCE TO PLAY AGAINST NICKLAUS OR WATSON OR WEISKOPF OR ARNOLD

20:28:44
OR TREVINO OR ANY OF THEM. I MEAN, THAT'S WHO I'VE . AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO DO. I THINK THE GOOD PLAYERS TODAY, IF THEY SEE TIGER, THEY - THEY THINK 'ALRIGHT, THE GAME'S ON.'

AND THEY - THEY GET AFTER IT TOO. AND TIGER'S STILL GETTING THEM. BUT UH, I THINK THEY GET EXCITED ABOUT BEING ABLE TO RUN AGAINST HIM. THERE'S - THERE'S NOTHING SWEETER THAN A WIN AGAINST A - THE BIGGEST NAME OUT THERE.

I MEAN, THAT MAKES WINS EVER THAT MUCH BETTER.

PETER KESSLER
AS WE TAKE THIS BREAK, WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT A CAREER GRAPHIC AND SHOW YOU SOME OF THE THINGS THAT LANNY DID ON THE GOLF COURSE, ALL THAT WE'RE ABLE TO FIT ON THIS SMALL GRAPHIC.

(GRAPHIC SHOWN:
LANNY WADKINS
SELECTED CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
WON 1972 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
TIED WITH ARNOLD PALMER & RAYMOND FLOYD FOR MOST APPEARANCES (8) ON THE U.S. RYDER CUP TEAM. HOLDS OR SHARES THREE OTHER U.S. RYDER CUP RECORDS
9TH PLAYER TO WIN IN HIS SENIOR PGA TOUR DEBUT )

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Lexi looks to shine as LPGA season begins next week

By Randall MellJanuary 17, 2018, 6:06 pm

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.

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One & Done: 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 5:55 pm

Beginning in 2018, Golf Channel is offering a "One & Done" fantasy game alternative. Choose a golfer and add the salary they earn at the event to your season-long total - but know that once chosen, a player cannot be used again for the rest of the year.

Log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to start your own league and make picks for this week's event.

Here are some players to consider for One & Done picks this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, where Hudson Swafford returns as the defending champion:

Zach Johnson. The two-time major champ has missed the cut here three years in a row. So why include him in One & Done consideration? Because the three years before that (2012-14) included three top-25s highlighted by a third-place finish, and his T-14 at the Sony Open last week was his fifth straight top-25 dating back to September.

Bud Cauley. Cauley has yet to win on Tour, but that could very well change this year - even this week. Cauley ended up only two shots behind Swafford last year and tied for 14th the year prior, as four of his five career appearances have netted at least a top-40 finish. He opened the new season with a T-7 in Napa and closed out the fall with a T-8 at Sea Island.

Adam Hadwin. Swafford left last year with the trophy, but it looked for much of the weekend like it would be Hadwin's tournament as he finished second despite shooting a 59 in the third round. Hadwin was also T-6 at this event in 2016 and now with a win under his belt last March he returns with some unfinished business.

Charles Howell III. If you didn't use him last week at the Sony Open, this could be another good spot for the veteran who has four top-15 finishes over the last seven years at this event, highlighted by a playoff loss in 2013. His T-32 finish last week in Honolulu, while not spectacular, did include four sub-70 scores.

David Lingmerth. Lingmerth was in that 2013 playoff with Howell (eventually won by Brian Gay), and he also lost here in overtimei to Jason Dufner in 2016. The Swede also cracked the top 25 here in 2015 and is making his first start since his wife, Megan, gave birth to the couple's first child in December. Beware the sleep-deprived golfer.

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DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi

By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2018, 2:55 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dustin Johnson's recent victory in Hawaii doesn't mean much when it comes to this week's tournament.

The top-ranked American will play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the second straight year. But this time he is coming off a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots.

''That was two weeks ago. So it really doesn't matter what I did there,'' said Johnson, who finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year. ''This is a completely new week and everybody starts at even par and so I've got to start over again.''

In 2017, the long-hitting Johnson put himself in contention despite only making one eagle and no birdies on the four par-5s over the first three rounds.

''The par 5s here, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls,'' the 2016 U.S. Open champion said. ''Obviously, I'd like to play them a little better this year.''

The tournament will see the return of Paul Casey as a full member of the European Tour after being away for three years.

''It's really cool to be back. What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Quite cheesy, but no, really, really cool,'' said the 40-year-old Englishman, who is now ranked 14th in the world. ''When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss.''

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts Thursday and also features former No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making a comeback after more than three months off.

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Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 2:52 pm

Months after he nearly captured the claret jug, Matt Kuchar has made plans to play a bit more golf in Europe in 2018.

Kuchar is in the field this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told reporters in advance of the opening round that he has opted to join the European Tour as an affiliate member:

As an affiliate member, Kuchar will not have a required minimum number of starts to make. It's the same membership status claimed last year by Kevin Na and Jon Rahm, the latter of whom then became a full member and won two European Tour events in 2017.

Kuchar made six European Tour starts last year, including his runner-up performance at The Open. He finished T-4 at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in his lone European Tour start that wasn't co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.