Golf Talk Live - Lorie Kane Transcript Segment 2
THE GREAT WALTER HAGEN ONCE SAID AFTER FINISHING SECOND IN THE U.S. OPEN, AFTER BEING ASKED HOW HE DID, HE SAID, 'I LOST.' HE DIDN'T SAY, 'I FINISHED SECOND.' HE SAID, 'I LOST.'
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT THE PAIN OF NOT WINNING IS A MORE INTENSE EMOTION THAN THE THRILL THAT WINNING PROVIDES. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT IN YOUR CASE?
WELL . (SIGH) I'M NOT SURE. YOU KNOW, I . I'VE BEEN ASKED A LOT IN THE LAST LITTLE WHILE ABOUT NOT FINISHING THE JOB OR NOT GETTING THE JOB DONE. AND,
UM, BUT I JUST . I - YOU KNOW, I JUST TRY TO PUT MYSELF, EVERY WEEK, GIVE MYSELF OPPORTUNITIES TO BE, UH, AT THE TOP OF THE LEADERBOARD AT THE END OF SUNDAY.
AND, YOU KNOW, I HAVE HAD SOME, YOU KNOW, AGONIZING THOUGHTS OF 'WELL CAN I WIN?'. UH, 'AM I ABLE TO WIN?'
UM, I TOOK TWO WEEKS OFF AT EASTER TIME AND DECIDED THAT, UH, MY GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO LOWER MY STROKE AVERAGE.
AND, I KNOW I'VE TALKED TO A LOT OF THE REPORTERS ABOUT THAT. UH, BUT DURING THAT TWO WEEK BREAK, I HAD A LITTLE MEETING WITH MYSELF AND DECIDED THAT I HAD TO START TALKING THE TALK.
I NEEDED TO BE ABLE TO SAY MYSELF, 'YOU CAN WIN.' UH, NOT THAT MY GOAL HASN'T CHANGED, BUT IT'S ANOTHER PART OF THE GOAL. AND I THINK BY THINKING I CAN WIN, I'M MAKING MYSELF STRONGER AND BUILDING MY CONFIDENCE. AND,
UH, IT OBVIOUSLY WORKED BECAUSE WE WENT TO ATLANTA AND I PLAYED SOME . SOME OF THE BEST GOLF I'VE EVER PLAYED AND AGAIN CAME UP SHORT. BUT UH,
I'M PATIENT AND . OR I'M GOING TO HAVE TO BE PATIENT BECAUSE YOU CAN'T TAKE THIS GAME UH . YOU KNOW, TOO . TOO HARSH ON YOURSELF. UH, YOU JUST HAVE TO LIVE THROUGH IT.
TELL ME BRIEFLY ABOUT THE POLITICS THAT KEPT YOU OFF THE WORLD AMATEUR TEAM EARLY IN THIS DECADE THAT LEAD YOU ULTIMATELY TO MAKE A DECISION THAT MAYBE THIS IS THE TIME TO TURN PROFESSIONAL.
WELL THAT WAS A VERY DIFFICULT TIME FOR, NOT ONLY MYSELF, BUT MY FAMILY. UM, I HAD PLAYED 4 YEARS INTERNATIONALLY FOR TEAM CANADA. AND IN THE 4TH YEAR, UH, WHICH WAS 1992,
UH THE CANADIAN . CANADA WAS HOSTING THE WORLD TOUR - WORLD AMATEUR IN VANCOUVER. UH, I FELT THAT I HAD FOLLOWED ALL THE CRITERIA THAT THE C.L.G., WHICH IS THE AMATEUR BODY IN CANADA, HAD SET DOWN TO SELECT THE TEAM.
UH, WHEN WE PLAYED OUR CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP IT HAPPENED TO BE IN MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK, WHICH WAS VERY CLOSE TO . TO HOME. AND I HAD A LOT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS THERE TO COME OVER TO ROOT ME ON AND WATCH THE TOURNAMENT AND . AND .
FIND OUT AT THE END WHETHER OR NOT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN NAMED TO THE TEAM. UM, UNFORTUNATELY I WASN'T. AND, I STILL TO THIS DAY DON'T KNOW WHY. UM,
TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, IT . IT WAS A VERY . LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ME. UM, I - MY SISTER REPRESENTED ME, UH, AND HAD I NOT HAD A LAWYER IN THE FAMILY, THINGS PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DONE.
WE . WE ASKED THE QUESTION TO THE ASSOCIATION WHY I WASN'T SELECTED FOLLOWING THEIR CRITERIA THAT THEY HAD SET DOWN AND THEY COULD NOT GIVE ME AN ANSWER.
UH, SO MY SISTER, MARILYN, TOOK IT A LITTLE BIT FURTHER AND ENDED UP GOING TO COURT. AND IT WAS JUST A TERRIBLE MESS. UM, BUT THE END RESULT WAS THAT I WAS NAMED TO THE TEAM. I DID PLAY IN THE WORLD AMATEUR. AND AFTER IT WAS OVER,
I FELT LIKE GOLF WAS DONE FOR ME. UM, I HAD BEEN TOLD THAT MAYBE I SHOULDN'T PLAY AMATEUR GOLF ANYMORE, THAT I MIGHT NOT BE WELCOMED. AND I REALLY THOUGHT THAT MAYBE GOLF WASN'T WHERE I WANTED TO BE ANYMORE BECAUSE IT WASN'T A FRIENDLY THING.
UM, BUT TOOK A COUPLE MONTHS AND . AND THEN DECIDED ON A SNOWY DAY IN APRIL THAT I BETTER CALL THE CANADIAN PGA BECAUSE I REALLY WANTED TO PLAY IN THE DU MAURIER SERIES.
AND I NEEDED TO GET MY CARD AS A CANADIAN PLAYER, UH, CANADIAN TOUR CARD. SO I WENT TO TORONTO IN UH EARLY MAY AND THE FROST WAS STILL ON THE GROUND AND . AND WE TEED IT UP AND I THINK I, WHAT, MADE MY CARD BY A SHOT.
SO, THAT'S WHY I'M HERE.
AS PAINFUL AS THAT EXPERIENCE WAS, IN A FUNNY WAY, IN A GOOD WAY, IT REALLY TURNED THINGS AROUND BECAUSE THAT WAS THE IMPETUS THAT GAVE YOU THE SHOVE TO TURN PROFESSIONAL WHICH I SUPPOSE YOU DON'T REGRET ONE MINUTE OF THAT DECISION.
ABSOLUTELY NOT. UM, I THINK THE EXPERIENCE TAUGHT ME A LOT ABOUT MYSELF. UH, IT DEFINITELY TAUGHT ME THAT MY FAMILY WAS BEHIND ME ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT I CHOSE TO DO. UH ...
BUT, AS FAR AS MY GOLF GAME WAS CONCERNED, I WAS READY. I MEAN, I . PLAYING IN THE WORLD AMATEUR UNDER THE CONDITIONS THAT I PLAYED IN, I HAD DREAMT FOR 3 MONTHS THAT I WAS GONNA MISS THE BALL ON THE FIRST TEE.
I HAD ACTUALLY CRIED ALL NIGHT, THE NIGHT BEFORE I WAS TO PLAY, AND MY SISTER, MARILYN, WHO HAPPENED TO BE IN VAN - IN VANCOUVER ALONG WITH MY MOM, I SAID, 'I DON'T THINK I CAN PLAY.'
AND, BOTH OF THEM SAID, 'WELL, THERE'S GOING TO A KANE TEEING OFF TOMORROW.' AND MARILYN SAID, 'AND IT HAS TO BE ME.'
AND SO, YOU KNOW, I LIVED THROUGH THAT EXPERIENCE AND . AND I WILL AGREE WITH YOU, PETER ,THAT UH, IT'S MADE ME A STRONGER PERSON AND I THINK, AGAIN, HELPED ME PREPARE FOR WHAT IT IS OUT HERE THAT WE DO WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT.
DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT TURNED OUT TO BE SOMETHING THAT WORKED OUT FOR THE GOOD, YOU'RE STILL ANGRY AND NOT READY TO FORGIVE COMPLETELY, AREN'T YOU?
WELL, THERE'S . THERE'S PARTS OF IT THAT UH I DON'T UNDERSTAND. AND UM, IT . IT DOES . IT DOESN'T SIT WELL WITH ME. UH, BUT WE HAVE A PACK IN OUR FAMILY THAT WE DON'T TALK ABOUT IT MUCH. UH, MY DAD, IT REALLY BOTHERS HIM.
UM, SO, YOU KNOW, I WOULD HAVE LIKED THEM TO HAVE SAID, 'YOU KNOW, YOU DID SUCH AND SUCH AND THEREFORE YOU CAN'T PLAY.' AND I WOULD HAVE SAID, 'FINE.'
UH, BUT THEY DIDN'T. AND I ALWAYS WONDER . YOU KNOW, I HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH PEOPLE WHO . WHO DON'T LIKE ME. AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY. AND . AND YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER, IT'S . IT'S DIFFICULT TO GET PAST IT.
LET'S TURN TO SOMEBODY WHO DOES LIKE YOU. WE HAVE JOHN IN NEWFOUNDLAND. HELLO, JOHN.
JOHN FROM NEWFOUNDLAND
GOOD EVENING PETER. HI LORIE.
JOHN FROM NEWFOUNDLAND
I WANT TO SAY I'M A MEMBER OF BALLY HALLY AT SAINT JOHNS NEWFOUNDLAND.
JOHN FROM NEWFOUNDLAND
AND, THE ONLY BUNCH OF ISLANDERS CHEERING FOR YOU FROM P.E.I. SO WE WATCH EVERY WEEK THE LEADERBOARD. UM, I WANT TO TALK - GET YOU TO TALK A BIT ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR MORE PEOPLE FROM CANADA MAKING IT ON . ON THE TOUR .
ON THE . THE TOURS IN THE UNITED STATES, THE -- WHAT I THINK ARE THE IMPROVING PROSPECTS.
UH, WE WANT SOME COMPETITION FOR THOSE GUYS DOWN THERE, MORE THAN JUST YOU AND THIS -- I KNOW THERE'S 4 OR 5 MORE NOW.
BUT, HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK ACROSS CANADA OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS? AND I THINK THERE'S MORE COMING. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
WELL ABSOLUTELY JOHN. I THINK, UM . WELL THE R.C.G.A. AND . AND YES, THE C.L.G.A., ARE TRYING TO DEVELOP BETTER JUNIOR PROGRAMS AND WORK ON THAT ASPECT. I THINK THAT THAT'S WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO. I MEAN, I THINK YOU NEED GOOD GRASSROOTS PROGRAMS TO .
YOU KNOW, TO DEVELOP YOUNG PLAYERS. UM, AGAIN, THE OPPORTUNITY'S THERE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO GO TO A UNIVERSITY, WHICH I DIDN'T DO IN THE STATES. UM, BUT THERE'S LOTS . LOTS AND LOTS OF GOLF OUT THERE.
AND I THINK FROM ONE . OF ONE COAST TO THE OTHER IN CANADA, UH, IT'S GETTING BETTER. AND I KNOW IN OUR REGION, JOHN, ATLANTIC CANADA, UH THERE'S GOLF COURSES POPPING UP EVERY DAY. SO,
THERE'S NOT A LACK OF PLACES TO PLAY.
WE'LL TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. AND WE WILL COME BACK AND TAKE MORE OF YOUR CALLS AND KICK AROUND GOLF RIGHT AFTER THIS WITH LORIE KANE.
Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile
Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.
The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.
"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."
He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).
Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.
“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."
Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.
Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.
Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.
The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.
McIlroy gets back on track
There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:
He is well ahead of schedule.
Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.
“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”
To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”
And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.
After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out.
Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.
“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”
The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.
The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)
But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.
Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.
Everything in his life is lined up.
Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.
Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore
Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.
Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.
There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.
Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.
The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.
Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again
Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.
Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.
It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.
Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.
While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.