Golf Talk Live - Matt Kuchar Transcript Segment 7
WELCOME BACK TO THE SHOW. MATT, ONE OF THE FELLOWS IN YOUR LOCAL QUALIFIER TODAY WAS TY TRYON. YOUNG KID WHO'S JUST A PHNOM ALREADY. TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE
YOUNG PLAYERS LIKE TY, AND I KNOW YOU'VE PLAYED WITH BRUCE, UH BRYCE MOLDER, EXCUSE ME, AND JUST WHAT YOU SEE IN THEM AND WHAT YOU SEE WITH THEIR FUTURE.
GREAT YOUNG PLAYERS. I MEAN TY, AMAZING HE WENT OUT AND SHOT 5 UNDER TODAY AT THE QUALIFIER. WON THE QUALIFIER. A LOT OF GOOD PLAYERS THERE, AND YOU SAW WHAT, OF COURSE WHAT HE DID AT THE HONDA CLASSIC. I MEAN HE'S OUTSTANDING. I KNOW, HE, HE TOLD ME TO SAY HELLO TO BRUCE HEPLER OUT THERE. I KNOW HE'S, HE'S ANXIOUS TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH BRUCE AT
GEORGIA TECH AND POSSIBLY GO THERE AND THEN FOLLOW IN MYSELF AND BRYCE'S FOOTSTEPS, YOU KNOW, AND THEN BRYCE MOLDER OF COURSE. WHAT A GREAT PLAYER, WHAT A GREAT GUY HE IS. HE WAS A GUY I LOOKED UP TO. I MEAN HE WAS YOUNGER THAN ME BUT
YET I, I LOOKED UP TO HIM AND HE'S NOW THE FOURTH GUY I THINK IN THE HISTORY OF COLLEGE GOLF TO BE A FOUR TIME FIRST TEAM ALL AMERICAN.
HE'S, HE'S ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND, AND HE AND I ARE A LOT ALIKE IN THAT WE'RE VERY COMPETITIVE IN ALL SPORTS. WE'LL GO OUT AND PLAY BASKETBALL. WE'LL PLAY TENNIS, WE'LL, I MEAN, AND
HE'S, HE'S JUST ONE OF THOSE AMAZING KIDS. A HARD WORKING KID AND YOU, YOU KIND OF, IF YOU WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT THING TO DO WAS, YOU WATCHED BRYCE AND HE'S, HE'S JUST, HE'S THAT KIND OF KID.
INTERESTING TRIVIA WITH THE FOUR TIME FIRST TEAM. IT WAS GARY HOLBERG, DAVID DUVAL, GEORGIA TECH
BRYCE. SO THAT'S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE STUFF. THOSE ARE SOME OF THE YOUNG PLAYERS THAT YOU LOOK AT. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT PLAYERS WHO MOTIVATED YOU AND PLAYERS WHO WERE YOUR HEROES OR IDOLS GROWING UP, WHO WERE THEY AND WHAT WERE YOU TRYING
TO EMULATE IN THEM?
I ALWAYS LOVED ARNOLD PALMER. JUST, THE WAY HE, PEOPLE TOOK TO HIM AND THE WAY HE TOOK TO PEOPLE. I ALWAYS REALLY LOVED WATCHING HIM. I DON'T FEEL I PLAY HIS STYLE OF GOLF, BECAUSE I CAN'T HIT IT AS FAR. I'M NOT NEARLY AS
AGGRESSIVE, BUT YOU KNOW I LOVED WATCHING THAT STYLE AND I LOVE WATCHING HIM. I'M PLAYING WITH HIM FOR THE FIRST TIME. I PLAYED WITH HIM IN THE SHOOTOUT AT BAY HILL AND I REMEMBER WATCHING A KID RIDING HIS
BIKE BY THE 18TH HOLE AND THERE'S A LITTLE PIECE OF STREET AND HE SAW ARNOLD PALMER WAS THERE. I WAS PLAYING WITH HIM AND WE WERE WALKING DOWN THE 18TH FAIRWAY.
THIS KID DROPS HIS BIKE AND COMES OVER TO GET ARNIE'S AUTOGRAPH AND SURE ENOUGH ARNIE TAKES THE TIME, SIGNS AN AUTOGRAPH FOR THIS KID AND I'VE NEVER SEEN A KID SO HAPPY IN HIS LIFE. I MEAN HE JUST, HE RAN BACK
WHERE IT WAS ALMOST AS IF HE WAS FLOATING ON AIR, YOU KNOW, AND, AND ARNIE JUST HAS THAT WAY WITH PEOPLE. IT'S JUST AWESOME TO WATCH BUT THEN, AGAIN, I LOVE LOOKING BACK AT THE HISTORY OF GOLF AND, AND THE BOBBY JONES' AND THE WAY THINGS USED TO BE. I LOVE THAT KIND OF TIME WITH SPORTS.
AND, AND I THINK AS FAR AS ARNOLD'S PERSONALITY, I THINK YOU HAVE A LOT OF THAT AS FAR AS WHAT YOU WANT TO HAVE PEOPLE THINK ABOUT, REMEMBER WHEN THEY THINK OF YOU AND HOW YOU WANT TO PRESENT THE GAME AND, AND
THE FUN INVOLVED WITH THE GAME AS WELL AS THE PROFESSIONALISM.
YEAH WELL I'M, I'M FORTUNATE ENOUGH. I'M, I'M A PROFESSIONAL GOLFER. I GET PAID TO PLAY GOLF AND, AND I LOVE IT, JENNIFER. I THINK IT'S, IT'S THE GREATEST GAME. I MEAN THERE ARE TIMES I HATE IT BUT I REALLY FEEL LUCKY TO, TO HAVE
WELL WE WISH YOU THE VERY BEST. WHAT'S YOUR NEXT STOP?
OOH, COULD BE ATLANTA. EAST LAKE. THE U.S. OPEN QUALIFIER .
GOOD. WELL GOOD LUCK IN THAT. GOOD DAY TO DAY AND WE WISH YOU THE BEST WHEN IT'S 36 HOLES, DOUBLE THE DUTY THERE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
MATT THANKS. GREAT SEEING YOU.
PLEASURE SEEING YOU, JENNIFER.
ALRIGHT. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING. WE'VE HAD A GOOD TIME. WE'LL DO IT AGAIN NEXT MONDAY. BYE BYE EVERYBODY.
Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead
New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.
The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.
"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."
Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.
It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.
Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.
Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore
SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.
Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.
He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.
Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.
Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.
The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.
''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''
Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.
He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.
Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.
Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.
''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''
13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest
Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.
Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.
“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”
Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.
Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings.
McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi
It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.
Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.
Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.
“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”
Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.
“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.
This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.