Golf Talk Live - Payne Stewart Transcript Segment 1
PAYNE STEWART HAS BEEN WORKING HARD. ON HIS GAME, ON RESPONDING SUCCESSFULLY TO THE PRESSURE OF CONTENDING, ON SOLIDIFYING HIS PLACE AS ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION. MEET PAYNE STEWART, NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
BECAUSE OF THE WAY HE LOOKS AND CARRIES HIMSELF. PEOPLE UNDERSTANDABLY ASSUME THAT EVERYTHING COMES EASILY TO PAYNE STEWART. IT'S TRUE THAT HE WAS BORN TO BE A GREAT ATHLETE. BUT HE DIDN'T
JUST FALL OUT OF BED WITH THAT GLORIOUS, DELICIOUS GOLF SWING. HE
HAD THE TALENT TO PLAY BUT HE ALSO HAD THE DISCIPLINE, THE PERSEVERANCE AND WORK ETHIC TO BUILD THAT MAGNIFICENT SWING AND REFINE IT OVER THE LAST 25 YEARS. HIS FATHER TAUGHT
PAYNE TO PLAY AT HOME IN SPRINGFIELD MISSOURI. WHERE PAYNE COMPETED WITH SUCCESS IN JUNIOR AND HIGH SCHOOL GOLF. HE WAS AN ALL AMERICAN AT SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY. AND WON THE MISSOURI STATE AMATEUR AND THEN HE WENT TO WORK. HE DIDN'T
QUALIFY FOR THE PGA TOUR AS EXPECTED IN 1979. SO HE LEARNED THE REALITIES OF PRO GOLF, ON THE ASIAN TOUR. HE PLAYED THERE FOR 2 YEARS, WON TWICE. AND MET TRACY FERGUSON, WHO WOULD BECOME HIS WIFE AND PARTNER. HE'S
KNOCKED FOR NOT WINNING ENOUGH. FOR NOT DOMINATING THE GAME EVEN THOUGH NO ONES DONE THAT SINCE THE TOM WATSON ERA. WITH 9 PGA TOUR WINS, INCLUDING THE US OPEN AND PGA CHAMPIONSHIP. HE'S PROVEN HE CAN PLAY CONSISTENTLY AT WORLD CLASS
LEVELS. BUT HE'S TIRED OF THE CRITICISM THAT HE DOESN'T WIN ENOUGH, THAT HE LETS TOO MANY TOURNAMENTS SLIP FROM HIS GRASP. SOMETIMES HIS ATTITUDE HAS GOTTEN IN HIS WAY. HE'S MADE GREAT STRIDES ON CURBING THE TENDENCY TOWARDS IMPATIENCE. PAYNE
IS A FEEL PLAYER, LIKE BOBBY JONES. PAYNE'S SWING IS ALSO REMINISCENT OF JONES' MOVE. BOTH EMPLOY FULL AND FREE TURNS OF THE BODY, AWAY AND
THROUGH THE BALL. THEY ALSO SHARE A SIMILAR TASTE IN TROUSERS. PAYNE WANTS MORE FROM HIS GAME, MORE WINS, MORE CHAMPIONSHIPS. IT'S CLEAR FROM RECENT PERFORMANCES THAT HE'S PUTTING IN THE TIME, THAT HE FOCUSED ON THE PROCESS OF WINNING. AND AS PAYNE WOULD BE HAPPY TO TELL YOU.
HARD WORK HAS BEEN PAYING OFF, AND THAT'S WHY IT LOOKS SO EASY.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO TONIGHT, PAYNE STEWART, GREAT TO SEE YOU HERE BUDDY.
THANKS PETER, THANK YOU, NICE TO BE BACK.
WELL THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NOW TELL ME YOUR TOUGHEST CRITIC OF COURSE IS YOUR WIFE TRACY DOES SHE THINK YOUR A GREAT PLAYER YET?
I THINK SHE, I THINK SHE DOES. NOW MY KIDS ARE MY CRITICS, YOU KNOW THEY'VE GOTTEN TO THE STAGE WHERE THEIR OLD ENOUGH TO SAY. DAD WHY AREN'T YOU WINNING ANY MORE.
WELL PARTICULARLY TRUE SINCE YOU LOST THE FIRST LITTLE LEAGUE GAME THAT YOU WERE THE MANAGER OF JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO.
I KNOW AND I DO HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO THE INDIANS, THAT'S THE NAME OF OUR TEAM. I'M ONE OF THE ASSISTANT COACHES AND YOU KNOW WHEN WE LOSE IT'S ALWAYS THE COACHES FAULT, IT'S NEVER THE PLAYERS FAULT. SO I APOLOGIZE GUYS, I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND. NOW WE'VE GOT 2 GAMES
ONE ON FRIDAY, ONE ON SATURDAY WERE GOING TO GET THEM BOTH, GO INDIANS.
DO YOU THINK THAT PEOPLE TAKE YOU LESS SERIOUSLY THAN YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TOO BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT YOU LOOK AND PROJECT YOURSELF.
WELL PETER I HAVE A LOT OF FUN WITH LIFE. I ENJOY LAUGHING, I ENJOY PRACTICAL JOKES. UM, IT PEOPLE DON'T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY BECAUSE OF THAT, THEN THAT'S ALL RIGHT, I DON'T MIND THAT AT ALL. I HOPE THAT THEY THINK THAT I'M SERIOUS ABOUT MY GOLF BECAUSE EVERYBODY ALWAYS SAYS
WELL WHY DON'T YOU SMILE MORE ON THE GOLF COURSE, WHY DON'T YOU DO THIS, WHY DON'T YOU DO THAT. WELL I GUESS IT'S NOT MY NATURE. MY DAD
ALWAYS USE TO SAY, YOU NEED TO SMILE MORE ON THE GOLF COURSE. WELL, YOU KNOW I'M FOCUSING AND NOT EVERYBODY CAN BE A FUZZY ZELLER AND SMILE AND LAUGH THEIR WAY AROUND THE GOLF COURSE. I DO SMILE AT TIMES
OUT THERE BUT NOT ALL THE TIME.
YOU KNOW WHEN TIGER WOODS JOINED THE TOUR HE CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WORKED A LITTLE HARDER ON THEIR GAME TO MAKE SURE THEY KEPT PACE. BUT IN YOUR CASE, I'M THINKING THAT THE GUYS THAT HAVE
YOUR ATTENTION ARE THE GUYS IN THEIR
EARLY 40'S, LIKE O'MEARA, AND LIKE FALDO, AND PRICE. AND IF WE GO BACK TO 1991, AFTER YOU WON THE US OPEN AND YOU LOOK AT ALL THE GUYS WHO WERE THEN YOUR AGE, AND YOUR
THEY STILL ARE MY AGE
AND STILL ARE YOUR AGE, AND YOU COMPARE THE RECORDS YOUR RIGHT THERE. BUT IN THE LAST FEW YEARS HAVE YOU, YOU HAVE ONLY WON 1 TIME. SEEN O'MEARA WIN A COUPLE OF MAJORS. FALDO ADD TO HIS RECORD, ARE THOSE THE GUYS WHO CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION?
WELL, PROBABLY MORE SO MARK THAN ANYBODY. UM, TO SEE WHAT HE'S DONE THIS YEAR, HE'S YOU KNOW, WHAT A PHENOMENAL YEAR AND IT COULDN'T HAPPEN TO A NICER PERSON. I MEAN FOR HIM TO WIN THE MASTERS AND THE BRITISH OPEN. IF THERE'S EVER A PLAYER
THAT DESERVED TO WIN A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP, PROBABLY MARK O'MEARA BECAUSE HE'S A GENTLEMEN. HE CONDUCTS HIMSELF VERY WELL ON THE GOLF COURSE AND HE'S A CLASS PROFESSIONAL, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER AND WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE MARK O'MEARA OUT ON OUR TOUR.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN MARK, AND WHAT IS HE DOING RIGHT NOW THAT YOU AREN'T DOING RIGHT NOW?
HE'S PLAYING A LOT MORE GOLF WITH TIGER THAN I AM. TRULY, I ASK HIM, I ASK MARK I SAID DO YOU REALLY THINK I MEAN DO YOU THINK THAT YOUR GAME INCREASED AND GOT BETTER IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN PLAYING WITH TIGER SO MUCH. AND HE SAID, DEFINITELY HE SAID BECAUSE I
WASN'T GOING TO LET THAT KID KICK MY ASS SO YOU KNOW HERE HE GOES. HE RAISED HIS GAME TO A LEVEL TO COMPETE WITH TIGER. EVEN THOUGH HE DOESN'T HIT IT AS FAR AS TIGER, HE LEARNED HOW TO COMPETE WITH TIGER
AND BEAT TIGER , YOU KNOW OUT AT ISLEWORTH AND IN THESE TOURNAMENTS THAT WE PLAY. I MEAN LINK THIS INTO EVERYTHING IN THE GAME OF GOLF AND I CAN'T HIT IT AS FAR AS TIGER BUT I LIKE TO COMPETE WITH HIM.
YOU KNOW IF WE THINK ABOUT THE KIND OF CLOSURE HE'S BECOME FOR EXAMPLE AT THE MASTERS HE BIRDIES 3 OF THE LAST 4, AT THE BRITISH OPEN HE DID ABOUT THE SAME THING. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN HIS GOLF DOWN THE STRETCH?
WELL I THINK THAT, I DON'T KNOW THAT HE EVER WORRIES ABOUT OUT COME, YOU
KNOW. HE JUST, HE GETS IN THERE, HE GETS HIMSELF IN POSITION, HE RELIES ON HIS MECHANICS, HE RELIES ON HIS ABILITY AND LETS IT HAPPEN. HE DOESN'T WORRY ABOUT YOU KNOW, WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO THIS, WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO THAT. HE JUST PLAYS ONE SHOT AT A TIME AND FOCUSES ON THAT SHOT AND DOES THE BEST THAT HE CAN ON EACH SHOT.
YOUR YEAR REMINDS ME A LITTLE BIT LIKE A GREAT ROUND OF GOLF, WHERE YOU CAN FIND 2 OR 3 SHOTS THAT YOU COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER AND OF COURSE FORGET THE 2 CHIP INS AND THE 2 FORTY FOOTERS AND THE HOLE OUT FROM THE BUNKER, BUT YOUR YEAR HAS BEEN
A LITTLE LIKE THAT. IT'S BEEN A GREAT YEAR AND IT'S BEEN A DISAPPOINTING
YEAR HASN'T IT?
IT HAS, PETER I UM, YOU KNOW WHEN I WENT OUT TO THE US OPEN THIS YEAR I, WASN'T A BIG FAN OF THE OLYMPIC CLUB BUT I WAS GOING OUT THERE TO PLAY THE US OPEN. AND I WENT OUT THERE WITH THE IDEA OKAY, YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THIS GOLF COURSE AND
THESE PRACTICE ROUNDS. DEVELOP A GAME PLAN AND STICK TO IT. BECAUSE PAR'S GOING TO BE A HELL OF A SCORE COME THE END OF 72 HOLES. AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO COME UP WITH PAR AT THE END OF 72 HOLES. I DIDN'T, I CAME UP 1 OVER PAR, SO UM ANYWAY. BUT I DEVELOPED THIS GAME PLAN AND I STUCK
TO IT AND I WAS VERY PROUD OF THAT I WAS PROUD OF THE WAY I CONDUCTED MYSELF. I WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT I DIDN'T WIN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT I JUST WASN'T FAR ENOUGH AHEAD GOING INTO SUNDAY OBVIOUSLY. BECAUSE I DIDN'T PLAY WELL ENOUGH ON SUNDAY
TO WIN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT. AND LEE JANZEN DID, AND HE PLAYED A WONDERFUL ROUND OF GOLF. OUT OF THE GUYS UP AT THE TOP HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON TO SHOOT UNDER PAR AND ALL THE CREDITS GOT TO BE GIVEN TO LEE, ON WHAT HE DID TO WIN THE US OPEN, THAT
WAS PHENOMENAL ROUND OF GOLF, I DIDN'T GET THE JOB DONE. I'M GOING TO SIT HERE AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, I
DIDN'T GET THE JOB DONE, IT'S NOBODY'S FAULT BUT MY OWN.
WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE AT THE SAME GOLF COURSE WHERE YOUR DAD QUALIFIED AND PLAYED IN THE US OPEN, OF COURSE THE ONE WHERE FLECK BEAT HOGAN.
I UM, PETER I ASKED MY MOM SHE WAS OUT THERE WITH ME AND I SAID WHAT DID DAD SHOOT OUT HERE? SHE SAYS, I DON'T KNOW BUT I REMEMBER ALL HE WAS SAYING WAS, MAN THIS ROUGH IS HIGH.
AND SHE SAID, THE ROUGH WAS HIGHER WHEN YOUR FATHER PLAYED OUT HERE, THAN WHEN YOUR PLAYING. AND SO I HAD THEM LOOK IT UP, AND I SAID OOO, THOSE WEREN'T VERY GOOD SCORES BUT YOU KNOW JUST THE FACT THAT HE QUALIFIED AS AN AMATEUR AND PLAYED IN THE UNITED STATES OPEN OUT AT THE OLYMPIC CLUB. THERE WAS SOME
SPECIAL MAGIC, THAT I THINK RUBBED OFF ON ME THAT WEEK OUT THERE.
IF YOU TALK TO A GREAT BASEBALL HITTER, AND ASK THEM ABOUT HITTING
THEY'LL SAY WELL BASEBALL'S MY SPORT AND HITTING COMES EASY TO ME. DO YOU AT ALL FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT GOLF?
I DO I, GOLF'S COME VERY NATURALLY TO ME. MY SWING HAS COME VERY NATURALLY AND WHEN AFTER I WON THE US OPEN IN 91 I WAS I DIDN'T REALIZE , THAT I WAS AT THE PEAK OF MY PROFESSION, I WANTED TO GET BETTER AND I ASKED MY SWING COACH, WHO I
TRUST WITH, WITH EVERYTHING CHUCK COOK AND I SAID CHUCK WHAT CAN I DO TO GET BETTER? AND HE SAYS WELL I THINK FOR YOU TO BECOME MORE CONSISTENT YOU NEED TO TAKE THE LOOP
OUT OF YOUR SWING. THAT WAS MY FEEL YOU KNOW AND SO IN WANTING TO GET BETTER, OKAY I AGREED TO TRY THIS AND IT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME AND WE BOTH REALIZED THAT AND WERE BACK TO SWINGING THE WAY THAT PAYNE STEWART SWUNG BACK IN THE LATE 80'S
AND EARLY 90'S AND HIS WHOLE LIFE, AND I'M PRODUCING AGAIN YOU KNOW AND IT'S A LOT OF FUN TO BE IN, IN THE HEAT OF THE BATTLE AGAIN.
WHEN WE COME BACK WE'LL REVISIT THE 89 PGA AND WE'LL REVISIT BRIEFLY THE 91 US OPEN AND WE WILL DO THAT RIGHT AFTER THIS DON'T GO AWAY.
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.
McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call
Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.
Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.
The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.
McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.
McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.
Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title
The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.
Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.
Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.
Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.
Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.