Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 1
PHIL MICKELSON HAS BEEN HITTING GOLF BALLS SINCE HE WAS EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD. HE'S STILL HITTING BALLS, TRYING TO PERFECT THE IMPERFECTABLE. HE HAS 18 PGA TOUR WINS, A BEAUTIFUL WIFE AND DAUGHTER AND HE PICKED THE
BALTIMORE RAVENS TO WIN THE SUPERBOWL BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED AT ODDS OF TWENTY-TWO TO ONE. MEET THE RIVERBOAT GAMBLER, PHIL MICKELSON, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.
IF YOU PUT THE CAREER OF PHIL MICKELSON ONTO A GRAPH EVERY TREND AND EVERY DATA POINT EVIDENCES THAT THE CONCLUSIONS DRAWN ARE HAPPY ONES
BECAUSE HE SIMPLY CONTINUES TO GET BETTER, AND WHEN A WORLD CLASS PLAYER TIGHTENS EVERY ASPECT OF HIS GAME, NO WIN, NO TOURNAMENT, NO CHAMPIONSHIP IS FAR FROM HIS GRASP, AND THERE'S VERY LITTLE PHIL MICKELSON HASN'T ACCOMPLISHED. HE WAS A FOUR TIME FIRST TEAM ALL AMERICAN. HE WON THE U.S. AMATEUR
IN 1990. HE WON THE 1991 NORTHERN TELECOM OPEN WHILE STILL AN AMATEUR. AS A PROFESSIONAL, PHIL WON TWICE IN 1993. ONCE IN '94 AND '95. FOUR TIMES IN '96, TWICE IN '97 AND'98. FOUR TIMES IN 2000 AND ONCE SO FAR IN 2001.
THAT'S 18 PGA TOUR WINS AND COUNTING, BEFORE HIS 31ST BIRTHDAY. NO ACTIVE PLAYERS EXCEPT CRENSHAW AND WOODS HAVE MORE. HE'S A THREE TIME RYDER CUPPER AND WILL PLAY FOR THE TEAM AGAIN IN 2001. HE'S A FOUR TIME PRESIDENT'S CUP PLAYER AND BEGINNING A CAREER AS A GOLF COURSE ARCHITECT.
PHIL'S MARRIED TO AMY, AND THEIR DAUGHTER AMANDA CELEBRATES HER BIRTHDAY JUST AFTER U.S. OPENS ARE COMPLETED. WHILE PHIL CELEBRATES HIS BIRTHDAY JUST BEFORE U.S. OPENS BEGIN.
PHIL WORKS WITH TEACHER RICK SMITH, DILIGENTLY, TO TIGHTEN THE SWING AND GAME FOR THE DEMANDS OF PROFESSIONAL MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, WHICH ARE THE ONLY WINS MISSING FROM PHIL'S SPECTACULAR RESUME. HE'S A BETTER PUTTER NOW.
PARTICULARLY FROM LAGGING DISTANCE AND FROM INSIDE 12 FEET. FOR NICKLAUS HAS SAID, GREAT PLAYERS EVIDENCE THEMSELVES....AND PHIL MICKELSON IS A GREAT PLAYER,
HUSBAND, FRIEND AND SON, AND HE CONTINUES TO PUT THOSE DATA POINTS ON THE GRAPH. A GRAPH THAT SAYS HE'S GETTING BETTER AT EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART OF HIS LIFE, AND HE PROCEEDS WITH WORK ETHIC, WITH ENTHUSIASM, WITH INFECTIOUS ENERGY TO CONTINUE THE HAPPY TRENDS.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. MY GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO AND WELCOME TO OUR SHOW, THE SECOND BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, PHIL MICKELSON. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.
THANK YOU, PETER.
CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT WEEKEND.
WELL, THANK YOU. IT WAS, IT WAS AN ENJOYABLE TOURNAMENT.
YESTERDAY'S WHY YOU PLAY ESSENTIALLY, RIGHT? I UNDERSTAND THERE'S 156 GUYS USUALLY IN A TOURNAMENT BUT, WHAT YOU'RE HOPING
IS, I THINK, NOT ONLY TO WIN BUT TO TEST YOURSELF, TO PROVE YOURSELF AND EITHER WIN OR LOOSE AND NOT BE 3 THROUGH 156.
WELL THAT'S TRUE AND I THINK THAT YESTERDAY WAS A, A, VERY GOOD WE... A GOOD DAY FOR ME BUT IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR ME BECAUSE I REALLY DIDN'T LOOSE THE TOURNAMENT YESTERDAY. I LOST THE TOURNAMENT EARLIER IN THE WEEK AND I LEARNED FROM THAT.
ON FRIDAY'S ROUND I SHOT 72 BUT I DID THAT WITH 7 BOGIES AND, AND THAT'S WHERE I REALLY GAVE THE TOURNAMENT AWAY AND I CAME OUT ON SATURDAY
MORNING AND HIT MY FIRST TEE SHOT OUT OF BOUNDS AND THE WAY I LOOK AT IS FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO COME BACK AND GET BACK IN CONTENTION, TO HAVE A CHANCE ON SUNDAY WHERE A LOW ROUND WOULD CATCH TIGER OR WHOEVER WAS LEADING AT THAT POINT
WAS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND I DID, AND NOT ONLY DID I HAVE A CHANCE BUT I ULTIMATELY SHOT A LOW ROUND, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE LOW ENOUGH AND I OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T WIN AND TIGER MADE AN UNBELIEVABLE FINISH AND IT WAS A VERY EXCITING
TOURNAMENT AND IT WAS VERY FUN FOR ME TO BE A PART OF THAT EVEN THOUGH THE OUTCOME WASN'T WHAT I HAD INITIALLY HOPED.
I THINK HE HAD FIVE HOLES IN THE TOURNAMENT OVER PAR AND I THINK YOU HAD 13 HOLES IN THE TOURNAMENT AT BOGIE OR WORSE. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR INCONSISTENCY TO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GOLF TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND?
SOME OF IT'S POOR DECISION MAKING, SOME OF IT WAS JUST POOR SHOTS. I WAS SLOPPY. I STARTED OUT WITH A COUPLE OF THREE PUTTS WHICH WAS NOT GOOD. I MADE A COUPLE OF MAYBE BAD
DECISIONS OFF THE TEE WHERE I WAS VERY AGGRESSIVE THIS WEEK, HITTING DRIVER ON JUST ABOUT EVERY HOLE, AND SO, I, I ATTRIBUTE IT TO A FEW THINGS, BUT A LOT OF IT WAS JUST POOR DECISION MAKING AND ULTIMATELY NOT REALLY
COMMITTING MYSELF TO SOME OF THE SHOTS THAT I DECIDED TO HIT BEFORE I STRUCK IT, MEANING, AS I'M STANDING OVER THE BALL I WASN'T TOTALLY COMMITTED TO THE SHOT, HAD SOME UNCERTAINTY AND MADE A BAD SWING.
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 2000, BETWEEN YOU AND TIGER YOU'VE WON 15 TIMES ON THIS TOUR. YOU FIVE AND TIGER TEN, AND NOBODY ELSE REALLY EVEN CLOSE AND
HE HAS CLEARLY AND YOU HAVE CLEARLY BEGUN TO SEPARATE YOURSELVES FROM THE REST OF THE PACK. THOSE OF US WHO LOVE AND WATCH GOLF HAVE BEEN HOPING FOR A SNEAD HOGAN OR JONES HAGAN OR ARNIE
AND JACK KIND OF RIVALRY. DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT YOU ARE NOW, AND THAT THERE'S EVERY REASON THAT YOU OUGHT TO CONTINUE TO BE ONE HALF OF THAT RIVALRY WITH TIGER?
I DON'T THINK THAT IT'S REALLY MY POSITION TO SAY EITHER WAY. I THINK THAT THOSE RIVALRIES SEEM TO FORM ON THEIR OWN. I WOULD SAY THAT IT'S NOT FEASIBLE STATISTICALLY FOR ANYBODY
TO OVERCOME TIGER IN THE WORLD RANKING FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS BASED SOLELY ON WHAT HE DID LAST YEAR. THOSE POINTS WILL CONTINUE ON FOR TWO MORE YEARS, SO REALLY IF ANYBODY'S GOING TO OVERTAKE HIM IT'S GOT TO BE A TWO YEAR PLAN OF STEADY
CONSISTENT PLAY AND EXCELLING IN THE MAJORS AND SO IF ANYBODY'S GOING TO OVERTAKE HIM WHICH CERTAINLY I'M TRYING TO DO, IT HAS TO START THIS YEAR AND IT HAS TO START WITH THE MAJORS AS WELL AS EVERY OTHER EVENT.
WHAT CAN HE DO THAT YOU CAN'T DO OR DON'T DO?
WELL THAT'S A, THAT'S A QUESTION THAT'S TOUGH TO ANSWER BECAUSE IN EACH PLAYER'S MIND WE LIKE TO FEEL AS THOUGH THERE'S NOTHING ANYBODY ELSE CAN DO BETTER. SO, YOU KNOW, I WOULD, I WOULD KIND OF BOW OUT FROM ANSWERING THAT.
WE'VE GOT SOME TAPE OF TIGER'S ROUND YESTERDAY WHICH WE'RE ASSUMING YOU HAVEN'T SEEN VERY MUCH OF, AND WE'VE HIGHLIGHTED, PARTICULARLY, THE LITTLE SHOTS AS OPPOSED TO THE BIG ONES. AS WE ROLL THIS I WANT TO GET YOUR SENSE
OF WHAT YOU APPRECIATE AS A FRIEND OF HIS, AS A PIER OF HIS, AS A RIVAL OF HIS, AS AN OBSERVER, WHAT IT IS HE DOES THAT'S SO ATTRACTIVE IN TERMS OF GETTING THE MOMENT RIGHT TO HIT THE GREAT SHOT OR HIS ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO SINK PAR PUTTS, SO LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK AT THAT, AND JUST GET YOUR TAKE ON EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT WE'RE WATCHING.
NOW HERE HE IS ON 7 FOR A PAR.
WELL I'VE GOT TO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A PRETTY CRITICAL PUTT FOR HIM BECAUSE IT WOULD TAKE SOME OF THE MOMENTUM AWAY THAT HE HAD JUST GAINED ON SIX, TAKING A, A THREE SHOT LEAD OVER SERGIO. THAT WAS A PRETTY IMPORTANT PUTT.
AND A PAR AGAIN ON NUMBER EIGHT.
MY GOODNESS. DOES HE EVER MISS?
WAIT TILL YOU SEE SOME OF THESE (LAUGHS)
I SAW THE ONE ON 14.
THE 52 (?)
WE'LL SHOW IT TO YOU AGAIN, BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU LOVED IT SO MUCH, AND HERE HE IS ON THE VERY NEXT HOLE, ON NUMBER 9, SAVING PAR AGAIN.
YEAH THIS ONE'S NOT, I CAN UNDERSTAND THIS. THIS IS A 6 FOOTER. HE'S PRETTY SOLID ON THESE. I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM MISS ONE SINCE '95.
AND IN HIS HEAD HE PROBABLY THINKS HE'S NEVER MISSED ONE.
THOSE, THOSE ARE REALLY THE PUTTS THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE IF YOU'RE GOING TO WIN TOURNAMENTS AND HIS SHORT GAME IS WAY UNDER RATED. THIS SHOT COULD HAVE VERY EASILY GONE IN. I ACTUALLY DID SEE THIS ONE AND HE MISSED IT IN A GOOD SPOT. HE, HE UH
HAD A WEDGE IN SO I WAS SURPRISED HE MISSED THE GREEN BUT THIS SHOT ALMOST WENT RIGHT HERE. HIS SHORT GAME IS UNDER RATED BECAUSE HIS LONG GAME IS SO, SO GOOD.
HERE'S THE ONE WE KNEW YOU WANTED TO SEE
A SECOND TIME
YEAH THIS IS JUST A REAL PRO HERE.
THIS REMINDS ME A LITTLE BIT OF THE ANGLE AND THE PUTT YOU MADE ON 12 WHEN YOU MADE EAGLE WHEN YOU WON A FEW YEARS AGO
WITH A FINAL ROUND OF 65.
THAT'S TRUE. I, YOU'RE RIGHT, I CAN'T COMPLAIN. THEY, THEY THOSE THINGS NEED TO HAPPEN IF YOU'RE GOING TO WIN AND, AND HE HAS, HE HAS BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG THAT HE HAS NOT HAD THE GOOD BREAKS BUT IT SEEMS LIKE HE HAD SOME GOOD BREAKS YESTERDAY WHICH YOU NEED TO WIN.
THIS WAS A NICE LITTLE TOUCH HERE.
YOU DON'T APPRECIATE ON TV HOW DOWNHILL AND TOUGH THAT IS.
IT WASN'T THAT TOUGH.
I'M NOT SAYING FOR YOU, I JUST MEAN GENERALLY SPEAKING FOR THE REST OF US.
LET ME TELL YOU WHAT REALLY IMPRESSED ME ABOUT THIS SHOT HERE IS THAT HE HAD JUST MADE TWO POOR SWINGS WITH THE DRIVER. HE PUTS ALL THAT AWAY AND INSTEAD OF TRYING TO FIX THOSE SWINGS, HE TRIES TO HIT A GOOD SHOT HERE WHICH IS TOUGH TO DO.
MENTALLY HE'S THINKING POSITIVELY AS OPPOSED TO TRYING TO FIX A BAD SWING WHICH SO MANY AMATEURS SEEM TO DO. THIS WAS A VERY IMPRESSIVE SHOT HERE. AND, AND THIS PUTT WAS NOT THAT EASY.
EVERYBODY THAT HAD COME THROUGH EARLIER HAD LEFT IT SHORT AND LOW AND FOR HIM TO PLAY ENOUGH BREAK AND HIT IT AT, AT A GOOD ENOUGH SPEED WAS, IT WAS A HECK OF A PUTT.
HOW HARD IS IT TOO KEEP YOUR FACE COMPOSED AT A MOMENT LIKE THIS WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE ON AIR?
WELL THERE'S A CAMERA RIGHT IN MY FACE SO I'M NOT ABOUT TO SHOW TOO MUCH EMOTION, BUT I WASN'T OVERLY THRILLED TO SEE THAT GO IN
BUT, I CERTAINLY COMMENDED THE WAY HE WON AND YOU KNOW TO BIRDIE THE LAST HOLE INTO THE WIND WAS A, IT WAS A TOUGH HOLE. I THOUGHT THAT PAR WOULD BE A TOUGH ENOUGH SCORE. FOR HIM TO BIRDIE AND WIN I GIVE HIM ALL THE CREDIT BECAUSE HE FINISHED IT OFF
AND NOT ONLY THAT, HE DID IT WHEN HE WASN'T FEELING COMFORTABLE OVER THE BALL AND THAT IS SOMETIMES THE HARDEST THING TO DO AS A PLAYER WHEN, YOU CAN FEEL YOUR GAME SLIPPING A LITTLE BIT. FOR HIM TO, TO BASICALLY SUCK IT UP AND BIRDIE 16 AND 18 AFTER THOSE DRIVES IS, IS IMPRESSIVE
BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO GET THE JOB DONE AND THAT'S BASICALLY YOUR MINDSET. THAT WAS A, THAT WAS A GOOD FINISH THAT HE HAD.
DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO SHAKE HANDS AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE GOLF TOURNAMENT?
WE DID AND I CERTAINLY CONGRATULATED HIM ON HIS PLAY. IT WAS A, IT WAS A TOUGH ROUND AND HE, HE CERTAINLY FINISHED IT OFF NICE.
WE'LL TAKE A LITTLE BREAK. WE'LL BE BACK TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR ROUND IN JUST A MOMENT.
After Further Review: Woods wisely keeping things in perspective
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Tiger Woods' career comeback ...
Tiger Woods seems to be the only one keeping his comeback in the proper perspective. Asked after his tie for fifth at Bay Hill whether he could ever have envisioned his game being in this shape heading into Augusta, he replied: “If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.” He’s healthy. He’s been in contention. He’s had two realistic chances to win. There’s no box unchecked as he heads to the Masters, and no one, especially not Woods, could have seen that coming a few months ago. – Ryan Lavner
On Tiger carrying momentum into API, Masters ...
Expect Jordan Spieth to leave Austin with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play trophy next week.
After all, Spieth is seemingly the only top-ranked player who has yet to lift some hardware in the early part of 2018. Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have all gotten it done, as have Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and most recently Rory McIlroy.
Throw in the sudden resurgence of Tiger Woods, and with two more weeks until the Masters there seem to be more azalea-laden storylines than ever before.
A Spieth victory in Austin would certainly add fuel to that fire, but even if he comes up short the 2015 champ will certainly be a focus of attention in a few short weeks when the golf world descends upon Magnolia Lane with no shortage of players able to point to a recent victory as proof that they’re in prime position to don a green jacket. – Will Gray
Davies not giving up on win, HOF after close call
PHOENIX – Laura Davies knows the odds are long now, but she won’t let go of that dream of making the LPGA Hall of Fame.
At 54, she was emboldened by her weekend run at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. She tied for second, five shots behind Inbee Park.
“The more I get up there, I might have a chance of winning again,” Davies said. “I'm not saying I will ever win, but today was close. Maybe one day I can go closer.”
Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, but she has been sitting just outside the qualification standard needed to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame for a long time. She needs 27 points, but she has been stuck on 25 since her last victory in 2001. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Over her career, she has won 20 LPGA titles, four of them major championships. She was the tour’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996. She probably would have locked up Hall of Fame status if she hadn’t been so loyal to the Ladies European Tour, where she won 45 titles.
Though Davies didn’t win Sunday in Phoenix, there was more than consolation in her run into contention.
“Now people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.
Davies impresses, but there's no catching Park
PHOENIX – Inbee Park won the tournament.
Laura Davies won the day.
It was a fitting script for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup on Sunday, where nostalgia stirs the desert air in such a special way.
Two of the game’s all-time best, LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park and World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, put on a show with the tour’s three living founders applauding them in the end.
Park and Davies made an event all about honoring the tour’s past while investing in its future something to savor in the moment. Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge Vossler cheered them both.
For Park, there was meaningful affirmation in her 18th LPGA title.
In seven months away from the LPGA, healing up a bad back, Park confessed she wondered if she should retire. This was just her second start back. She won feeling no lingering effects from her injury.
“I was trying to figure out if I was still good enough to win,” Park said of her long break back home in South Korea. “This proved to me I can win and play some pain-free golf.”
At 54, Davies kept peeling away the years Sunday, one sweet swing after another. She did so after shaking some serious nerves hitting her first tee shot.
“It’s about as nervous as I’ve ever felt,” Davies said. “I swear I nearly shanked it.”
Davies has won 45 Ladies European Tour events and 20 LPGA titles, but she was almost 17 years removed from her last LPGA title. Still, she reached back to those times when she used to rule the game and chipped in for eagle at the second hole to steady herself.
“It calmed me down, and I really enjoyed the day,” Davies said.
With birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, Davies pulled from three shots down at day’s start to within one of Park, sending a buzz through all the fans who came out to root for the popular Englishwoman.
“People were loving it,” said Tanya Paterson, Davies’ caddie. “We kept hearing, `Laura, we love you.’ It was special for Laura, showing she can still compete.”
Davies relished giving all the young players today, who never saw how dominant she once was, some flashes from her great past.
“Yesterday, after I had that 63, a lot of the younger girls came up and said, `Oh, great playing today,”’ Davies said. “It was nice, I suppose, to have that. I still am a decent player, and I actually used to be really good at it. Maybe that did give them a glimpse into what it used to be like.”
She also relished showing certain fans something.
“Now, people might stop asking me when I'm going to retire,” she said.
Davies was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year in 1996, when she won two of her four major championships. She was emboldened by the way she stood up to Sunday pressure again.
In the end, though, there was no catching Park, who continues to amaze with her ability to win coming back from long breaks after injuries.
Park, 29, comes back yet again looking like the player who reigned at world No. 1 for 92 weeks, won three consecutive major championships in 2013 and won the Olympic gold medal two years ago.
“The reason that I am competing and playing is because I want to win and because I want to contend in golf tournaments,” Park said.
After Davies and Marina Alex mounted runs to move within one shot, Park pulled away, closing ferociously. She made four birdies in a row starting at the 12th and won by five shots. Her famed putting stroke heated up, reminding today’s players how nobody can demoralize a field more with a flat stick.
“I just felt like nothing has dropped on the front nine,” Park said. “I was just thinking to myself, `They have to drop at some point.’ And they just started dropping, dropping, dropping.”
Yet again, Park showed her ability to win after long breaks.
In Rio de Janeiro two years ago, Park the Olympic gold medal in her first start back after missing two months because of a ligament injury in her left thumb. She took eight months off after Rio and came back to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship last year, in just her second start upon returning.
“I'm really happy to have a win early in the season,” Park said. “That just takes so much pressure off me.”
And puts it on the rest of the tour if she takes her best form to the year’s first major at the ANA Inspiration in two weeks.
Rose: 'Never' has Rory putted as well as Bay Hill
ORLANDO, Fla. – Justin Rose didn’t need to ponder the question for very long.
The last time Rory McIlroy putted that well was, well …?
“Never,” Rose said with a chuckle. “Ryder Cup? He always makes it look easy when he’s playing well.”
And the Englishman did well just to try and keep pace.
After playing his first six holes in 4 over par, Rose battled not just to make the cut but to contend. He closed with consecutive rounds of 67, finishing in solo third, four shots back of McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Rose said this weekend was the best he’s struck the ball all year. He just didn’t do enough to overtake McIlroy, who finished the week ranked first in strokes gained-putting and closed with a bogey-free 64.
“Rory just played incredible golf, and it’s great to see world-class players do that,” Rose said. “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me, but when he is, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”