Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 5

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
SO THE OTHER NIGHT WHEN YOU WALKED IN THE STUDIO, YOU TOLD ME I WASN'T AS HEAVY AS I USUALLY WAS AND I TOLD YOU YOU LOOKED PRETTY GOOD AND YOU SAID NO I'M PRETTY HEAVY AND SO I WAS THINKING, WELL, WHAT KIND OF COMMITMENT TO FITNESS ARE YOU CONSIDERING AT THIS POINT?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, SURPRISINGLY I'VE BEEN WORKING OUT PRETTY STEADILY. I KNOW IT DOESN'T SHOW. I HAVE BEEN HITTING ALL TIME HIGHS WHICH SUCKS BUT THE LAST FEW WEEKS I'VE BEEN WORKING OUT PRETTY RELIGIOUSLY FIVE OR SIX TIMES

A WEEK AND IT'S NOT BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT'S GOING TO HELP MY GAME OR ANYTHING. IT'S JUST BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE, I FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF WHEN I WORK OUT, WHETHER IT'S CARDIOVASCULAR OR LIFTING WEIGHTS

I ENJOY DOING BOTH. I'LL ONLY LIFT AT NIGHT THOUGH. I WON'T LIFT BEFORE I PLAY AND I FEEL LIKE IT WILL ELONGATE MY CAREER, POSSIBLY PREVENT INJURY BUT ALSO I STARTED THINKING, YOU KNOW, I WANT TO BE IN GOOD HEALTH SO

THAT WHEN I'M 60, 65, 70 I'LL STILL BE ABLE TO ENJOY MY CHILDREN'S LIVES AND WATCH THEM GROW AND DEVELOP AND I THINK THAT EACH PARENT REALLY FEELS THE NEED TO BE AROUND AND

WANTS TO BE AROUND TO ENJOY THEIR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT AND SO THAT'S ANOTHER BIG REASON WHY I'VE BEEN WORKING OUT A LITTLE BIT MORE.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT'S YOUR EATING WEAKNESS? WHAT DO YOU LOVE THAT YOU HAVE TOO MUCH OF OR DO YOU EAT LATE AT NIGHT?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL I'M ON A VERY STRICT DIET THAT A DOCTOR PUT ME ON. HE SAID THAT I CAN EAT WHATEVER I WANT,

BUT I JUST CAN'T SWALLOW IT

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S A GOOD DIET
(LAUGHS)

PHIL MICKELSON
AND SO THE SWALLOWING PART HAS BEEN KILLING ME BECAUSE IT JUST SEEMS TO FALL, FALL RIGHT ON DOWN BUT I, I LIKE ALL FOODS AND, AND IT'S JUST TOUGH FOR ME TO EAT A SALAD WITHOUT DRESSING, OR A CHICKEN PLAIN. IT JUST, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS) BECAUSE YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT ON THIS NEW SPECIAL DIET.

LET'S CHECK IN WITH MARK WHO'S HERE IN FLORIDA. GO AHEAD MARK.

MARK, CALLER FROM FLORIDA (MALE):
GOOD EVENING GENTLEMEN.

PHIL MICKELSON
HI MARK

PETER KESSLER
HOW ARE YOU, SIR?

MARK, CALLER FROM FLORIDA (MALE):
HI. PHIL, EARLIER THIS YEAR, U.S.A. TODAY HAD A STORY REGARDING, IT WAS THEIR BIG GOLF ISSUE AND THEY SAID, THEY DIDN'T QUOTE YOU DIRECTLY BUT THEY HAD A STATEMENT ABOUT TOURNAMENTS HELD OPPOSITE THE MORE ELITE TOURNAMENTS, SUCH AS

TUCSON AND MERCEDES AND THEY SAID THAT YOU QUESTIONED THE NEED TO HAVE SUCH TOURNAMENTS AND I WAS WONDERING IF THAT WAS AN ACCURATE STATEMENT OR IF NOT, WHAT KIND OF CONTEXT WAS THAT IN?

PHIL MICKELSON
IT'S PRETTY CLOSE. I CERTAINLY FEEL THAT WHEN WE HAVE CONFLICTING EVENTS WE'RE DILUTING THE PRODUCT THAT WE PRESENT TO THE PUBLIC. JUST LIKE EXPANSION BASEBALL. EXPANSION

FOOTBALL. WE HAVE TO CREATE MORE JOBS TO FILL THOSE SPOTS AND THE JOBS THAT WE USE TO CREATE THOSE ARE, ARE LESS THAN THE TOP PLAYERS AND WE'RE NOT GIVING THE PUBLIC THE STRONGEST PRODUCT THAT WE CAN PRESENT AND ULTIMATELY WHAT HAPPENED WAS,

THREE YEARS AGO WHEN WE CAME OUT WITH THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS, WE HAD EIGHT TOURNAMENTS WHERE EVERY ONE OF THE TOP 64 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD PLAYED IN AND IT WAS AWESOME. WE HAD THE FIVE, OR THE FOUR MAJORS

AND THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, FIVE TOURNAMENTS, AND EVERYBODY PLAYED THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS, BUT WHAT HAPPENED WAS, WE HAD THESE CONFLICTING EVENTS THAT THE PURSES WERE MUCH SMALLER AND WE HAD ALL THE PLAYERS ON TOUR SAY THAT'S NOT

RIGHT, IT'S A SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY, YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE MORE MONEY AND THE SAME GUYS WILL KEEP REPEATING AND SO WHAT WE DID WAS WE TOOK SOME EXCESS REVENUE THAT THE TOUR HAD CREATED AND SUPPLEMENTED IT INTO THOSE TOURNAMENTS BUILDING UP THOSE PURSES AND SO NOW, ALL THE

OTHER TOURNAMENTS HAVE PRETTY MUCH CAUGHT UP WITH THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP. THEY'RE ALL BETWEEN THREE AND A HALF AND FOUR AND A HALF MILLION AND SO PLAYERS NO LONGER FEEL THE NEED TO PLAY THE WORLD GOLF

CHAMPIONSHIPS, SO NOW INSTEAD OF HAVING EIGHT TOURNAMENTS THAT ALL THE TOP PLAYERS PLAY IN WE HAVE FIVE AGAIN, AND I JUST THINK THAT HAD WE TAKEN THE MONEY THAT WE HAD PUT INTO THOSE CONFLICTING EVENTS AND

PUT IT TO KEEP THE WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS AHEAD OF THE FIELD PURSE WISE, WE WOULD STILL HAVE
EIGHT TOURNAMENTS WHERE WE PRESENTED THE BEST PLAYERS TO THE PUBLIC.

PETER KESSLER
SPEAKING OF PRESENTING THE BEST PLAYERS, IS NICKLAUS GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM GETTING THE BEST TEAM TOGETHER FOR THE PRESIDENT'S CUP TO GO DOWN TO SOUTH AFRICA NEXT YEAR?

PHIL MICKELSON
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I DON'T THINK WE WILL KNOW THAT UNTIL ABOUT A MONTH OR TWO BEFOREHAND BECAUSE CERTAINLY A LOT CAN HAPPEN OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR AND RIGHT NOW A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE JUST THINKING ABOUT

THE RYDER CUP. LET'S, LET'S GO OVER TO THE BELFRY AND SEE IF WE CAN RETAIN THAT CUP, AND SO NOT TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY LOOKING A YEAR AND A HALF ADVANCE ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE PRESIDENT'S CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA, SO THAT'S A TOUGH QUESTION TO ANSWER RIGHT NOW.

PETER KESSLER
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH GOLF?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL I, I RESPECT A LOT OF PEOPLE AND I RESPECT PEOPLE THAT HAVE, I LOVE THE STORY. IT CAN BE FROM A CEO OF A COMPANY, LIKE THAT, THAT HAS A GREAT STORY AND I REALLY WANT TO MENTION NAMES BUT THAT COME FROM VERY DIFFICULT BACKGROUNDS OR IT COULD

BE JUST SOMEBODY LIKE, LIKE MY DAD, AND MY DAD HAS OVERCOME A LOT AND HAS DONE A LOT AND IS VERY GOOD AT EVERYTHING THAT HE DOES AND SO I RESPECT HIM AS AN INDIVIDUAL. IN FACT, I'VE LEARNED A LOT FROM HIM. I'VE LEARNED FROM MY MOM, I'VE GOTTEN MY SENSE OF HUMOR. I'M VERY SIMILAR TO HER IN THAT REGARD, BUT I'M VERY SIMILAR TO MY DAD IN MY THOUGHT

PROCESS AND DECISION MAKING AND I THINK THAT I RESPECT THE WAY HE GOES ABOUT THINGS AND THAT HE ANALYZES THE SITUATION, GATHERS AS MUCH INFORMATION AS HE CAN BEFORE HE FORMULATES A DECISION.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT DO THEY SAY TO YOU ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK YOU'VE BECOME AS A MAN, AS A FATHER, AS A HUSBAND, AS AN ATHLETE?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL I THINK IT'S VERY DIFFICULT FROM A PARENT'S POINT OF VIEW TO LET THEIR CHILD OUT ON THEIR OWN AND IT CERTAINLY STARTED IN COLLEGE. IT STARTS IN COLLEGE FOR MOST FAMILIES

BUT IT'S STILL, YOU'RE ALWAYS THEIR BABY AND JUST LIKE AMANDA WILL ALWAYS BE MY DAUGHTER. SHE COULD BE 35 OR 30 YEARS OLD, SHE'LL STILL BE MY BABY AND SO MY PARENTS LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT AND I THINK THAT IT'S BEEN TOUGH FOR THEM TO WATCH ME

GO OUT AND, AND JUST BE ON MY OWN BUT I THINK THAT, NOT, I THINK THEY'RE MORE EXCITED ABOUT AMY AND AMANDA THAN THEY ARE ABOUT ANYTHING THAT I'VE EVER DONE IN GOLF, WHICH IS GREAT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT, THAT'S WHAT IS SO FULFILLING ABOUT LIFE IS THE FAMILY
AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. AS WE LEAVE WE'VE GOT A LITTLE SHOT FROM THE '99 RYDER CUP.

(MUSIC)

PHIL MICKELSON
THIS IS A COOL SHOT. A LITTLE WEDGE HERE ON TEN AND, AND TOM LEHMAN COMES OVER AND GIVES ME THE BIGGEST BEAR HUG AND THEN HE, AND THIS IS WHERE I KNEW I WAS HEAVY BECAUSE HE SAID YOU WEIGH A HECK OF A LOT MORE THAN CORY PAVIN.

PETER KESSLER
EVEN WITH THAT SHORT HAIRCUT.

PHIL MICKELSON
LOOK AT THAT. HE GOT ME UP, BUT HE, HE SAID IT WAS TOUGH.

PETER KESSLER
AND HE'S A BIG BEAR. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

The statement reads:

The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

Goodbye and good riddance.

The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

“What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

Amen.

The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

But at what cost?

The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

“What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

Amen again.

We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

This is good governance.

And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

“Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

“I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”