Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 5
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?
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.
WHAT'S YOUR EATING WEAKNESS? WHAT DO YOU LOVE THAT YOU HAVE TOO MUCH OF OR DO YOU EAT LATE AT NIGHT?
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
THAT'S A GOOD DIET
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.
(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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH GOLF?
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.
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?
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.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. AS WE LEAVE WE'VE GOT A LITTLE SHOT FROM THE '99 RYDER CUP.
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.
EVEN WITH THAT SHORT HAIRCUT.
LOOK AT THAT. HE GOT ME UP, BUT HE, HE SAID IT WAS TOUGH.
AND HE'S A BIG BEAR. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
TT postscript: Tiger (E) survives difficult day
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here are some observations after watching Tiger Woods’ even-par 70 in the first round of the Honda Classic:
• Whew, that was tough. Like, by far the most difficult conditions Woods has faced this year. The wind blew about 20 mph all day, from different directions, and that affected every part of the game, especially putting.
• And though the stats aren’t necessarily pretty – half the fairways hit, just 10 greens – this was BY FAR his best ball-striking round of the new year. He even said so himself. When he walked off the course, he was just four off the lead.
• Woods had only one bad hole Thursday. It came on the par-5 third hole, his 12th of the day. He blew his driver into the right bunker. He had to lay way back, to clear the lip of the bunker. And then he tugged his third shot just barely in the greenside trap. And then his bunker shot didn’t get onto the green. Then he chipped on and missed a 4-footer. A truly ugly double bogey.
• The driver is still a concern – he found the fairway only once in five attempts. But only one of those misses was way off-line. That came on the 12th, when he double-crossed one way left.
• Though the driver is uncooperative, he has showed a lot of improvement with his 3-wood. The four times he used it, he controlled the ball flight beautifully and hit it 300-plus. His 2-iron is making a comeback, too, in a big way.
• After this round, he should have a little wiggle room Friday to make the cut, barring a blowup round. It’s playing tough, and the 36-hole cut should be over par. Tiger needs four rounds of competitive reps. If he plays like this Friday, he’ll get them.
Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic
Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
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Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar
DOHA, Qatar – Eddie Pepperell, Gregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.
Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.
One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.
Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.
Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.
Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.
He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.
''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.
''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.
''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.
''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”
Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.
''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.
''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''
Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.
Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats
The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.
How to watch:
Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET
Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET
Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)
Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)
Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.
Notables in the field:
• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.
• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.
• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.
• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.
• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.
• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green.
• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.
• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.
• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13).