Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 7

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
FROM THE GREAT SCORING THAT'S GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD, AND SPECIFICALLY ON THE PGA TOUR TODAY, YOU WOULD THINK THAT THE COURSES ARE BEING SET UP EASIER THAN THEY'VE EVER BEEN, BUT IF YOU COMPARE THEM TO FIVE YEARS AGO, THEY'RE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE DIFFICULT IN TERMS OF THE SET-UP, ARE THEY NOT?

PHIL MICKELSON
I REALLY THINK THAT THEY ARE AND THAT WE'RE, WE'RE MAKING GREENS MUCH MORE FIRM, UH MUCH FIRMER, AND BAY HILL'S A PERFECT EXAMPLE. THEY INSTALLED A SUCTION DEVISE THAT SUCKS THE MOISTURE OUT OF THE GREENS

SO WE GET ALL THIS RAIN AND THE GREENS ARE JUST ROCK HARD. IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO GET THE BALL CLOSE ON SUNDAY AS WE SAW BALLS JUST RACING ACROSS THE GREEN AND IT'S BECAUSE THEY WERE SO FIRM, AND THAT'S THE EASIEST WAY TO GET SCORES TO GO UP. THAT AND ROUGH.

PETER KESSLER
ARE THERE ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE WAY IN WHICH THE U.S. TEAM CONDUCTED THEMSELVES AT THE RYDER CUP IN '99 AND THAT ONE NEEDS TO HAVE AN ADJUSTMENT IN EITHER ATTITUDE OR IN THE WAY IN WHICH ONE OUTWARDLY PRESENTS THEMSELVES. DOES THIS GO AROUND?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL CERTAINLY WE CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED ON 17 GREEN AND IT WAS A, A SHOW OF EMOTION AND WE SAW THAT FROM EVERY PLAYER ON EVERY DAY OF EVERY MATCH THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WEEK AND THIS WASN'T THE ONLY SHOW OF EMOTION THAT, THAT TOOK ON THAT, THAT OCCURRED THAT WEEK. I, I ,

I DON'T THINK THAT IT WAS THE BEST THING THAT WE COULD HAVE DONE BUT ON THE OTHER HAND I DON'T THINK THAT IT WOULD BE ANY DIFFERENT EITHER, EITHER WAY I MEAN I WOULD EXPECT

THEM TO BE EXCITED HAD THEY WON, JUST AS THEY WERE IN '95 AND '97. MY MATCH WASN'T DONE ON 18 WHEN THEY WERE JUMPING ON THE GREEN, GRANTED I CLOSED THEM OUT ON 17, BUT THAT'S REALLY NOT, IT DOESN'T MATTER. THEY

WON THE THING. IT WAS OVER, ALTHOUGH IT WASN'T OVER WHEN WE WON. THERE WAS STILL A PUTT TO BE MADE AND SO I THINK WE WERE IN THE WRONG THERE AND I THINK THAT WHAT'S

DISAPPOINTING TO ME IS THAT 60 SOME ODD YEARS AGO WHEN THIS EVENT WAS INSTILLED, IT WAS TO PROMOTE THE GAME OF GOLF AND PROMOTE SPORTSMANSHIP AMONGST BOTH CONTINENTS AND IT REALLY IS NO LONGER THAT. IT CREATES A LOT OF ANIMOSITY AND I THINK THAT
I'D LIKE TO SEE IT GET BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS.

PETER KESSLER
BUT WITH CURTIS STRANGE AS CAPTAIN WHO'S A NO NONSENSE, INTENSELY COMPETITIVE GUY, YOU WOULDN'T EXPECT THERE TO BE TOO MUCH LET'S BE NICE TO EVERYBODY KIND OF A FLAVOR. I DON'T MEAN RUDE, BUT, WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, INTENSELY COMPETITIVE FEELINGS.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL HE IS A TOUGH COMPETITOR. HE WON TWO U.S. OPENS AND HE'S THERE TO COMPETE AND HE'S THERE TO WIN, AS ALL THE PLAYERS ARE, AND THAT'S REALLY THE WAY IT'S, IT'S BECOME. NOW IF YOU LOOK AT IT, THE EUROPEAN TEAM HAS WON FIVE OF THE LAST SEVEN RYDER

CUPS. THEY'VE BEEN REALLY DOING WELL, AND I, I WOULD LIKE TO THINK THAT IT'S ABOUT TO CHANGE, THAT WE'VE GOT SOME GOOD YOUNG AMERICAN PLAYERS COMING UP BUT THEY HAVE SOME GOOD YOUNG PLAYERS TOO,

AND SO I THINK THAT THE STATE OF THE RYDER CUP'S IN A GREAT STATE BUT THIS, THIS YEAR WILL BE VERY COMPETITIVE AT THE BELFRY, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT THE WAY, NOT ONLY THE PLAYERS BUT THE FANS WERE IN THE U.S.

IT WILL BE A DIFFICULT ONE COMING UP BUT I THINK WE'RE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO IT AND BOTH SIDES, AS TOUGH AS A COMPETITOR AS CAPTAIN STRANGE IS AND AS MUCH AS BOTH SIDES WANT TO WIN, I REALLY THINK WE'RE GOING TO MAKE AN EFFORT THIS YEAR TO

TO, TO PROMOTE THE GAME IN A VERY POSITIVE MANNER AND NOT HAVE SOME OUTBURSTS LIKE THAT.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOUR SCORECARD GOES ON A ROLLER COASTER RIDE LIKE IT DID IN THE MIDDLE TWO ROUNDS OF THIS PAST WEEK AT BAY HILL, DO YOUR EMOTIONS GO ON A ROLLER COASTER RIDE TOO?

PHIL MICKELSON
THEY DO AND IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO, TO CONTROL IT. I, I TRY NOT TO DISPLAY TOO MUCH EMOTION ON THE COURSE BECAUSE I JUST DON'T THINK IT LOOKS GOOD EITHER WAY. I DON'T THINK GETTING TOO EXCITED LOOKS GREAT. I DON'T THINK THAT BREAKING A CLUB LOOKS, LOOKS

VERY GOOD EITHER BUT WHEN I, WHEN I'M MAKING SEVEN BOGIES AND, AND I'M TRYING TO WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT DOING THAT IT'S VERY FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I EXPECT A LOT MORE OUT OF MYSELF. I'VE BEEN WORKING HARD AND I

KNOW THAT I CAN DO A LOT BETTER AND TO MAKE POOR DECISIONS, TO MAKE POOR SWINGS LIKE THAT IS VERY FRUSTRATING TO ALL PLAYERS AND I TRIED TO UH, TO STAY CALM AND, AND, AND HANDLE IT AND I THINK I DID A PRETTY GOOD JOB BECAUSE ULTIMATELY I WAS ABLE TO TURN HER AROUND AND GET BACK IN
CONTENTION AND ALMOST WIN.

PETER KESSLER
THE GOALS THAT YOU SET FOR YOURSELF, VERY BRIEFLY, ARE THEY EVENT DRIVEN OR ARE THEY ABOUT YOUR JUST GETTING BETTER?

PHIL MICKELSON
THEY HAVE TO BE ABOUT JUST GETTING BETTER AND ABOUT WORKING AT INTEGRAL PARTS OF MY GAME, MEANING, THIS YEAR I'M WORKING A LOT ON WEDGE PLAY BECAUSE THAT 60 TO 150 YARD AREA IS, IS CRITICAL AND IF I CAN IMPROVE ON THAT, THE EVENTS WILL COME JUST LIKE THEY DID LAST YEAR.

LAST YEAR I WORKED INTENS... A LOT OF HOURS FROM 150 YARDS IN AND I WAS ABLE TO, TO WIN FOUR TOURNAMENTS BECAUSE I SCORED BETTER.

PETER KESSLER
GREAT PLEASURE TO SPEND ANOTHER

HOUR WITH YOU.

PHIL MICKELSON
THANK YOU.

PETER KESSLER
THANK YOU SO MUCH.

PHIL MICKELSON
THANK YOU

PETER KESSLER
AND THANKS FOR BRINGING AMY, AND GREAT TO SEE THE PICTURE OF THE FAMILY.

PHIL MICKELSON
THANK YOU

PETER KESSLER
GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE. GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE. GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY.
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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.”