Golf Talk Live - Robert Damron Transcript Segment 1

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 25, 2001, 4:00 pm
WHAT'S IT LIKE GROWING UP AROUND THE KING ARNOLD PALMER? ROBERT DAMRON HAS MORE THAN A FEW STORIES TO SHARE. MEET THE WINNER OF THE VERIZON BYRON NELSON CLASSIC, ROBERT DAMRON, NEXT ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

PETER KESSLER (MALE):
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

RICH LERNER
ROBERT DAMRON DOESN'T SEEM TOO WALK WHEN HE PLAYS GOLF. IT'S MORE OF A BOUNCE OF THAT OF A KID WHO STUFFED HIS POCKETS WITH CANDY AND

HASN'T A CARE IN THE WORLD. TO BE SURE, ROBERT DAMRON'S LIVED A CHARMED GOLFERS LIFE. DO YOU KNOW ANYBODY WHO PLAYED GOLF WITH ARNOLD PALMER WHEN THEY WERE A YOUNGSTER? WHO'S FATHER COMPETED

AS A REGULAR MEMBER OF THE KING'S GROUP AT BAY HILL? ROBERT'S DAD, BILL, STRUCK IT RICH IN THE KENTUCKY COAL BUSINESS ABD RETIRED IN HIS EARLY 30'S. HE MOVED THE FAMILY TO FLORIDA AND

BOUGHT A HOME OFF THE 10TH HOLE AT THE COURSE THAT ARNOLD BUILT. BILL FELL IN LOVE WITH THE GAME AND HIS SONS FOLLOWED SUIT. NOT UNLIKE ARNOLD, BILL MADE A SUCCESS OF HIMSELF FROM A WORKING CLASS

BACKGROUND AND THE TWO, BILL AND ARNOLD, WITH A LOVE FOR GOLF AND COMPETITION BECAME FAST FRIENDS. BILL BEAT BALLS UNTIL ON THE RARE OCCASION, HE COULD ACTUALLY BEAT THE KING HIMSELF. HE WOULD ALSO WIN

THE INTENSELY COMPETITIVE CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP AT BAY HILL. YOUNG ROBERT, WHO HONED HIS SKILLS WITH HIS FATHER AND BROTHER IN THE LEGENDARY BAY HILL DAILY SHOOTOUT

TOOK NOTICE AND STILL TO THIS DAY, ONE OF HIS PROUDEST MOMENTS REMAINS, THE FIRST TIME HE BEAT HIS FATHER AT AGE 13.

AS A TEN YEAR OLD WATCHING THE PROS PARADE THROUGH HIS BACKYARD FOR THE BAY HILL INVITATIONAL, ROBERT KNEW WHAT HE WANTED TO DO AND STAYED CLOSE TO HOME TO PLAY

COLLEGIATELY AS A THREE TIME ALL AMERICA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA IN ORLANDO. HE LEFT AFTER THREE YEARS TO PURSUE THE PROFESSIONAL DREAM WITH SEVERAL

TRIPS TO Q-SCHOOL, AND A STOP ON THE CANADIAN TOUR. BY 1997 HE HAD MADE THE SHOW AND BY MEMPHIS LOOKED LIKE HE BELONGED. HE LED AFTER 54 HOLES BEFORE FINISHING TWO BACK OF

SOME GUY NAMED NORMAN. IN FOUR YEARS PRIOR TO THE 2001 SEASON, DAMRON HAD MADE NEARLY TWO MILLION DOLLARS, BUT BILL DAMRON

TAUGHT HIS SON THAT YOU PLAY TO WIN AND ROBERT HAD YET TO DO THAT. THEN, MAY OF THIS YEAR AT THE HOME OF ANOTHER LEGEND, BYRON NELSON, ROBERT DAMRON OUTPLAYED THE BEST

IN THE WORLD, INCLUDING TIGER WOODS WHO'S BRILLIANT FINAL ROUND 63 WASN'T ENOUGH TO CATCH DAMRON. IN A THRILLING PLAY OFF AGAINST SCOTT VERPLANK, DAMRON ANSWERED EVERY CHALLENGE AND NO WHERE DID THEY

CHEER LOUDER THAN BACK AT HIS HOME CLUB. HOW DID ROBERT DAMRON, POCKETS NOW STUFFED WITH CANDY AND GOLD REACH THE PINNACLE OF HIS SPORT? IT'S HELPFUL TO KNOW THAT SO

COMPETITIVE WERE HIS FORMATIVE YEARS, HE STILL HASN'T WON THE CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP AT HIS BELOVED BAY HILL.

(MUSIC)

AND GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. RICH LERNER, AND IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE WE INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THE RISING STARS ON THE PGA TOUR, ROBERT DAMRON.

GOOD TO SEE YOU PAL.

ROBERT DAMRON
GOOD TO SEE YOU. THANKS RICH.

RICH LERNER
YOU'VE HAD QUITE A SPRING. YOU WIN YOUR FIRST TOURNAMENT. YOU GOT MARRIED. THAT'S PRETTY GOOD.

ROBERT DAMRON
IT'S BEEN A NICE LITTLE STRETCH OF LUCK I'VE HAD. YEAH.

RICH LERNER
I WOULD SAY IT'S A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN LUCK. THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF, OF SKILL INVOLVED.

ROBERT DAMRON
WELL, A FEW YEARS OF SETTING UP THIS LITTLE RUN OF LUCK WE CALL IT.

RICH LERNER
(LAUGHS)
HOW GOOD WERE THOSE GAMES AT BAY HILL AND, AND WHAT WERE THEY LIKE ON A DAILY BASIS?

ROBERT DAMRON
WELL, A LOT OF COMPETITION. YOU KNOW, THERE IS ALWAYS, AND, AND TO THIS DAY THERE STILL ARE PLAYERS IN THE BAY HILL SHOOTOUT THAT ARE BETTER THAN I AM.

WE'VE HAD NAMES LIKE GREG NORMAN, SCOTT HOCH, ARNOLD PALMER, DALE (?) FINSTROM (??), WELL PAYNE STEWART, CORY PAVIN, JUST TO NAME A FEW THAT I CAN THINK OF, FREQUENT THE SHOOT OUT, SO YOU KNOW, THEIR

YOU ALWAYS GOT YOUR HANDS FULL, SO

RICH LERNER
HOW, HOW DOES IT WORK? HOW DOES THE SHOOTOUT WORK?

ROBERT DAMRON
WELL, THERE'S A GUY NAMED LEE HAVER, WHO IS THE COMMISSIONER. THEY CALL HIM THE SHOOTOUT.

RICH LERNER
GOT TO HAVE A COMMISH

ROBERT DAMRON
OH YEAH. GOT TO HAVE SOMEBODY TO, TO KIND OF LAY DOWN THE LAW THERE.

RICH LERNER
SURE

ROBERT DAMRON
SO HE, YOU GIVE HIM YOUR MONEY, HE MAKES THE TEAMS, NO HANDICAPS. IT'S A,B,C,D PLAYERS, E PLAYERS IF YOU HAVE A FIVE SOME AND THEN YOU GO OUT AND YOU TEE IT UP AND, YOU KNOW, THEY,

THEY MAY PLAY AN ACKERGOOD (??) OF A FEW BALLS OR, OR SPLIT THE MONEY UP TO WHERE THE FIRST, SECOND, THIRD BEST BALL GET PAID BUT THE REAL MONEY, I DON'T KNOW IF I SHOULD SAY THIS

RICH LERNER
GO AHEAD

ROBERT DAMRON
IS UH... YOU KNOW THE SIDE ACTION, WHERE, YOU KNOW, YOU GRAB THOSE OTHER GUYS AND SAY HEY, YOU KNOW, I KNOW WE'RE PLAYING THE SHOOTOUT BUT, I WANT YOU FOR A HUNDRED BUCKS OR, OR

WHATEVER IT IS AND SO THERE'S ALWAYS COMPETITION. THERE'S ALWAYS REASON TO TRY HARD OUT THERE.

RICH LERNER
I'VE GOT A SNEAKING SUSPICION, NUMBER ONE, THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF CHATTER WHILE THE GAME IS GOING ON. YOU, YOU DON'T TURN TO A GUY AND SAY KEEP QUIET.

ROBERT DAMRON
NO NO NO

RICH LERNER
I, I, I THINK CHATTERS IN PLAY.

ROBERT DAMRON
YEAH IT'S DIFFERENT THAN ON TOUR.

RICH LERNER
(LAUGHING) IN THIS GAME.

ROBERT DAMRON
YEAH IT'S DIFFERENT THAN ON TOUR. IT'S DIFFERENT THAN ON TOUR. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU KNOW MY DAD WAS ALWAYS TOUGH ON ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG WITH THAT. HE COULD, IF, IF HE

AND I WERE, WERE PLAYING AGAINST EACH OTHER JUST FOR FUN, HE COULD ALWAYS SAY THE RIGHT THING TO MAKE ME GOOF UP

AT THE RIGHT TIME.

RICH LERNER
SURE

ROBERT DAMRON
YOU KNOW AND I THINK I'M A LITTLE TOUGHER NOW BECAUSE OF THAT.

RICH LERNER
I HAVE A FEELING ALSO THAT AT THE SHOOTOUT YOU RAN INTO A COUPLE OF GUYS OR MORE NORTH OF THE AGE OF 45

ROBERT DAMRON
OH, I KNOW

RICH LERNER
WHO COULD STRING 3 WOODS ABOUT 215 YARDS ON A LINE WHO COULD LONG PUTTER YOU TO DEATH AND

ROBERT DAMRON
MHMM

RICH LERNER
WHO COULD UP AND DOWN YOU UNTIL YOU WERE BLUE IN THE FACE.

ROBERT DAMRON
OH

RICH LERNER
YOU SORT OF, THE KIND OF GUYS WHO RENDERED THAT IMPORTANT LESSON THAT THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO MAKE A GOOD SCORE IN THE GAME OF GOLF.

ROBERT DAMRON
WELL THERE'S NO QUESTION. YOU SEE GUYS WHO, I, I KNOW ONE GUY OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, IN PARTICULAR, HIS NAME IS BOB HOFF, NEW YORK STATE SENIOR CHAMPION AND HE'S WELL INTO

HIS 70'S, AND, I MEAN THE GUY'S A GREAT PLAYER AND I'VE HEARD FROM HIM SINCE I WAS A KID, HEY, YOU KNOW, YOU GOT TO PLAY IN TOURNAMENTS. AS MANY TOURNAMENTS AS YOU CAN GET IN.

AND I WATCHED THIS GUY AND I'M LIKE YOU KNOW, HE SHOOTS HIS AGE WITH NO PROBLEM.

RICH LERNER
MHMM

ROBERT DAMRON
AND, A GREAT PLAYER AND I WATCH HIM AND I'M LIKE, YOU KNOW, HE, THIS GUY KNOWS WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT, AND

LIKE I SAID, YOU'VE GOT GUYS LIKE, YOU KNOW, DALE FINSTERWALD AND ARNOLD PALMER ALSO THAT, THAT YOU KIND OF ASK, YOU KNOW, HEY WHAT UH, YOU KNOW, WHAT DID YOU GUYS DO TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE? SO, I ALWAYS HAD
MY MOUTH SHUT AND MY EARS OPEN.

RICH LERNER
YOU, SOMEBODY ONCE SAID OF YOU THAT YOU WERE GROOMED FOR SUCCESS BECAUSE YOU WERE AROUND SO MANY OF THOSE GREAT NAMES FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE.

ROBERT DAMRON
MHMM

RICH LERNER
GUYS THAT YOU MENTIONED. FINSTERWALD, PALMER, NORMAN, HOCH, AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON, SO THAT BY THE TIME THAT YOU ARRIVED, YOU WERE NOT INTIMIDATED. IS THAT FAIR TO SAY?

ROBERT DAMRON
OH YEAH. VERY FAIR. I THINK BEING AROUND THOSE GUYS AT HOME MADE IT THAT MUCH EASIER TO, YOU KNOW, WHEN I SHOWED UP AT MY FIRST TOURNAMENT

TO NOT LOOK OVER AND GO, WOW, THERE'S, YOU KNOW, FRED COUPLES, OR THERE'S DAVIS LOVE, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. THEY'RE JUST, BECAUSE I KNEW A LOT OF THEM AND THEY'RE JUST GUYS LIKE ME AND YOU AND YOU KNOW, THEY'RE OUT TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING I AM, SO

I FELT VERY COMFORTABLE. JUST KIND OF AT HOME WHEN I, WHEN I FIRST GOT OUT ON TOUR.

RICH LERNER
HITCH A RIDE WHEN YOUR DAD, BILL, WAS GOING HEAD TO HEAD AGAINST ARNIE, JUST ON ANY GIVEN AFTERNOON? DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO WATCH SOME OF THOSE?

ROBERT DAMRON
I STILL DO. I'LL STILL GO OUT AND WATCH THOSE GUYS GO AT IT. THEY'RE FUN, YOU KNOW, THERE'S, LIKE YOU SAID, THERE'S
A LOT OF CHATTER GOING ON, BUT, MR. PALMER LOVES TO COMPETE. I'VE NEVER

SEEN ANYONE LOVE TO PLAY GOLF AS MUCH AS HE DOES. I MEAN HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE BEEN PLAYING NOW AND HE ISN'T SICK OF IT. YOU KNOW, I GET TIRED OF IT AFTER A MONTH ON THE ROAD SOMETIMES.

RICH LERNER
THAT, THAT'S THE AMAZING THING ABOUT ARNIE, IS, IS HE HAS SUCH A DEEP ROOTED LOVE FOR THE GAME THAT WILL NEVER GO AWAY. I CAN RECALL PULLING UP TO A

PARKING LOT AT A SENIOR EVENT MANY YEARS AGO AND MAYBE 20 CARS DOWN YOU COULDN'T MAKE OUT WHO IT WAS AND THERE WAS GUY AT HIS TRUNK, JUST LIKE ANY SATURDAY OR SUNDAY AMATEUR PLAYER AT THE LOCAL MUNI

PUTTING A CLUB IN THE TRUNK, PULLING ANOTHER ONE OUT.

ROBERT DAMRON
MHMM

RICH LERNER
A LITTLE FIDDLE AND WE PULLED CLOSER AND IT WAS ARNIE

ROBERT DAMRON
SURE

RICH LERNER
AND JUST A LITTLE SNAPSHOT OF WHAT A REGULAR GUY IS BUT HOW MUCH THIS GUY REALLY LOVES THE GAME.

ROBERT DAMRON
IT'S, IT, IT REALLY IS UNBELIEVABLE. HE, HE YOU KNOW HE NEVER RUNS AWAY FROM IT BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE APPROACHING HIM OR, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY HE HASN'T PLAYED AS WELL AS HE'S USED TO IN THE LAST FEW YEARS

AND, AND HIS ENTHUSIASM DOESN'T
FLICKER AT ALL. IT'S, IT'S JUST AS STRONG AS IT EVER WAS.

RICH LERNER
ALRIGHT, SO YOU TEED IT UP WITH ARNIE FOR THE FIRST TIME AT 13. HOW OLD WERE YOU?

ROBERT DAMRON
IN THERE. 13.

14

RICH LERNER
14, 14 YEARS, YEARS OLD?

ROBERT DAMRON
IN THE SHOOT OUT. I, I

RICH LERNER
DO YOU RECALL AND, AND COULD YOU PULL, COULD YOU GET A CLUB BACK OR?

ROBERT DAMRON
NO, UH

RICH LERNER
COULD YOU BREATHE?

ROBERT DAMRON
NO. I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER, THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME TWICE WHERE I WAS SO NERVOUS THAT I LOOK BACK DOWN AT THE BALL RIGHT BEFORE I PULLED THE TRIGGER AND I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING.

IT'S KIND OF WHITE, LIKE FUZZY WHITE. EVERYTHING, SO PURE INSTINCT THAT I EVEN LAID THE, LAID THE CLUB ON THE BALL. I, I HOOKED TWO ONTO THE DRIVING RANGE WHEN I FIRST

SAW BAY HILL.

RICH LERNER
WOW

ROBERT DAMRON
AND YOU KNOW, PLAYED OKAY AFTER THAT BUT IT TOOK A FEW HOLES TO CATCH MY BREATH.

RICH LERNER
HOW DID YOUR DAD KEEP YOU HUNGRY GIVEN THAT IN MANY CASES THE COUNTRY CLUB LIFE DOES NOT PRODUCE THE KIND OF DESIRE THAT ONE WOULD NEED TO SUCCEED AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL?

ROBERT DAMRON
WELL, I, I THINK A PARENT CAN ONLY SHOW YOU THE WAY, I THINK UNLESS I HAVE THE DESIRE TO DO IT IT'S JUST NOT GOING TO WORK OUT. THERE'S NO WAY I THINK THAT HE COULD HAVE INSTILLED

IT IN MY HAD I NOT BEEN WILLING TO DO IT ANYWAY, BUT, YOU KNOW, HE KEPT, HE, HE, IT WAS GREAT THAT WE MOVED TO BAY HILL AND, BECAUSE IT GAVE ME THE MEANS. I CAN HIT FROM MY MOM AND DAD'S BACKYARD, I CAN HIT 5 OR 6 IRON

ONTO THE BACK OF THE RANGE, SO IT'S RIGHT THERE FOR ME AND THAT WAS, THAT'S SOMETHING I (??) TO DO.

RICH LERNER
BUT YOU, YOU NEVER VIOLATED ANY OF THOSE RULES OUT THERE.

ROBERT DAMRON
NO, I WOULD NEVER DO THAT.

RICH LERNER
NOW, NOW, YOU WOULD NEVER, NEVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

ROBERT DAMRON
OF COURSE NOT.

RICH LERNER
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK WITH ROBERT DAMRON AS OUR GUEST. WHEN WE COME BACK WE'RE GOING TO FIND OUT HOW THE DAMRON FAMILY MADE IT FROM KENTUCKY TO BAY HILL.

IT'S AN AMAZING STORY. WE'LL SHARE THAT WITH YOU WHEN WE COME BACK IN JUST A MOMENT.

(MUSIC)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Teenager Im wins Web.com season opener

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Web.com Tour.

Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Web.com Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Web.com Tour event at age 20.

Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Web.com Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.


11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.


11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.


1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

The reward now?

''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

And not the Masters.

He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

Except for that first week in April.

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The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

Yeah, you heard that right.

“I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

“I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

Here's two more just for good measure.

Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.