Golf Talk Live - Tom Watson Transcript Segment 3
YOU HAVE TOLD A NUMBER OF PEOPLE, INCLUDING YOUR '93 RYDER CUP TEAM THAT THEY WERE GOING TO WIN BECAUSE YOU WERE LUCKY AND SOMETIMES THAT YOU WERE GOING TO WIN BECAUSE YOU WERE LUCKY. WHY DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY?
WELL I, I FEEL LIKE I'VE HAD MORE THAN MY SHARE OF GOOD LUCK. I MEAN THAT, THAT PUTT THAT WE JUST WATCHED AT THE BRITISH OPEN. THE 15TH HOLE IN '77 AT TURNBURY. WAS THAT LUCKY? WELL YEAH, THAT'S ABOUT 50 OR 60 FEET AND IT
BREAKS ABOUT 5 OR 8 FEET. SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IT GOES IN. THEY SAY WELL YOU'RE AIMING AT THE HOLE, BUT, YOU KNOW, ANYTHING, ANY LITTLE THING COULD HAVE, YOU KNOW, KNOCKED IT OFF LINE. I REMEMBER
PLAYING AT TUCSON ONE TIME AND I, I WAS WINNING THE TOURNAMENT (LAUGHS) AND I HIT THIS DRIVER ON THE 12TH HOLE THERE IS A PAR 4 AND I'M TRYING TO CUT THE SHOT. HIT A DOUBLE CROSS. I HOOK IT. THERE'S NOBODY OUT THERE IN THE LEFT HAND SIDE, IT GOES DOWN THERE, BOUNDS DOWN THERE
HITS AN OUT OF BOUNDS STAKES. BOOM. YOU KNOW, IT DROPS, IT STAYS IN BOUNDS, I HIT A PITCHING WEDGE, I HIT A SAND WEDGE THIS CLOSE TO THE HOLE, MAKE A BIRDIE, AND I WALK AWAY WITH THE TOURNAMENT. NOW THAT'S LUCKY, AND BUT I, YOU KNOW IT'S, I JUST FEEL LIKE I'VE HAD A LITTLE BIT MORE, MORE THAN MY SHARE OF GOOF LUCK.
BYRON NELSON WAS HERE JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, AND WE ASKED HIM TO RANK WHAT ARE GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO BE FOUR OF THE BEST YEARS EVER. JONES' 1930 WHEN HE WON ALL FOUR MAJORS FOR WHICH HE WAS ELIGIBLE. BYRON'S 1945, 18 WINS, 11 IN A ROW. ONE MAJOR. THE ONLY ONE, OF
COURSE, I THINK PLAYED THAT YEAR. HOGAN'S '53, PLAYED 6 TIMES, WON 5, INCLUDING THREE MAJORS AND HE COULDN'T PLAY IN THE FOURTH BECAUSE THEY OVERLAPPED AND TIGER'S 2000, 9 TOUR WINS, 3 MAJORS
HOW WOULD YOU RANK THOSE?
I'D HAVE TO GIVE TIGER THE EDGE. IT'S NOT A QUESTION THAT WINNING, WINNING AGAINST THE QUALITY FIELDS AND WINNING IN THREE MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, THAT, TO ME IS, IS THE BEST, AND BOBBY JONES, BYRON, HOGAN, AND IT'S A, IT'S A TOSS UP
IN THOSE THREE, BUT I JUST, I JUST HAVE TO SAY TIGER'S PERFORMANCE LAST YEAR WAS, WAS THE BEST. THERE'S NOT A QUESTION IN MY MIND THIS IS THE BEST.
LANNY WADKINS WAS QUOTED RECENTLY AS SAYING THAT THERE WAS A SIX YEAR PERIOD WHERE THE TWO OF YOU WERE PARTNERS ON TUESDAYS PLAYING OTHER GUYS FOR MONEY BEFORE THE TOUR EVENT STARTED.
WE COULDN'T WAIT TILL TUESDAY.
AND YOU DIDN'T LOOSE FOR SIX STRAIGHT YEARS
UNTIL ZINGER AND MICKELSON BEAT YOU AT AUGUSTA
WELL I, I,
YEAH ZINGER, YEAH ZINGER AND MICKELSON BEAT US PRETTY GOOD AT AUGUSTA BUT WE HAD, WE HAD SOME PRETTY GOOD TUESDAY GAMES, LANNY AND I. HE'S A GREAT COMPETITOR AND, AND WE JUST, YOU KNOW, WE JUST FED OFF EACH OTHER, PLAYING THEIR PRACTICE ROUNDS. THEY LOVED, AND
WE, WE, WE, WE CAME THROUGH THE SAME TOUR SCHOOL IN 1971, THE PGA NATIONAL EAST COURSE AND STARTED THE TOUR TOGETHER THEN AND HE WAS, HE WAS A GREAT PLAYER AT THAT TIME AND I WAS JUST STRUGGLING. I WAS JUST
TRYING, TRYING TO MAKE A CUT AND MAKE, YOU KNOW, JUST MAKE SOME BUCKS SO THAT I COULD PAY BACK MY SPONSORS AND MAYBE PUT A FEW BUCKS IN MY POCKET AND FIND OUT HOW GOOD
I WAS, BUT LANNY WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED PLAYER. I ALWAYS ADMIRED THE WAY HE HIT HIS IRON SHOTS. MY DAD WATCHED HIM PLAY QUITE A BIT AND HE SAID BOY HE COULD
HIT THE BALL CLOSE, WITH EVERY IRON IN THE BAG, AND YEAH THAT'S TRUE.
HE WAS, HE REALLY, REALLY COULD PLAY AND I'D LIKE TO SEE HIM START PLAYING WELL AGAIN.
YEAH, SPEAKING OF THE DIFFICULTY YOU HAD IN REPAYING YOUR INVESTORS, YOU MADE THE 18 GRAND IN 5 MINUTES THAT THEY GAVE YOU AND THEN THE NEXT YEAR YOU PAID THEM A DIVIDEND IF I REMEMBER IT RIGHT.
WELL, IT TOOK ME ALMOST THE FULL YEAR. ACTUALLY, IT DID TAKE ME THE FULL YEAR TO PAY THE 18 GRAND BACK. THAT'S, BACK IN THOSE DAYS THE 18 GRAND, YOU KNOW, I, I MADE IT LAST, I THINK, I PAID
I THINK I SPENT ABOUT SIXTEEN FIVE FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. CADDY, HOTEL, TRAVEL EXPENSES AND I WAS IN, IN, I CAME IN THE LAST TOURNAMENT WHICH WAS THE QUAD CITIES OPEN AND THAT WAS MY LAST YEAR OF MY CONTRACT
YEAR AND I, FINISHED SECOND TO BEAN BEMAN. MADE ELEVEN THOUSAND BUCKS AND MAN I, ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY AND I, I PUT A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY IN MY POCKET AFTER THE FIRST CONTRACT YEAR.
SIXTEEN FIVE FOR A YEAR OF EXPENSES. WHAT DOES IT COST FOR A WEEK NOW?
(LAUGHS) WELL, HONESTLY, I'VE, I'VE PAID THAT MUCH FOR A WEEK OF EXPENSES OUT HERE, AT THE POINT OF THE BRITISH OPEN.
LET'S CHECK IN WITH ONE OF OUR VIEWERS. WE'VE GOT RICH IN VIRGINIA. HOW ARE YOU TONIGHT, RICH?
RICH, CALLER FROM VIRGINIA (MALE):
OH I'M DOING FINE, THANK YOU. IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO BE ON YOUR SHOW.
RICH, CALLER FROM VIRGINIA (MALE):
I WANTED TO ASK MR. WATSON, AS A PARTICIPANT IN PAST RYDER CUPS, BEING THE EVENT CHANGED DRAMATICALLY OVER THE YEARS, ARE YOU WORRIED THAT MAYBE IT'S GETTING, GETTING A
LITTLE TOO BIG AND MAYBE A LITTLE TOO BITTERLY FOUGHT FROM WHAT STARTED OUT AS FRIENDLY, A FRIENDLY EVENT.
WELL, I THINK THERE IS THAT WORRY OUT THERE. WHEN I WAS RYDER CUP CAPTAIN IN '93, AFTER THE '91 EPISODE AT KEOA WE HAD, WE HAD SOME GOOD CONVERSATIONS WITH EACH OTHER, THE, BERNHARD, GALLAGHER AND MYSELF AND
WE, WE TRIED TO, MAKE SURE THAT WHAT, WHAT WAS THE POINT IS THE WAR BY THE SHORE WOULDN'T HAPPEN AND YEAH I THINK WE DID A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF IT AND, AT THE BELFRY. WHAT HAPPENED TO COLIN MONTGOMERIE IS INEXCUSABLE. THAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IN, IN GOLF, YOU SHOULDN'T ALLOW THAT
TO HAPPEN. THAT CAN'T HAPPEN. PAYNE STEWART WAS WONDERFUL AND JUST SAYING YOU STOP PLAY AND HE SAID GET THAT GUY OUT OF HERE. HE'S A JERK. AND YOU CAN DO THAT IN BASEBALL, AND FOOTBALL. YOU CAN DO THAT IN HOCKEY, YOU CAN DO THAT IN A LOT OF OTHER SPORTS, YOU JUST SIMPLY CAN'T DO IT IN GOLF. IT'S JUST NOT THE RIGHT
WAY TO, THE RIGHT WAY, THAT'S NOT THE WAY THE GAME IS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED, AND DO I, DO I FEAR IT'S GOING TO GET ANY WORSE? UH NO. I THINK, I THINK THE PLAYERS THEMSELVES WILL, WILL MONITOR IT AND MAKE IT UH AND, AND MAKE IT RIGHT.
WHEN WE COME BACK FROM BREAK WE'LL BE JOINED BY YOUR FRIEND, ARNIE ADAMS. STAY WITH US.
AS WE LEAVE YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THIS RIVETING STATISTIC FOR AN AWARD THAT BEGAN IN 1948. PGA PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS. TOM WATSON 6TH, JACK 5, HOGAN 4, HE WOULD HAVE WON A COUPLE MORE HAD STARTED AT 46 PROBABLY.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders
PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.
She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.
Her confidence is high.
“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”
Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.
Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.
“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”
Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.
“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”
Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.
“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”
That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.
Returning Park grabs 54-hole Founders lead
PHOENIX – In the long shadows falling across Wildfire Golf Club late Saturday afternoon, Inbee Park conceded she was tempted to walk away from the game last year.
While healing a bad back, she was tempted to put her clubs away for good and look for a second chapter for her life.
But then . . .
“Looking at the girls playing on TV, you think you want to be out there” Park said. “Really, I couldn't make my mind up when I was taking that break, but as soon as I'm back here, I just feel like this is where I belong.”
In just her second start after seven months away from the LPGA, Park is playing like she never left.
She’s atop a leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, looking like that’s exactly where she belongs.
With a 9-under-par 63 Saturday, Park seized the lead going into the final round.
At 14 under overall, she’s one shot ahead of Mariajo Uribe (67), two ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn (68) and three ahead of 54-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies (63) and Chella Choi (66).
Park’s back with a hot putter.
That’s not good news for the rest of the tour. Nobody can demoralize a field with a flat stick like Park. She’s one of the best putters the women’s game has ever seen, and on the front nine Saturday she looked as good as she ever has.
“The front nine was scary,” said her caddie, Brad Beecher, who was on Park’s bag for her long run at world No. 1, her run of three consecutive major championship victories in 2013 and her gold medal victory at the Olympics two years ago.
“The front nine was great . . . like 2013,” Park said.
Park started her round on fire, going birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie. She was 6 under through five holes. She holed a wedge from 98 yards at the third hole, making the turn having taken just 10 putts. Yeah, she said, she was thinking about shooting 59.
“But I'm still really happy with my round today,” she said.
Park isn’t getting ahead of herself, even with this lead. She said her game isn’t quite where she wants it with the ANA Inspiration, the year’s first major championship, just two weeks away, but a victory Sunday should go a long way toward getting her there.
Park is only 29. LPGA pros haven’t forgotten what it was like when she was dominating, when she won 14 times between 2013 and ’15.
They haven’t forgotten how she can come back from long layoffs with an uncanny ability to pick up right where she left off.
Park won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro 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. She left the tour again in the summer with an aching back.
“I feel like Inbee could take off a whole year or two years and come back and win every week,” said Brittany Lincicome, who is four shots behind Park. “Her game is just so consistent. She doesn't do anything flashy, but her putting is flashy.
“She literally walks them in. It's incredible, like you know it's going in when she hits it. It's not the most orthodox looking stroke, but she can repeat it.”
Park may not play as full a schedule as she has in the past, Beecher said, but he believes she can thrive with limited starts.
“I think it helps her get that fight back, to get that hunger back,” Beecher said. “She knows she can play 15 events a year and still compete. There aren’t a lot of players who can do that.”
Park enjoyed her time away last year, and how it re-energized her.
“When I was taking the long break, I was just thinking, `I can do this life as well,’” Park said. “But I'm glad I came back out here. Obviously, days like today, that's the reason I'm playing golf.”
Joh on St. Patrick's ace: Go broke buying green beers
PHOENIX – Tiffany Joh was thrilled making a run into contention to win her first LPGA title Saturday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she comically cracked that her hole-in-one might have been ill-timed.
It came on St. Patrick’s Day.
“This is like the worst holiday to be making a hole-in-one on,” Joh said. “You'll go broke buying everyone green beers.”
Joh aced the fifth hole with a 5-iron from 166 yards on her way to an 8-under-par 64. It left her four shots behind the leader, Inbee Park (63).
One of the more colorful players on tour, Joh said she made the most of her hole-in-one celebration with playing partner Jane Park.
“First I ran and tackled Jane, then I high-fived like every single person walking to the green,” Joh said.
Joh may be the LPGA’s resident comedian, but she faced a serious challenge on tour last year. Fourteen months ago, she had surgery to remove a malignant melanoma. She won the LPGA’s Heather Farr Perseverance Award for the way she handled her comeback.
Davies, 54, still thinks she can win, dreams of HOF
PHOENIX – Laura Davies limped around Wildfire Golf Club Saturday with an ache radiating from her left Achilles up into her calf muscle at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
“Every step is just misery,” Davies said after. “It’s just getting older. Don’t get old.”
She’s 54, but she played the third round as if she were 32 again.
That’s how old she was when she was the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year and won two major championships.
With every sweet swing Saturday, Davies peeled back the years, turning back the clock.
Rolling in a 6-foot birdie at the 17th, Davies moved into a tie for the lead with Inbee Park, a lead that wouldn’t last long with so many players still on the course when she finished. Still, with a 9-under-par 63, Davies moved into contention to try to become the oldest winner in LPGA history.
Davies has won 20 LPGA titles, 45 Ladies European Tour titles, but she hasn’t won an LPGA event in 17 years, since taking the Wegmans Rochester International.
Can she can surpass the mark Beth Daniel set winning at 46?
“I still think I can win,” Davies said. “This just backs that up for me. Other people, I don’t know, they’re always asking me now when I’m going to retire. I always say I’m still playing good golf, and now here’s the proof of it.”
Davies knows it will take a special day with the kind of final-round pressure building that she hasn’t experienced in awhile.
“The pressure will be a lot more tomorrow,” she said. “We'll see, won’t sleep that well tonight. The good news is that I’ll probably be four or five behind by the end of the day, so the pressure won’t be there as much.”
Davies acknowledged confidence is harder to garner, as disappointments and missed cuts pile up, but she’s holding on to her belief she can still win.
“I said to my caddie, `Jeez, I haven't been on top of the leaderboard for a long time,’” Davies said. “That's nice, obviously, but you’ve got to stay there. That's the biggest challenge.”
About that aching left leg, Davies was asked if it could prevent her from challenging on Sunday.
“I’ll crawl around if I have to,” she said.
Saturday’s 63 was Davies’ lowest round in an LPGA event since she shot 63 at the Wendy’s Championship a dozen years ago.
While Davies is a World Golf Hall of Famer, 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 ’01. A regular tour title is worth one point, a major championship is worth two points.
Davies said she still dreams about qualifying.
“You never know,” she said.