Golf Talk Live - Tommy Bolt Transcript Segment 1

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 21, 2001, 4:00 pm
TEASE
HE REFERS TO HIMSELF BY A NUMBER OF NICK NAMES. OLD TOM, OLD DAD, OLD THUNDER . THE REST OF US CALL HIM MR. BOLT. VISIT WITH THE LIGHTNING BOLT, TOMMY BOLT, NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

PETER KESSLER
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.

PETER KESSLER
HOW COME THEY DON'T MAKE CHARACTERS LIKE TOMMY BOLT ANYMORE? NOT THAT ANYONE COULD HAVE DREAMED UP TOMMY BOLT. SOMETIMES NOT EVEN TOMMY BOLT KNEW WHAT TOMMY BOLT WAS GOING TO DO UNTIL TOMMY BOLT DID IT.

HE MADE A LOT OF IT UP AS HE WENT ALONG, AS ENTERTAINERS WITH GREAT INSTINCTS SO THRILLINGLY DO. IT LOOKS LIKE A FACE THAT ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE, BUT THEN HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN AWAY THAT EVERYBODY LOVES

THAT FACE. A FACE BORN TO SCOWL IN A WAY THAT AMUSES RATHER THAN FRIGHTENS IT'S AUDIENCE. HE WON SO MUCH MONEY PLAYING GOLF AND CARDS IN ITALY IN WORLD WAR TWO THAT HE REQUIRED A TRUNK TO HOLD IT ALL. HE LOST SO MUCH MONEY ON THE BOAT RIDE HOME THAT HE NO LONGER HAD USE FOR THE TRUNK.

HE MADE BEN HOGAN LAUGH. HE KNEW ARNOLD WHEN ARNOLD HAD TWO PAIR OF PANTS, ONE ON AND ONE AT THE CLEANERS. THE OKLAHOMA BORN TOMMY BOLT KNEW HOW TO PLAY THE HEAT, THE HUMIDITY, THE FIELD AND SOUTHERN HILLS, WHERE THE UNITED STATES OPEN

MADE IT'S FIRST APPEARANCE THERE IN 1958. HE'S A HALL OF FAMER, EXPECTING AND WAITING TO BE ELECTED. 85 YEAR OLD TOMMY BOLT NOW ENTERTAINS AND PLAYS AND LOVES LIFE AT BLACK

DIAMOND, WHERE THE MEMBERSHIP ADORES HIM AND RECENTLY GAVE HIM A REPLICA OF THE UNITED STATES OPEN TROPHY THAT HE WON 43 YEARS AGO,

BUT THE TROPHY SITS IN A LOCKED GLASS CASE AT BLACK DIAMOND. NOBODY WANTED TO LET TOMMY TAKE IT HOME IN CASE HE FOUND HIMSELF A LITTLE CARD GAME ON THE WAY HOME, BUT FOUND HIMSELF A LITTLE LIGHT ON CASH.

WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MAJOR CHAMPION, MAJOR CHARACTER, TOMMY BOLT. IT'S SO GREAT

TO SEE YOU

TOMMY BOLT
HELLO PETER

PETER KESSLER
AS IT ALWAYS IS.

TOMMY BOLT
GOOD TO SEE YOU, PETER, AND YOU LOOK GOOD.

PETER KESSLER
YOU LOOK GREAT.

TOMMY BOLT
WELL, I FEEL PRETTY GOOD PETER.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN DID YOU START WEARING THE COLORFUL OUTFITS TO GO WITH THE COLORFUL PERSONALITY?

TOMMY BOLT
WELL, PETER I'VE BEEN, EVER SINCE I WAS A KID OUT OF THE CADDIE RANKS, I WANTED TO, I CADDIED FOR SOME OF THE OLDER PROFESSIONALS, AND THE WAY THEY DRESSED, I SAID IF I EVER GOT

ANYTHING IN MY POCKET, ANYTHING IN MY POCKET, I'M GOING TO DRESS LIKE THAT, AND SO I'VE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO YOU KNOW, PLAYED A LITTLE GOLF AND WON A LITTLE MONEY AND GOT LUCKY AND BOUGHT SOME OF THIS STUFF.

PETER KESSLER
BUT HOW DID YOU GUYS, AND YOU WERE ON TOUR PRINCIPALLY IN THE 50'S, WAS YOUR MAIN DECADE OF PLAYING THE

MOST TOURNAMENTS, GIVEN THE ABSURDLY LOW AMOUNT OF PRIZE MONEY AVAILABLE, HOW DID YOU LIVE, MAKE
ENDS MEET AND BUY CLOTHING LIKE THAT?

TOMMY BOLT
I DIDN'T BUY CLOTHING LIKE THIS, PETER, BACK IN THOSE DAYS

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)

TOMMY BOLT
TO BE HONEST WITH YOU. ACTUALLY, MOST OF THE CLOTHING WAS GIVEN TO US, REALLY, JUST TO WEAR CLOTHES FOR, FOR, NOW PALM BEACH GAVE US A LOT OF CLOTHES. THE PALM BEACH COMPANY DID,

IN THE EARLY 50'S, I CAN REMEMBER THAT, AND I WORE THE MUNSINGWEAR SHIRTS. THEY COME UP WITH SOME SHIRTS FOR US, SOME GOLF SHIRTS FOR US AND, AND FOOT JOY WAS PUTTING OUT

ALL THOSE GOLF SHOES SO I GOT IN ON THAT. SO, MOST OF IT, MOST OF OUR CLOTHING WAS FREE. YOU COULD, YOU
COULD DRESS PRETTY GOOD FOR FREE AND THEN, IN THOSE DAYS PETER.

PETER KESSLER
YOU ALWAYS SEEM SO HAPPY AND SO COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN. WHAT'S YOUR HAPPINESS SECRET?

TOMMY BOLT
WELL PETER, THE, THE GOOD LORD BEEN GOOD TO ME, BOY, HE BLESSED ME WITH, I GUESS A, A GOOD LIFE. I'VE LIVED A GOOD LIFE. SOMETHING THAT I WANTED TO, AND, AND MADE A GOOD LIVING AT SOMETHING I WANTED TO DO. I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN BEAT THAT.

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW THE GUYS IN THE 20'S, LIKE HAGEN AND SARAZEN, WHEN THEY WON A MAJOR, THEY REALLY WANTED TO WIN A MAJOR BECAUSE IT MEANT THAT THEY COULD GET MORE MONEY IN EXHIBITION FEES. WAS THAT TRUE FOR YOU AFTER YOU WON THE OPEN? DID THE PRICE GO UP?

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH THE PRICE WENT UP A LITTLE BIT, PETER, YEAH, BUT MY GOAL WAS TO WIN THE OPEN. I SET THAT GOAL WHEN I WAS A KID CADDYING.

AND I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO DO IT AT SOUTHERN HILLS. AND I'M, I'M JUST HAPPY THAT I COULD PLAY WELL ENOUGH TO DO THAT.

PETER KESSLER
YOU'RE LUCKY THEY DIDN'T TAKE ALL THE MONEY AWAY FROM ALL THE CLUB THROWING YOU DID. NOW YOU ALWAYS TELL ME THAT YOU WEREN'T REALLY THROWING CLUBS, THAT YOU WERE TOSSING CLUBS AND IF THAT'S REALLY TRUE, AND A COUPLE OF PICTURES I'D LIKE

YOU TO LOOK AT, TOGETHER, WITH ME AND OUR AUDIENCE AND JUST TELL ME WHETHER THESE ARE TOSSES OR THROWS. SO LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIRST ONE TOGETHER.

TOMMY BOLT
OKAY

PETER KESSLER
NOW WOULD THAT BE A TOSS OR A

TOMMY BOLT
NO, THAT'S, THAT'S A THROW RIGHT THERE PETER.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHING)

TOMMY BOLT
I INTENDED TO THROW THAT ONE.

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S CHERRY HILL 1960 U.S OPEN?

TOMMY BOLT
CHERRY HILL 1960

PETER KESSLER
WITH CLAUDE HARMON BACKING OUT OF HARMS WAY?

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH HE'S TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE WAY THERE, HE'S NOT DOING A VERY GOOD JOB OF IT BUT HE'S TRYING TO, AND, THERE WAS A CARP JUMPING UP THERE PETER.

PETER KESSLER
A CARP?

TOMMY BOLT
OH YEAH, IN THE WATER. THAT'S WATER RIGHT NEXT TO THE TEE, AND I HIT A COUPLE OF DRIVES ACROSS THERE AND THEY, THEY CAME BACK INTO THE WATER AND I JUST GAVE THAT DRIVER A NICE LITTLE TOSS IN THERE.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHING)

TOMMY BOLT
TRIED TO SPEAR THE CARP, THE FISH, THE CARP.

PETER KESSLER
NOW DIDN'T, DID SOME YOUNG BOY RUN IN TO THE LAKE AFTER TO GET THE DRIVER AND HIGH TAIL IT OUT OF THERE?

TOMMY BOLT
HE WADED IN THERE AND GOT THE DRIVER OUT AND TOOK OFF WITH IT, AND I SET ONE OF MY FRIENDS AFTER, AFTER HIM TO GET IT, COST ME $15 TO GET IT BACK.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT ANOTHER SHOT, AND YOU CAN TELL US EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN BY THE REACTION WE'RE ABOUT TO SEE HERE. IS THAT A COMBINATION OF TOSS AND THROW?

TOMMY BOLT
THAT IS, YEAH THAT'S A KIND OF A COMBINATION, PETER, YES IT IS. A TOSS AND, AND A THROW. I, I THREW THAT ONE RIGHT THERE. I DIDN'T TOSS IT. YOU'LL SEE SOME TOSSES LATER ON.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHING)

HOW DID YOUR WIFE, AND DOES YOUR WIFE, MARY LOU, PUT UP WITH YOU AND MIGHT MAKE LIFE SO GREAT FOR YOU?

TOMMY BOLT
SHE'S BEEN GREAT FOR ME, PETER. IT, ACTUALLY, IF IT HADN'T HAVE BEEN FOR MARY LOU I PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN AS SUCCESSFUL AS I HAVE BEEN. SHE WAS, SHE WAS A GREAT INSPIRATION. A REAL, REAL WIFE AND HOMEMAKER AND THAT'S WHAT I NEEDED. SHE'S BEEN THAT.

PETER KESSLER
YOU HAVE PLAYED GREAT GOLF FOR ESSENTIALLY 65 YEARS NOW. WHAT'S YOUR SECRET THERE?

TOMMY BOLT
PETER, JUST PLAY EVERYDAY. YOU GOT TO PLAY MOST EVERY DAY. YOU CAN'T, GOLF IS A VERY DEMANDING GAME AND YOU HAVE TO REALLY DEVOTE A LOT OF TIME TO IT IN ORDER TO PLAY WELL, AND

I'VE BEEN LUCKY MY HEALTH DOES NOT, IS NOT TOO BAD. I'M, I DON'T FEEL, I FEEL PRETTY GOOD. I DON'T, I COULD STILL WALK AROUND THE GOLF COURSE AND I CAN SHOOT WELL UNDER MY AGE. I
NEVER, IF I EVER GET TO MY AGE I'M,

COMING IN. WHEREVER I GET THERE, TO MY AGE, THAT'S WHEN I'M GETTING OFF THE COURSE.

PETER KESSLER
THE LAST THREE SCORES I'VE HEARD THAT YOU'VE SHOT IN THE LAST TEN DAYS ARE 71, 72, 73. NOW YOU'RE AVERAGING, YOU KNOW, BASICALLY A DOZEN SHOTS UNDER YOUR AGE THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, AREN'T YOU?

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH I HAVE, I'VE SHOT, I'VE BEEN, I PLAYED PRETTY WELL BUT I'M NOT PLAYING FROM THOSE BACK TEES PETER. I'M PLAYING FROM, YOU KNOW, THE LIGHT GRAYS, NOT THE DARK GRAYS ANYMORE.

I, I MOVED, I MOVED IT UP A LITTLE BIT WHEN I GOT 80.

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S WHY THEY GIVE YOU A BUNCH OF SETS OF TEES, RIGHT?

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH

PETER KESSLER
SO YOU CAN MOVE UP WHEN YOU'RE READY TO (LAUGHS)

TOMMY BOLT
USE THEM ALL. USE THEM ALL.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHING)

TOMMY, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE BREAK

TOMMY BOLT
SURE

PETER KESSLER
AND WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK.

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)
 
NEXT SEGMENT
Photo by Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile

By Nick MentaJanuary 21, 2018, 8:44 pm

Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.

The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.

"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."

He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).


Click here for full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.

“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."

Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.

Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.

Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.

The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.

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McIlroy gets back on track

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

He is well ahead of schedule.

Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

Everything in his life is lined up.

Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.


Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.