Golf Talk Live - Tommy Bolt Transcript Segment 4
TO OPEN CROWN
SCENIC SOUTHERN HILLS AT TULSA, OKLAHOMA, BATTLEGROUND FOR THE 58TH UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS.
FROM THE OPENING SHOT, IT TAKES A TOLL ON THE CONTENDERS WHO FIND IT THE TOUGHEST COURSE IN YEARS.
BUT AT LEAST ONE MAN IS PLAYING SOLID GOLF FROM THE START. IT'S TOMMY BOLT WHO'S HAD TO CONQUER HIS TEMPER BEFORE HE COULD CONQUER PAR. APPARENTLY, HE HAS SUCCEEDED.
GENE LITTLER MAKES A FIERCE CHALLENGE IN THE THIRD ROUND. THE FORMER AMATEUR CHAMPION FIRES THE LOW ROUND OF THE TOURNAMENT AT THE LEADERS, A 67.
HE MAKES BRILLIANT RECOVERIES THE FEW TIMES HE GETS INTO TROUBLE.
LITTLER'S SPURT PUTS HIM CLOSEST TO BOLT WITH 18 HOLES TO GO.
BUT BOLT HAS THE STUFF TO MEET THE THREAT. HE CLINGS TO THE LEAD WITH A 69.
NOW THE FINISH OF THE LONG GRIND. PLAYER RALLIES AGAIN ON HIS LAST ROUND AND MAKES A STRONG BID FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
THE 22 YEAR OLD SOUTH AFRICAN CLOSES WITH A 71 FOR A SCORE OF 287, LOWEST IN SO FAR. NOW HE'S THE MAN TO BEAT.
AND HERE'S THE MAN TO BEAT HIM. WITH A FINAL ROUND OF 73, TOMMY BOLT WINS THE TITLE. HIS 72 HOLE SCORE OF 283 IS 4 STROKES BETTER THAN SECOND PLACE PLAYER.
KEEPING HIS TEMPER QUIET, BOLT LETS HIS GOLF DO THE THUNDERING FOR HIM, OPEN CHAMPION OF THE UNITED STATES.
YOU LEAD IT WIRE TO WIRE STARTING WITH A BIRDIE ON THE FIRST HOLE. AND YOU'VE ALWAYS TOLD US YOU HAD THE SECRET THAT WEEK. WHAT WAS THE SECRET?
UH, I WAS AT PEACE WITH MYSELF, PETER, AND THE WORLD.
WERE YOU SURPRISED AFTER THAT CHAMPIONSHIP - IF I HAD SAID TO YOU AFTER THAT CHAMPIONSHIP, 'TOMMY, HOW MANY MORE MAJORS ARE YOU GONNA WIN?' WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SAID TO ME?
(SIGH) I WOULD'VE SAID UH . THIS - I - I DON'T KNOW UH, PETER, BECAUSE I - I'D WON MY - I'D ACHIEVED MY GOAL, A GOAL. I - I WON THE OPEN AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO WIN WHEN I WAS A KID.
NOW YOU WERE 42 WHEN YOU WON THAT.
DID YOU . DID YOU LET DOWN AS - AS ONE CAN DO WHEN YOU'VE ACHIEVED THE GOAL THAT YOU HAD IN MIND?
I REALLY DID. I DIDN'T . I NEVER REALLY STARTED BACK PLAYING SERIOUSLY UNTIL I BECAME A SENIOR. I - I WON A COUPLE OF OTHER TOURNAMENTS. BUT UH, I - I DIDN'T PLAY SERIOUS GOLF LIKE I SHOULD HAVE.
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE 42 YEARS OLD. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO PLAY SERIOUS GOLF, PETE.
WELL, WHAT WERE THE THINGS THAT MADE YOU HAPPY AFTER THAT THAT - THAT TOOK THE PLACE OF MORE U.S. OPENS?
WELL UM .
IT WAS THE . I WAS UH, DOING A LOT OF CORPORATE OUTINGS AND . AND UH, THINGS LIKE THAT AND - AND IT TOOK - IT TAKES UP A LOT OF TIME, BELIEVE ME IT DOES.
AND IT - IT'S VERY DISTRACTING TO YOUR GOLF GAME. UH, YOU - YOU - YOU LOSE YOUR DESIRE IF YOU DON'T PLAY COMPETITIVELY. AND UH,
AND I JUST THOUGHT THAT WAS THE EASE - THAT WAS EASIER TO - TO MAKE MONEY THAT WAY THAN IT WAS TO COMPETE IN THOSE TOURNAMENTS.
AND JUST DIDN'T UH, PURSUE IT LIKE I SHOULD HAVE.
WASN'T IT IMPORTANT IN THOSE DAYS THAT TO - TO WIN A MAJOR LIKE AN OPEN SO THAT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU COULD MAKE IN EXHIBITIONS THAT WOULD REALLY LET YOUR ENDS MEET WAS THE KEY?
I'M STILL - IT'S STILL - I'M STILL DOING IT, PETER. IT'S STILL HAPPENING. THE OPEN, I STILL DO CORPORATE THINGS. AND UH, I'M UH . I STILL MAKE MONEY OUT OF THE - OUT OF WINNING THE U.S. OPEN.
YOU KNOW, I ALSO LED THE BUICK OPEN FOR 3 ROUNDS AFTER I LED - UH, WON THE U.S. OPEN.
THE NEXT TOURNAMENT WAS THE BUICK OPEN. AND I LED IT FOR 3 ROUNDS. I FINALLY LOST THE TOURNAMENT IN THE LAST ROUND WHEN BILLY CASPER . I WAS WILTED.
UH, 7 STRAIGHT ROUNDS OF LEADING TOURNAMENTS, IT - IT'LL TAKE SOME UH SPEED OUT OF YOU, BELIEVE ME.
DIDN'T YOU WIN THE WEEK BEFORE THE OPEN AS WELL?
UH, NOT THE WEEK BEFORE. BUT UH, I MISSED A 4 FOOT PUTT ON THE LAST HOLE .
TO TIE SNEAD (GIGGLE) . RIGHT.
TO TIE SNEAD.
UH, BUT I DID WIN THE COLONIAL ABOUT A UH . UH, 2 OR 3 WEEKS BEFORE I WENT TO THE OPEN, WON THE COLONIAL IN FORT WORTH.
AND YOU WERE THE FAVORITE GOING INTO THE OPEN.
YEAH, WELL NO, I WASN'T THE FAVORITE. HOGAN AND THE SNEAD WERE THE FAVORITES.
SURE, THOSE ARE - THEY WERE THE - STILL THE BIG NAMES ... IN '58.
YOU WERE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD.
WELL, I - I THOUGHT I WAS. (LAUGH)
YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY SAID THAT SNEAD WAS THIS INCREDIBLE PLAYER FROM TEE TO GREEN. BUT REALLY, IT WAS HIS SHORT GAME THAT WAS THE MOST BRILLIANT THING THAT SAM DID.
SNEAD WAS NO DOUBT THE GREATEST PLAYER AROUND THE GREENS THAT UH, THAT I'VE EVER SEEN. NOW BOBBY LOCKE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AND I PLAYED WITH BOBBY LOCKE TOO.
HE WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN GREAT, BUT NOBODY COULD TOUCH SAM SNEAD AROUND THE GREENS. HE WAS GREAT CHIPPING THE BALL. HE WAS GREAT OUT OF THE BUNKERS. AND HE WAS A GREAT PUTTER ALSO.
NO, HE - HE WASN'T THE GREATEST PLAYER FROM TEE TO GREEN. HOGAN WAS THE BEST PLAYER FROM TEE TO GREEN.
NOW YOU SAW SNEAD WITH HIS TEMPER, DIDN'T YOU?
YOU TELL THEM I HAVE. DON'T YOU THINK THAT THOSE - ALL THOSE GUYS DON'T - DON'T HAVE A TEMPER. EVERYONE OF THEM, EVERY COMPETITOR THAT'S GONNA WIN HAS A TEMPER, PETER. HE'S - HE'S NOT GONNA WIN UNLESS HE DOES HAVE ONE.
WHEN - WHEN HOGAN HAD HIS ACCIDENT AND THEN WON 6 OF 9 MAJORS OVER THE NEXT 4 YEARS AFTER THE ACCIDENT, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAID THAT HIS GOLF GAME WAS BETTER BECAUSE THE ACCIDENT FORCED HIS LEG ACTION TO BE QUIETER
AND HE WAS ABLE TO KEEP THINGS SYNCHRONIZED. DO YOU BUY INTO THAT?
IT HAD NOTHING DO WITH IT. UH . UH, PETER, HE CHANGED HIS SWING ENTIRELY, CHANGED HIS GRIP. HE READ THOSE BOOKS FROM UH, SOME BOOKS THAT SOME OF THE OLD SCOTCH UH PLAYERS AND - AND ENGLISH PLAYERS HAD WRITTEN.
AND HE GOT THOSE BOOKS. AND THAT WHOLE YEAR HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL, HE READ THOSE BOOKS AND HE CHANGED HIS GRIP, THE HARRY VARDON GRIP, THE LEFT - THE WEAK LEFT HAND.
AND THAT WAS HIS SECRET, BELIEVE ME IT WAS.
AND HE SAID, 'NOW DON'T TELL THOSE KIDS OUT THERE ANYTHING', WHEN HE TOLD ME, 'BECAUSE THEY WON'T APPRECIATE IT.' AND I TOLD EVERYONE OF THEM.
AND THIS IS HOGAN ACTUALLY AT THE - THE MASTERS PRACTICING IN 1967, I BELIEVE.
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH WIT WAS.
SWING LOOKED AS GOOD AS EVER, DIDN'T IT?
YES, IT DID. HE COULD STILL SWING.
TELL ME ABOUT TITANIC THOMPSON.
BOY, HE WAS A . HE WAS THE GREATEST GAMBLER THAT I'VE EVER - EVER SEEN, PETER. HE - HE WOULD SET THOSE OIL MEN UP UH . UH, PLAYING RIGHT-HANDED.
AND THEY'D GET IN UH AFTER THE DAY. HE'D - HE'D LOSE A LITTLE MONEY TO THEM. AND AFTER THE DAY WAS OVER, THEY'D GO IN THE BAR AND HAVE A FEW DRINKS, YOU KNOW. AND .
AND YOU GET THAT UH, YOU GET A FEW DRINKS INTO YOU. THE - THE . THE MORE DRINKS YOU GET IN, THE RICHER YOU GET.
AND UH, THOSE UM, THOSE OIL - OIL FOLKS UH, WOULD UH GET IN THAT BOOZE A LITTLE BIT. AND THEY WOULD - THEY WANTED TO CHALLENGE 'TI' (TITANIC) AND SAID,
'IF YOU THINK YOU'RE SO GOOD, I'LL JUST PLAY YOU LEFT-HANDED TOMORROW.' AND HE COULD PLAY BETTER LEFT-HANDED THAN HE COULD RIGHT-HANDED. SO HE MURDERED THEM.
HE WAS A GREAT PLAYER. HE COULD HAVE PLAYED ON THE TOUR, BUT THERE WAS - THERE WAS MORE MONEY HUSTLING THE OIL MEN UH, THAN THERE WAS TO - TO - TO WIN ON THE TOUR IN THOSE DAYS.
IS THAT TRUE FOR GUYS LIKE MARTY STANOVICH AND MYSTERIOUS MONTAGUE, OTHER GAMBLERS OF THE TIME?
WELL UM, I REMEMBER BOTH OF THEM. UH, BUT UH . UH .
THEY . I .
THEY WERE GOOD PLAYERS. THEY WERE - THEY COULD GET THE BALL UP AND DOWN. AND THEY HAD TO HAVE A FEW SHOTS, MARTIN STANOVICH DID.
HE - HE NEVER - NEVER REALLY PLAYED ANYBODY EVEN, I DON'T THINK. I THINK HE HAD TO GET SOME STROKES.
AND UH, THE UH . BUT UH, MONTAGUE, HE'S A - HE'S A GUY THAT UH BING CROSBY RAN INTO IN NEW JERSEY THERE AND TOOK HIM OUT ON THE WEST COAST AND REALLY PROMOTED HIM AND PUBLICIZED HIM AND UH MADE HIM A - A GREAT PLAYER.
HE COULD PLAY WITH A RAKE AND A HOE AND A SHOVEL, AND THINGS LIKE THAT. UH, I DON'T THINK HE EVER PLAYED ANYBODY, BUT IT WAS UH - THERE WAS SOME TALK ABOUT IT.
I WANT TO TELL EVERYBODY WHERE THEY CAN GET YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 'THE WHOLE TRUTH'. AND IF YOU WANT TO ORDER TOMMY'S BOOK,
TO ORDER BOOK:
IN THE UNITED STATES, YOU CALL 800-666-4660. IN CANADA, 800-387-7638, TO ORDER TOMMY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED IN 1999, 'THE WHOLE TRUTH.' WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas
Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.
Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.
McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.
Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?
Memo to the golf gods:
If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?
Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?
It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.
With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.
It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.
We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.
We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.
Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.
Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line. Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.
We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors.
In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.
While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.
Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.
Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.
Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.
While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.
Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.
So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?
McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever
With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.
The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.
Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.
"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."
McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.
But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.
"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."
What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire
Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.
Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft
Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft
Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x