Golf Talk Live - Chris DiMarco Transcript Segment 2
WELCOME BACK. I, I THINK THE FUNNIEST LINE I READ DURING THE WEEK OF THE MASTERS CAME FROM THE GOLF WRITER FROM THE ATLANTA JOURNAL OF CONSTITUTION, GLENN SHEELY, BEEN ON THE GOLF CHANNEL SEVERAL TIMES.
HE SAID, OF CHRIS DIMARCO, HE IS TOUGHER THAN A WAFFLE HOUSE PORK CHOP
YOU DEMONSTRATED SOME OF THAT TOUGHNESS I THINK LATE ON SATURDAY. YOU HAD EVERY OPPORTUNITY. YOU KIND OF WAVED GOOD BYE. THE RIDE IS OVER. IT'S BEEN FUN AND YOU WOULD HAVE NONE OF THAT.
NO, YOU KNOW, I MADE A BOGIE ON 15 ON SUNDAY, OR SATURDAY AND SATURDAY'S PIN ON 16 WAS REALLY TOUGH. IT WAS BACK RIGHT, AND I FELT LIKE, YOU KNOW, THE NORMAL SHOT WOULD HAVE BEEN TO PUT IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GREEN
THERE AND TWO PUTT BUT I FELT LIKE I NEEDED SOMETHING TO GET BACK AND I HIT JUST A GREAT 7 IRON ABOUT 5 FEET. I MADE THE BIRDIE AND I JUST REMEMBER GIVING MYSELF A LITTLE PUMP, JUST SAYING, YOU KNOW, THIS IS, GAME'S ON. YOU KNOW, I WAS, I, IT WAS, THAT WAS IT
WHERE YOU SEE LIKE TIGER'S INTENSENESS BUT HAVING FUN. THAT WAS TOTALLY IT RIGHT THERE. I WAS TOTALLY INTENSE BUT SO ENJOYING THE MOMENT.
SO IS THAT WHAT YOU SORT OF TAKE AWAY FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF HAVING PLAYED WITH TIGER, THE IDEA THAT YOU SORT OF HAVE TO RELISH THE COMPETITION? RELISH THE HEAT.
SOAK IT UP.
I THINK SO. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, IT WAS FUNNY. I REMEMBER BEING A KID, REMEMBER WANTING TO GO THROUGH PEOPLE AND GETTING ON A PAR 3 AND LIKE, HITTING A REALLY GOOD SHOT AND THEN GOING, WOW, THAT WAS A PRETTY
GOOD SHOT, SO THAT'S WHAT THE MENTALITY KIND OF IS OUT THERE. YOU WANT TO IMPRESS PEOPLE AND IF YOU'RE PLAYING WELL YOU CAN DO THAT, PRETTY, YOU KNOW BY HITTING GOOD SHOTS AND MAKING GOOD PUTTS AND, AND DOING GOOD THINGS.
HOW FAR IN TO THE 72 HOLE EXPERIENCE DID YOU CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU COULD SHOCK THE WORLD AND WIN THE GREEN JACKET.
UM, YOU KNOW, I REMEMBER ON THE 13TH TEE, ME AND CALC WERE BACK THERE AND WE WERE JUST KIND OF MULLING ALONG AND, YOU KNOW, HE SAID, MAN WE'VE GOT HOLES LEFT. HE SAID WE'VE GOT HOLES
WE CAN EAGLE AND WE GOT BIRDIES LEFT AND HE'S GOT TO STILL PLAY THE 12TH AND SOME OTHER HOLES, SO I THINK UP UNTIL THAT POINT, I MEAN WE WERE, WE WERE STILL CLAWING AND FIGHTING.
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN, TIGER WOODS WINS HIS 4TH CONSECUTIVE MAJOR, YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO WIN A SINGLE PGA TOUR EVENT, 32 YEARS OLD, YOU BROKE THROUGH AT PENNSYLVANIA LAST YEAR, THRILLING MOMENT. PUT SOME CONTEXT TO WHAT TIGER HAS JUST TOPPED OFF.
YOU KNOW I DON'T EVEN THINK IT'S, I MEAN IT'S UNHEARD OF. I MEAN IT'S AMAZING. FOUR MAJORS IN A ROW PLUS TPC, HOLDING THOSE 5 TROPHIES AT THE SAME TIME
PLUS BAY HILL, ARNIE'S TOURNAMENT, PLUS MEMORIAL JACK'S TOURNAMENT.
20:PLUS THE CANADIAN OPEN.
I MEAN, IT'S, IT'S UNREAL. I MEAN , I THINK, I MEAN I, IT'S FUNNY IS THAT YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE, SAID THEY'VE HEARD ENOUGH OF TIGER. TIGER, TIGER, TIGER, BUT, YOU KNOW, AND THEN RICK RILEY, FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED WROTE A GOOD ARTICLE ONE TIME SAYING IF YOU, IF YOU
DON'T PAY ATTENTION YOU MIGHT MISS IT. I MEAN IF, MIGHT THE GREATEST SPORTS HISTORY MIGHT BE HAPPENING RIGHT AS WE ARE WATCHING AND IF YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION YOU MIGHT MISS IT AND IT'S TRUE. I MEAN THIS IS UNHEARD OF, THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED WHAT HE'S DOING.
HOW DO YOU THINK HE WILL IMPACT THE GAME GOING FORWARD? I'M TALKING MAYBE THE NEXT GENERATION. WHAT CHANGES DO YOU THINK WE'LL SEE AS A RESULT OF WHAT TIGER'S DONE?
WELL, I CAN REMEMBER BEING IN HIGH SCHOOL MYSELF AND A BE, YOU KNOW, TELLING PEOPLE YEAH I'M ON A GOLF TEAM, YOU KNOW, KIND OF LIKE YOU, YOU WERE NOT REALLY, YOU WEREN'T THE COOL KIDS IN SCHOOL ON THE GOLF TEAM,
AND, YOU KNOW, IT WAS THE FOOTBALL AND FOOTBALL'S STILL A POPULAR SPORT, BUT I THINK IT'S KIND OF COOL TO BE A GOLFER NOW AND I THINK THAT KIDS ARE ENJOYING THAT AND YOU'RE SEEING SUCH FROM THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS GETTING INTO GOLF AND I THINK IT'S, I THINK IT'S AWESOME BECAUSE IT'S SUCH
A, A LONG, YOU CAN HIT, YOU CAN PLAY IT FOR SO LONG, THE LONGEVITY'S JUST THERE. YOU CAN PLAY IT UP UNTIL INTO YOUR 70'S AS A PRO, IT'S AMAZING.
IT SEEMS TOO LIKE HIS PHYSICAL PRESENTATION WILL HAVE A PROFOUND IMPACT, I THINK. THE STEREO TYPE OF GOLF AS A NON ATHLETIC ENDEAVOR I THINK HAS RADICALLY CHANGED WITH
TIGER WOODS WHO, ON OCCASION, LOOKS LIKE JIM BROWN HITTING THE HOLE FOR A 7 YARD GAIN. HE COMBINES THAT GREAT
EXPLOSIVENESS, POWER, WITH A WONDERFUL FEEL.
I WOULD, I WOULD CHALLENGE ANYBODY THAT DOESN'T THINK IT'S AN ATHLETIC SPORT TO GO AND WALK THE 18 TO 36 HOLES THAT WE HAVE WALKED ON SAT, OR SUNDAY, AT ATLANTA, IN THAT WIND.
IT WAS OVER 20 MILES, PLUS BEING IN THE LAST GROUP WITH THE MENTAL PART OF IT ON TOP OF YOU. IT, IT IS, IT'S A MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTING GAME AT TIMES.
GRANT WAITE (?) SAID TO ME LAST YEAR, LATE, THAT HE FELT TIGER WOODS WOULD CHANGE THE WAY PROFESSIONALS VIEW THE GAME IN THAT THEY WILL CHANGE THEIR OWN STANDARDS. NO LONGER
WOULD IT BE A SITUATION WHERE A GUY CAN PLAY WELL MAYBE ONLY 4 OR 5 TIMES A YEAR WHERE IT ALL COMES TOGETHER. TIGER HAS SAID THAT YOU CAN BE GOOD EVERY SINGLE DAY
20:EVERY SINGLE ROUND. WOULD YOU CONCUR WITH THAT?
YOU KNOW I WOULD, I MEAN, IT'S, IT'S AMAZING THAT HE'S THERE EVERY WEEK. I MEAN EVERY WEEK THAT HE PLAYS HE'S SOMEWHERE THERE SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. WHETHER HE WINS OR NOT, HE'S NOT FAR FROM THE LEAD AND TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT MUCH FOCUS AND THAT
MUCH MENTAL TOUGHNESS TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT IS UNBELIEVABLE.
SO HAVE YOU CHANGED ANYTHING IN YOUR ROUTINE AS A RESULT OF WHAT TIGER HAS DONE?
I'VE WORKED HARDER ON MY GAME. I, I HAVE.
AND HAVE YOU SEEN THAT ACROSS THE BOARD?
SURE, I MEAN IF YOU LOOK BACK SINCE I STARTED DOING IT, SINCE I WON LAST YEAR, I THINK I'VE ONLY MISSED TWO CUTS IN, IN 25 OR 26 EVENTS AND, SO I MEAN, THAT'S, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHAT I STRIVE FOR FOR SURE.
SO WORKING HARDER ON YOUR CONDITIONING?
I'M NOT SO MUCH A WORK, MY, I LEAVE THAT TO MY WIFE. MY WIFE'S THE BIG WORK OUT NUT IN THE FAMILY. I, I MEAN I WALK SO MUCH AND I'VE GOT 2 KIDS I, I CHASE AROUND A LOT SO I MEAN, I JUST DON'T ENJOY WORKING OUT BUT, I, I
I DO ANYWAY, I DON'T DO IT AS MUCH AS I PROBABLY SHOULD BUT I DO HIT MORE BALLS AND I DO PUTT A LITTLE MORE THAN I USED TO.
OKAY. WE'LL TAKE A SHORT BREAK AND WHEN WE COME BACK WE WILL CONTINUE TO LOOK AT CHRIS' RISE FROM THE NIKE TOUR THEN THE NIKE TOUR TO THE PGA TOUR TO THE MASTERS AND WE'LL ALSO
LOOK AT HIS BREAK THROUGH LAST YEAR IN PENNSYLVANIA AT THE S.C.I. CLASSIC. WIN NUMBER ONE AND HE DID IT GOING AWAY, STAY WITH US.
Beef's beer goggles: Less drinks = more wins
An offseason spent soul searching is apparently paying quick dividends for Andrew “Beef” Johnston, who is in contention to win Sunday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Johnston acknowledged he was “burning the candle at both ends” last year, playing both the PGA Tour and the European Tour, but he told reporters Saturday that it wasn’t too much golf that hindered his efforts.
It was too much “socializing.”
“I'm a social person,” Johnston said. “If you go out with friends, or you get invited to something, I'll have a beer, please. But I probably had a few too many beers, I would say, to be honest. And it reflected in my golf, and I was disappointed looking back at it. I want to turn that around and have a good season.”
Johnston posted a 6-under-par 66 Saturday, moving into a tie for sixth, three shots off the lead. He said he arrived in Abu Dhabi a week early to prepare for his first start of the new year. It’s paying off with a Sunday chance to win his second European Tour title.
“Last year was crazy, and like getting distracted, and things like that,” Johnston said. “You don't know it's happened until you've finished the season. You’re off doing things and you're burning the candle at both ends. When I got back from last season, sort of had time to reflect on it, I sort of said to myself, 'You've got to keep quiet and keep disciplined and get on with your work.’”
Johnston finished 189th last year in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. He was 116th in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
Johnston’s fun-loving personality, his scruffy beard and his big-bodied shape quickly made him one of the most popular and entertaining players in the game when he earned his PGA Tour card before the 2016-17 season. Golf Digest called him a “quirky outlier,” and while he has had fun with that persona, Johnston is also intent on continuing to prove he belongs among the game’s best players.
His plan for doing that?
“Just put the work in,” he said. “I didn’t put enough work in last year. It’s simple. It showed. So, just get down, knuckle down and practice hard.”
McIlroy making big statement in first start of 2018
Rory McIlroy marched the fairways of Abu Dhabi Golf Club Saturday with that fighter pilot stride of his, with that confident little bob in his step that you see when he is in command of his full arsenal of shots.
So much for easing into the new year.
So much for working off rust and treating these first few months of 2018 as a warmup for the Masters and his bid to complete the career Grand Slam.
McIlroy, 28, is poised to announce his return to golf in spectacular fashion Sunday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
With back-to-back birdies to close his round, McIlroy put up a 7-under-par 65, leaving him just one shot off the lead going into the final round.
“It’s good,” McIlroy said. “I probably scored a bit better today, short game was needed as well, but I hit the ball very well, so all in all it was another great round and confidence builder, not just for this week but obviously for the rest of the season as well.”
McIlroy can make a strong statement with a win Sunday.
If he claims the title in his first start of the year, he sends a message about leaving all the woes of 2017 behind him. He sends a message about his fitness after a nagging rib injury plagued him all of last year. He sends a message about his readiness to reassert himself as the game’s best player in a world suddenly teeming with towering young talent.
After his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro, McIlroy is eager to show himself, as well as everyone else, that he is ready to challenge for major championships and the world No. 1 title again.
“It feels like awhile since I’ve won,” McIlroy said. “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
A victory would be all the more meaningful because the week started with McIlroy paired with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and reigning European Tour Player of the Year Tommy Fleetwood.
McIlroy acknowledged the meaning of that going into Saturday’s round.
“That proves I’m back to full fitness and 100 percent healthy,” he said. “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now and one of, if not the best, drivers of the golf ball, and to be up there with him over the first two days proves to me I’m doing the right things and gives me confidence.”
It’s worth repeating what 2008 Masters champ Trevor Immelman said last month about pairings and the alpha-dog nature of the world’s best players. He was talking about Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge, when Immelman said pairings matter, even in off season events.
“When you are the elite level, you are always trying to send a message,” Immelman said. “They want to show this guy, `This is what I got.’”
A victory with Johnson in the field just two weeks after Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in an eight-shot rout will get the attention of all the elite players.
A victory also sets this up as a January for the ages, making it the kind of big-bang start the game has struggled to create in the shadow of the NFL playoffs.
Johnson put on a tour-de-force performance winning in Hawaii and the confident young Spaniard Jon Rahm is just a shot off the lead this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour. Sergio Garcia is just two off the lead going into the final round of the Singapore Open. Tiger Woods makes his return to the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines next week.
To be sure, McIlroy has a lot of work to do Sunday.
Yet another rising young talent, Thomas Pieters, shares the lead with Ross Fisher. Fleetwood is just two shots back and Johnson five back.
McIlroy has such a good history at Abu Dhabi. Over the last seven years, he has finished second four times and third twice. Still, even a strong finish that falls short of winning bodes well for McIlroy in his first start of the year.
“I have never won my first start back out,” McIlroy said.
A strong start, whether he wins or not, sets McIlroy up well for the ambitious schedule he plans for 2018. He’s also scheduled to play the Dubai Desert Classic next with the possibility he’ll play 30 times this year, two more events than he’s ever played in a year.
“I’m just really getting my golf head back on,” McIlroy said. “I’ve been really pleased with that.”
A victory Sunday will make all our heads spin a little b it with the exciting possibilities the game offers this year.
Garcia 2 back in weather-delayed Singapore Open
SINGAPORE - Danthai Boonma and Chapchai Nirat built a two-stroke lead over a chasing pack that includes Sergio Garcia and Ryo Ishikawa midway through the third round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open on Saturday.
The Thai golfers were locked together at 9 under when play was suspended at the Sentosa Golf Club for the third day in a row because of lightning strikes in the area.
Masters champion Garcia and former teen prodigy Ishikawa were among seven players leading the chase at 7 under on a heavily congested leaderboard.
Garcia, one of 78 players who returned to the course just after dawn to complete their second rounds, was on the 10th hole of his third round when the warning siren was sounded to abruptly end play for the day.
''Let's see if we can finish the round, that will be nice,'' he said. ''But I think if I can play 4-under I should have a chance.''
The Spanish golfer credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his first major championship title at Augusta National because of the stifling humidity of southeast Asia and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament.
Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore in 2017, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the subsequent week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later. He is feeling confident of his chances of success this weekend.
''I felt like I hit the ball OK,'' Garcia said. ''My putting and all went great but my speed hasn't been great on this green so let's see if I can be a little more aggressive on the rounds this weekend.''
Ishikawa moved into a share of the lead at the halfway stage after firing a second round of 5-under 66 that featured eight birdies. He birdied the first two holes of his third round to grab the outright lead but slipped back with a double-bogey at the tricky third hole for the third day in a row. He dropped another shot at the par-5 sixth when he drove into a fairway bunker.
''It was a short night but I had a good sleep and just putted well,'' Ishikawa said. The ''greens are a little quicker than yesterday but I still figured (out) that speed.
Ishikawa was thrust into the spotlight more than a decade ago. In 2007, he became the youngest player to win on any of the major tours in the world. He was a 15-year-old amateur when he won the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup.
He turned pro at 16, first played in the Masters when he was 17 and the Presidents Cup when he was 18. He shot 58 in the final round to win The Crowns in Japan when he was 19.
Now 26, Ishikawa has struggled with injuries and form in recent years. He lost his PGA Tour card and hasn't played in any of the majors since 2015. He has won 15 times as a professional, but has never won outside his homeland of Japan.
Chapchai was able to sleep in and put his feet up on Saturday morning after he completed his second round on Friday.
He bogeyed the third but reeled off three birdies in his next four holes to reach 9-under with the back nine still to play.
Danthai was tied for 12th at the halfway stage but charged into a share of the lead with seven birdies in the first 15 holes of his penultimate round.
McIlroy (65) one back in Abu Dhabi through 54
Rory McIlroy moved into position to send a powerful message in his first start of the new year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Closing out with back-to-back birdies Saturday, McIlroy posted a 7-under-par 65, leaving him poised to announce his return to golf in spectacular fashion after a winless year in 2017.
McIlroy heads into Sunday just a single shot behind the leaders, Thomas Pieters (67) and Ross Fisher (65), who are at 17-under overall at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Making his first start after taking three-and-a-half months off to regroup from an injury-riddled year, McIlroy is looking sharp in his bid to win for the first time in 16 months. He chipped in for birdie from 50 feet at the 17th on Saturday and two-putted from 60 feet for another birdie to finish his round.
McIlroy took 50 holes before making a bogey in Abu Dhabi. He pushed his tee shot into a greenside bunker at the 15th, where he left a delicate play in the bunker, then barely blasted his third out before holing a 15-footer for bogey.
McIlroy notably opened the tournament playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who started the new year winning the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in an eight-shot rout just two weeks ago. McIlroy was grouped in the first two rounds with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood, the European Tour’s Player of the Year last season. McIlroy sits ahead of both of them going into the final round, with Johnson (68) tied for 12th, five shots back, and Fleetwood (67) tied for fourth, two shots back.
Those first two rounds left McIlroy feeling good about his off season work.
“That proves I’m back to full fitness and 100 percent health,” he said going into Saturday. “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now and of, if not the best, drivers of the golf ball, and to be up there with him over the first two days proves to me I’m doing the right things and gives me confidence.”