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Golf Talk Live - Freddie Haas Transcript Segment 2

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PETER KESSLER
IN THE 1930'S, BEN HOGAN WAS PROFESSIONAL FOR TEN YEARS BEFORE HE ACTUALLY WON HIS FIRST TOUR EVENT IN NORTH AND SOUTH AT PINEHURST IN 1940. WHAT WAS HIS SWING LIKE AND WHAT WAS HIS PERSONALITY LIKE BEFORE HE WAS THE WINNING BEN HOGAN?

FREDDIE HAAS
WELL BEN ALWAYS WAS, YOU COULDN'T SAY HE WAS A LONER BECAUSE HE REALLY WASN'T. HE TALKED TO YOU IF YOU WANTED TO BUT NOT TOO MUCH, BUT

DON'T ASK HIM TOO MANY QUESTIONS, BUT WHEN HE CAME OUT ON THE TOUR SAM SNEAD WAS DOMINATING THE TOUR AND HE WAS FINISHING SECOND AND I ASKED THE PEOPLE IN NEW ORLEANS, I SAID, WE GOING TO PLAY THE NEW ORLEANS OPEN? YEAH HOW 'BOUT LETTING ME

PLAY WITH BEN HOGAN. I'D LIKE TO SEE WHY HE'S FINISHING SECOND AND I SAW IT ON THE FIRST TEE. WE GOT UP THERE AND HE HIT A LOW DUCKING RUNNING HOOK THAT WENT ABOUT 155 YARDS... IN THE ROUGH.

SO, HE CAN'T REACH THE GREEN SO HE TAKES OUT AN IRON AND HE HITS THE SAME TYPE OF A SHOT. HE'S STILL IN THE ROUGH. WELL NOW HE'S ABOUT 150

YARDS FROM THE GREEN AND, WITHOUT CHOOSING ANOTHER CLUB HE JUST HITS THAT CLUB, TOPS THE BALL, RUNS UP THERE 25 FEET FROM THE CUP AND HE HOLED THE PUTT FOR A FOUR.

NOW WHEN YOU LOOK AT THAT FOUR THAT HE MADE AND THE ONE THAT HENRY PICKET (?) AND SAM SNEAD MADE LOOKS THE SAME DOESN'T IT?

PETER KESSLER
ON THE CARD.

FREDDIE HAAS
BUT FOR SOME REASON OR ANOTHER YOU CAN'T PLAY GOLF THAT WAY AND I DIDN'T SEE BEN FOR BETWEEN NINE MONTHS AND MAYBE A YEAR AND WHEN I SAW HIM HE HAD A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SWING

AND I SAID TO BEN, I SAID BEN YOU'VE CHANGED YOUR SWING. OH YEAH HE SAID. I SAID WHY? HE SAID I JUST DECIDED THAT YOU WOULD NEVER WIN A NATIONAL OPEN MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP HITTING A DUCK HOOK. HE SAID I HAVE CHANGED SO THAT I'M COMING IN THIS

WAY. HE SAID I DON'T WANT ANYMORE OF THIS. HE SAID, YOU SAW WHAT HAPPENED TO ME WHEN I PLAYED WITH YOU IN NEW ORLEANS. I SAID YEAH BUT I'M LOOKING AT YOU NOW AND YOU LOOK
LIKE A DIFFERENT MAN TO ME. HE SAID WELL I HOPE SO.

PETER KESSLER
AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER OR CERTAINLY WINDING DOWN IN THE PACIFIC IN THE SUMMER OF '45, THE SUMMER OF THE NELSON STREAK, THE ONE THAT YOU BROKE BY WINNING IN MEMPHIS, THERE'S

BEEN CRITICISM THAT NELSON IN THAT YEAR THAT HE WON ELEVEN IN A ROW AND EIGHTEEN OUT OF THE THIRTY EVENTS THAT HE PLAYED IN INCLUDING SEVEN SECOND PLACE FINISHES

FREDDIE HAAS
MHMM

PETER KESSLER
THAT THERE WASN'T ANYBODY THERE FOR HIM TO BEAT. COULD YOU SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON THAT?

FREDDIE HAAS
WELL ALL I KNOW IS THE SCORES THAT HE SHOT WERE JUST PHENOMENAL. AND I KNOW THAT HE HAD TO PLAY 36 HOLES TO BEAT SNEAD IN CHARLOTTE (?) IN ONE OF THE TOURNAMENTS THAT HE WON. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER IT'S SECOND, THIRD, FORTH, OF FIFTH. DIDN'T MATTER.

BUT HE HAD SHOT SUCH PHENOMENALLY LOW SCORES. I PLAYED WITH HIM MANY TIMES AND HE WOULD SHOOT 65 OR 66 AND HOW WOULD HE SHOOT IT? SOME OF THEM WERE DIFFICULT AND SOME OF

THEM WERE EASY. HE WOULD HIT EITHER THREE OR FOUR PAR 5'S IN TWO. THAT'S THREE TO FOUR UNDER PAR. I HAVE NEVER PLAYED A ROUND OF GOLF WITH BYRON NELSON WHEN HE DIDN'T HIT TWO

SHOTS LIKE THIS, NOW YOU'RE FIVE OR SIX UNDER PAR. THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE HIM HE'S PEPPERING THIS THING AROUND TEN, TWELVE, NO MORE THAN FIFTEEN FEET FROM THE HOLE AND HE'D MAKE ONE OR TWO AND THAT 65 OR 66. I WOULD SAY
THAT THAT'S A RATHER GOOD ROUND OF GOLF.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN HE WON THE FIRST OF HIS ELEVEN IN A ROW, THAT WAS A BEST BALL EVENT WITH JUG MCSPADEN AS HIS PARTNER.

FREDDIE HAAS
RIGHT

PETER KESSLER
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY WELL HOW CAN YOU COUNT THAT TEAM WIN IN THE STREAK? DO YOU COUNT IT?

FREDDIE HAAS
OH ABSOLUTELY BECAUSE THEY, THEY PLAYED SOME PRETTY TOUGH CUSTOMERS BACK THERE AND THEY HAD NO CINCH TO WIN AND NELSON ACTUALLY, HE WAS (LAUGHS) HE WAS A LITTLE BETTER THAN,

THAN MCSPADEN BUT DON'T THINK MCSPADEN COULDN'T PLAY AND MCSPADEN THROW AN EAGLE AT YOU HERE AND THERE AND EVERYWHERE

BECAUSE HE COULD WOP THAT BALL OUT THERE A LONG WAY AND IT WAS A VERY GOOD TEAM BUT THEY HAD SOME VERY GOOD MATCHES AND THEY PLAYED SOME
VERY GOOD PLAYERS.

PETER KESSLER
NOW OF COURSE IN THAT YEAR, SNEAD ENDED UP PLAYING 26 TIMES, HOGAN PLAYED 18 TIMES, HOGAN SET THE SCORING RECORD AT 261 THAT YEAR.

FREDDIE HAAS
MHMM

PETER KESSLER
THAT NELSON ENDED UP BREAKING JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS LATER BY SHOOTING 259 FOR 72 HOLES. WHEN THE WAR ENDED ON AUGUST 14TH OF 1945 AS JAPAN SURRENDERED, THE FIRST POST WAR TIME PROFESSIONAL TOURNAMENT WAS THE

ONE THAT YOU WON THAT WEEK IN MEMPHIS. HOW AWARE WERE YOU AS YOU WENT INTO THE FINAL ROUND WITH A BIG LEAD AND BEING PAIRED WITH NELSON OF A SENSE OF PRESSURE TO WIN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT.

FREDDIE HAAS
(LAUGHS) I SAID TO MYSELF, WHAT AM I GOING TO HAVE TO SHOOT TO WIN THIS TOURNAMENT? I'M LEADING NELSON BY FOUR STROKES AND MY REASONING WAS
THIS. I BELIEVE THAT IF I KEEP MY HEAD ABOUT ME I MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE 18

STRAIGHT PARS. THAT MEANS HE'S GOT TO SHOOT 5 UNDER PAR TO BEAT ME. I SAID I KNOW HE CAN DO THAT BUT I SAID THAT'S MY GOAL. SO I PLAYED THE FIRST

FIVE HOLES IN EVEN PAR AND I'VE LOST TWO STROKES. WELL I CAN ASSURE YOU, TWO STROKES IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE PLAYING BYRON NELSON WHEN HE WAS PLAYING AS HE WAS. AND HE GOT THE TOUGHEST BREAK I'VE EVER HEARD OF,

ON THE 6TH HOLE. IT WAS A HOLE, HE'D HIT A 7 IRON AND HE HIT THIS BALL WAY UP IN THE AIR AND IT'S GOING IN THE HOLE. JUST SURE AND SHOOTING IT'S GOING IN THE HOLE, BUT IT HITS THE FLAG ABOUT THIS FAR ABOVE THE CUP AND THAT BALL

SHWOOT! OFF THE GREEN. ALL THE WAY OFF THE GREEN. A GOOD 40 OR 50 FEET. HOO! I SAID HE DIDN'T MAKE A HOLE IN ONE, LET'S SEE WHAT I CAN DO.

I CAUGHT A SIX IRON UP THERE. HAD IT, GOT IT ABOUT SIX FEET. NOW HE'S GOT TO CHIP THE BALL FROM SHORT OF THE GREEN AND HE HITS THE RIM OF THE CUP AND IT GOES FIVE FEET BY AND NOW HE'S

HIT THE CUP TWICE AND HE'S LYING THREE AND I'VE GOT A SIX FOOT PUTT FROM ME TO YOU AND I DON'T KNOW HOW THE BALL WENT IN BUT IT DID, AND THEN HE LIPPED OUT AGAIN AND HE MAKES FOUR, NOW I'VE PICKED UP TWO STROKES

I'M FOUR STROKES UP AND SOME HOW OR ANOTHER, THE GAME GOT A LITTLE EASIER AND I WENT ON TO SHOOT 68 WHICH I THOUGHT WAS A PRETTY DECENT ROUND.

PETER KESSLER
NOW, BEING AN AMATEUR AT THE TIME, YOU COULD WEAR SHORTS ALL FOUR DAYS AND DID, RIGHT?

FREDDIE HAAS
SURE DID.

PETER KESSLER
AND THE PROS COULDN'T

WEAR SHORTS.

FREDDIE HAAS
THAT'S RIGHT.

I HAD A BIG ADVANTAGE.

PETER KESSLER
SO BYRON GOT BEAT BY A GUY WEARING BERMUDA SHORTS.

FREDDIE HAAS
YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL TAKE A SHORT BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK AND KEEP THIS GOING.

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)
 
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