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Golf Talk Live - Gene Sarazen Transcript Segment 2

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PETER KESSLER

WELCOME BACK TO GOLF TALK LIVE. WE'RE OF COURSE SITTING WITH THE FIRST MAN TO EVER WIN THE CAREER GRAND SLAM, GENE SARAZEN. WHEN YOU WERE 2O YEARS OLD AND WON YOUR FIRST U.S. OPEN OVER BOB JONES AND JOHN BLACK, DID YOU LATER THINK THAT IT CAME TOO EASILY OR TOO EARLY?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL AS I RECALL I WASN'T SO SURE THAT I WON THAT OPEN UNTIL I SAW A FELLOW RUNNING UP THE 18TH FAIRWAY TO TELL ME THAT, THAT JONES HAD PUT ONE IN THE WOODS AND MISSED THE SHOT AND THAT I HAD WON THE OPEN. THEN I GOT A GREAT THRILL OUT OF IT BUT UH I'LL NEVER FORGET WHEN I WAS ON MY WAY TO PITTSBURGH AND I HAD THE CUP AND I WAS AT THE RAILROAD STATION AND I RAN INTO BOBBY JONES AND OBIE KEELER AND I HAD THE CUP UNDER MY ARMS AND HE LOOKED AT IT AND HE SAYS I SHOULD, I SHOULD BE PLAYING OFF WITH YOU TOMORROW BUT I LOST TODAY SO HE CONGRATULATED ME.

PETER KESSLER

AND WITH GOOD REASON AND YOU TWO HAD PLENTY OF BATTLES DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS. THAT WAS ALSO THE YEAR YOU WON YOUR FIRST PGA CHAMPIONSHIP. I MEAN THAT'S A PRETTY HEADY START FOR A 20 YEAR OLD.

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I WAS VERY LUCKY TO WIN THE PGA. I'LL NEVER FORGET I'D WON THE OPEN AND OF COURSE IN ORDER TO MAKE A FEW DOLLARS YOU HAD TO GO ON A TOUR BY YOURSELF AND PICK UP $150 OR $200. I WAS AT COLUMBUS, OHIO AND I GOT THROUGH AND I COLLECTED MY FEE AND I WENT DOWN TOWN TO HAVE DINNER AND I'M SITTING OUTSIDE ON THE SIDEWALK AND A COUPLE WENT BY AND LOOKED AT ME, HE SAYS YOU'RE SARAZEN AREN'T YOU? I SAID YEAH. HE SAYS YOU'RE PLAYING IN THE PGA TOMORROW. I SAYS NO IT'S A WEEK FROM TOMORROW. HE SAYS NO IT'S TOMORROW. HE SAYS PICK UP YOUR BAG AND TRY TO MAKE THAT 7:00 TRAIN. WELL I PICKED UP MY BAG AND RAN DOWN THE RAILROAD STATION. THE TRAIN WAS JUST PULLING OUT AND I THREW THE BAG ON THE PLATFORM, RAN UPSTAIRS AND GOT INTO THE CAR AND THE TRAIN ARRIVED ABOUT TWO HOURS LATE, BUT THE PGA ALLOWED ME TO PLAY MY FIRST MATCH AND I WENT THROUGH THE WHOLE WEEK AND WON THE PGA. THAT'S HOW CLOSE I'D COME FROM LOSING IT.

PETER KESSLER

IF YOU SHOW UP LATE TODAY THEY WOULDN'T LET YOU PLAY PROBABLY.

GENE SARAZEN

OH NO NO. SEE I HAD TO PLAY TWO MATCHES THAT DAY. I'LL NEVER FORGET THE FIRST ONE WAS WILLIE HAUGE (????). DO YOU REMEMBER WILLIE HAUGE?

PETER KESSLER

I DO BUT NOT VERY WELL. TELL ME ABOUT HIM.

GENE SARAZEN

WELL THEY ALL THOUGHT THAT HE BEAT ME BECAUSE I WAS LATE AND I'D BEEN PLAYING A LOT OF EXHIBITIONS BUT I JUST MANAGED TO BEAT HIM ONE UP.

PETER KESSLER

NOW OAKMONT TODAY IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE TOUGHEST COURSES THAT THE TOUR PLAYERS PLAY. IT MUST HAVE BEEN, WITH EQUIPMENT THAT DIDN'T ALLOW THE BALL TO GO AS FAR IN 1922, TO HAVE BEEN AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT GOLF COURSE.

GENE SARAZEN

IT WAS A VERY HARD COURSE AND THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT THEY HAD THE RIDGES IN THE TRAPS. THE FURROWS.

PETER KESSLER

THEY HAD THOSE SPECIAL RAKES, WITH THE TEETH.

GENE SARAZEN

MR. FOUNS (???) WHO WAS THE PRESIDENT OF THE USGA . HE'S THE ONE WHO PUT THEM IN THERE BUT WHEN THE BRITISH RYDER CUP TEAM CAME OVER AND THEY WERE PRACTICING AND THEY LOOKED, LOOKED AT THOSE TRAPS AND ONE OF THEM, WHOSE NAME IS ROBINSON, HE SAYS WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO PLANT THE POTATOES HERE?

PETER KESSLER

NEVER I THINK IS THE ANSWER. MR. FOUNS (???) USED TO STAND BEHIND THE 2ND GREEN BEFORE A TOURNAMENT AND DROP A BALL AND IF IT DIDN'T ROLL ALL THE WAY TO FRONT OF THE GREEN BACK INTO THE FAIRWAY, HE WANTED THOSE GREENS FASTER. THEY WERE VERY QUICK IN THOSE DAYS WEREN'T THEY?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL HE WAS THE LORD MASTER. HE, HE HAD TO HAVE THEM THE WAY HE WANTED THEM. BUT THEY UH THEY KEEP THEM PRETTY FAST EVEN TODAY.

PETER KESSLER

LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MARY. YOU MET HER IN THE EARLY 20'S AND OF COURSE MARRIED HER IN 1924. THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE DEFINED AS THE GREATEST CHAMPIONSHIP YOU EVER WON. YOUR, YOUR MARRIAGE AND YOUR LIFE LONG TIME WITH MARY.

GENE SARAZEN

HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT PETER?

PETER KESSLER

BECAUSE I TRIED TO DO MY HOMEWORK FOR YOU. I'M A BIG FAN.

GENE SARAZEN

YES. I WAS ON AN EXHIBITION TOUR WITH JACQUE (???) HUTCHINSON AND WE'RE PLAYING A MATCH AT HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, AND THAT NIGHT THEY WERE HAVING A DINNER AT THE CLUB AND I WAS THERE AND I LOOKED OVER AND I SAW THIS PRETTY BLOND. I HAD A WEAKNESS FOR BLONDES SO UH I SAID TO THE UH HOSTESS, I SAYS, WHOSE THAT GIRL OVER THERE? SHE SAYS, HER NAME IS MARY PEGG. I SAID WOULD YOU MIND TAKING ME OVER AND INTRODUCE ME TO HER? SHE'S SAYS I'D BE DELIGHTED! SO I WENT OVER THERE AND MET HER AND, AND I INVITED HER TO SIT, TO WATCH US PLAY THE MIAMI COUNTRY CLUB THE NEXT DAY AND SHE CAME OVER AND FROM THEN ON THE ROMANCE STARTED.

PETER KESSLER

DID YOU PLAY GOOD?

GENE SARAZEN

OH I DON'T REMEMBER HOW I PLAYED. I WAS THINKING OF HER TOO MUCH.

PETER KESSLER

YEAH THAT'S WHAT I'M WONDERING YOU KNOW HOW GOOD WAS THE GAME THAT DAY. WHAT ABOUT THAT OTHER STORY AND THE BEAUTIFUL BLOND ON THE TRACKS, ON THE, ON THE PLATFORM AT PELHAM WHEN YOU USED TO PARK THE CAR AND TAKE THE TRAIN INTO THE CITY.

GENE SARAZEN

YEAH YOU SEE WE DIDN'T GO, WE DIDN'T DARE TO DRIVE INTO NEW YORK CITY BECAUSE YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH HARLEM AND IT WAS A VERY DANGEROUS PLACE, AND SO I'D DRIVE TO THE RAILROAD STATION, PARK MY CAR, AND UH WAIT FOR THAT 8:OO TRAIN AND I'D WALK UP AND DOWN THE PLATFORM AND I'D LOOK THE GIRLS OVER, THEY WERE CHORUS GIRLS GOING INTO REHEARSAL FOR THE ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES AND I SAW ONE BLOND, OH SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL AND I KEPT LOOKING AT HER, BUT SHE DIDN'T GIVE ME A TUMBLE. SO IT'S JUST MINE, IT'S 1922 OR 1920.. 1980 I'M OUT IN PALM SPRINGS, FLORIDA, PLAYING IN THE SENIOR TOURNAMENT AND I'M COMING UP THE 18TH FAIRWAY AND A FELLOW COMES AROUND THE FAIRWAY AND SAYS THERE'S A WOMAN UP THE CLUBHOUSE WANTS TO SEE YOU. I SAYS WHAT WOMAN WANTS TO SEE AN 88. 81 YEAR OLD MAN. SO I WENT UP THERE AND SHE CAME OUT AND I SHOOK HANDS AND SHE SAYS YOU REMEMBER ME? I LOOKED HER OVER. I COULDN'T QUITE PLACE HER. SHE SAYS YOU REMEMBER THAT BLOND YOU USED TO FLIRT WITH AT THE PELHAM PLATFORM? YEAH. SHE SAYS THAT'S ME. SHE'S SAYS. SHE SHOOK HANDS.. SHE SAID I'M MRS. BOB HOPE.

PETER KESSLER

UNBELIEVABLE.

GENE SARAZEN

UNBELIEVABLE IS RIGHT.

PETER KESSLER

HOW DID, IN THE EARLY 20'S, ALL OF YOU PUT TOGETHER THE CLUBS THAT YOU ENDED UP WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH? IT'S NOT LIKE TODAY. HOW DID YOU GET THE RIGHT HICKORY AND HOW DID YOU GET THE WEIGHT RIGHT AND THE HEADS RIGHT AND THE GRIPS RIGHT?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL YOU HAD TO BUILD YOUR OWN CLUBS PRACTICALLY AND YOU HAD TO GET STIFF SHAFTS FOR THE IRONS AND UH PRETTY GOOD SHAFTS FOR THE WOODS BUT THE THING THAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THEM IS THAT EVERY TIME THAT YOU GOT CAUGHT IN THE RAIN, YOU HAD TO GO IN THE PRO SHOP AND GET SAND PAPER AND SAND PAPER THE SHAFTS AND SHELLAC THEM.

PETER KESSLER

WHY BECAUSE THEY GOT SWOLLEN FROM THE MOISTURE?

GENE SARAZEN

THAT'S RIGHT.

PETER KESSLER

THAT'S A PRETTY TOUGH WAY TO GO ABOUT YOUR JOB.

GENE SARAZEN

YEAH BUT THE GAME CHANGED WHEN THE STEEL SHAFTS CAME IN. NOW EVERYTHING IS SHAFTS. TITANIUM SHAFTS.

PETER KESSLER

THE AMAZING THING IS YOU WON JUST ABOUT AS MANY CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH HICKORY AS YOU DID WITH STEEL.

GENE SARAZEN

YEAH IT DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE.

PETER KESSLER

NO PROBLEM FOR YOU. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE ANOTHER SHORT BREAK, GENE. WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK WITH MR. GENE SARAZEN RIGHT AFTER THIS. DON'T GO AWAY.

BREAK

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