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Golf Talk Live - Gene Sarazen Transcript Segment 3

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PETER KESSLER

BOB JONES WAS ONE OF THE GREAT MEN OF ALL TIME WASN'T HE GENE?

GENE SARAZEN

YES HE WAS. I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT A GREAT HONOR HE ENSTOWED UPON ME BECAUSE THE SHELL COMPANY COULDN'T GET HIM TO COME OUT OF THE GOLF COURSE TO UH BE UH LIKE A SCORER AND I HAD TO GO DOWN TO ATLANTA AND I WENT TO HIS OFFICE AND I ASKED HIM IF, WOULDN'T HE PLEASE COME OUT AND SO THEY CARRIED HIM DOWN STAIRS AND PUT HIM IN THE CAR AND HE CAME OUT TO THE COURSE AND I'LL NEVER FORGET, HE GOT IN THE CART WITH ME AND WE START TALKING ABOUT OUR LIVES. I WAS TELLING JONES, YOU KNOW YOU AND I WERE BORN ABOUT A COUPLE OF WEEKS APART. I SAYS WE MET A COUPLE OF GIRLS BY THE NAME OF MARY. WE MARRIED IN JUNE. WE'VE HAD QUITE A TIME HAVEN'T WE? HE SAYS YEAH WE DIDN'T DO SO BAD.

PETER KESSLER

NO YOU DIDN'T DO SO BAD. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF JONES' SWING.

GENE SARAZEN

JONES? WELL HE HAD A GREAT SWING BUT HE COULDN'T PLAY AS MANY TOURNAMENTS AS THESE PLAYERS TODAY BECAUSE UH HIS SWING WAS MORE OF AN ARTIFICIAL SWING. HAD A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING RHYTHM BUT IT TAKES MORE THAN JUST A BEAUTIFUL RHYTHM TODAY YOU GOT TO HIT THAT BALL AND KEEP PLAYING WEEK AFTER WEEK. I DON'T THINK HE COULD HAVE DONE THAT.

PETER KESSLER

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT HE CONSISTENTLY BEAT JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY MOST OF THE TIME?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I CAN'T HELP BUT TO THINK OF TIGER WOODS. HE, HE GOES TO COLLEGE AND OF COURSE THE PLAYERS TODAY, MOST OF THEM ARE COLLEGE ACCRUED, NOT COLLEGE GRADUATES. THEY GO TO COLLEGE TO MAJOR IN GOLF.

PETER KESSLER

ABSOLUTELY.

GENE SARAZEN

THERE'S SO MUCH MONEY IN THE GAME BUT TAKE THE, TIGER NOW FOR INSTANCE, HE JUST GEARED HIMSELF FOR THAT AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP AND THEN HE REALIZED HOW GOOD HE WAS, HE SAYS I THINK I'LL TURN PRO AND BECOME A, A PROFESSIONAL.

PETER KESSLER

IT'S FUNNY WE HAVE SOMEONE, ONE OF OUR VIEWERS WHO WANTS TO ASK YOU A QUESTION ABOUT THE PLAYERS OF YESTERDAY VERSUS THE PLAYERS OF TODAY. WE HAVE ED WITH US. HELLO ED.

ED - CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS :

HI HOW ARE YOU PETER?

PETER KESSLER

DOING FINE THANKS.

ED - CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS :

THANK YOU. CONGRATULATIONS ON A TERRIFIC JOB THAT YOU DO ON THE TALK BACK SHOW.

PETER KESSLER

WELL THANKS. WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION FOR GENE.

ED - CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS :

UH GENE I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU WHAT YOU THINK OF THE MODERN DAY PLAYER AS COMPARED TO THE PLAYERS OF YOUR TIME?

PETER KESSLER

HIS QUESTION GENE IS , WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PLAYERS TODAY VERSUS THE PLAYERS WHEN YOU WERE IN YOUR PRIME? HAGEN AND YOU AND JONES AND TOMMY ARMOUR.

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I'LL TELL YOU PETER EVERY GENERATION HAS THREE OR FOUR GREAT PLAYERS. IN THE 20'S IT WAS JONES, HAGEN, MYSELF AND JIM BARNES AND JACQUE HUTCHINSON. THEN CAME THE 30'S AND THESE BOYS FROM TEXAS. BYRON NELSON, RALPH GUDAL, BEN HOGAN AND A HOST OF OTHERS BUT TODAY THERE'S SO MANY GREAT PLAYERS, GOOD PLAYERS, NOT QUITE GREAT YET BUT THEY WILL BE BUT UH I THINK THIS TOURNAMENT THAT'S BEING PLAYED HERE AT CHATEAU ELAN IS GOING TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR, FOR FOREIGN PLAYERS BECAUSE A LOT OF THESE PLAYERS THAT YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF FROM THE BACK WOODS ARE COMING HERE AND YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SEE THEM.

PETER KESSLER

WELL IT'S A FASCINATING CONCEPT BECAUSE YOU'RE HAVING OPEN CHAMPIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

GENE SARAZEN

THAT'S RIGHT. MOST OF THEM COULDN'T GET OUT OF THE, GET OUT OF THE WOODS NOW THEY HAVE. NOW THEY HAVE THEIR EXPENSES PAID AND THEY, THE LAST PRIZE IS $5000. WE NEVER THOUGHT OF $5000.

PETER KESSLER

WHAT DID THEY PAY YOU WHEN YOU WON THE U.S OPEN IN 1922?

GENE SARAZEN

I THINK IT WAS $500.

PETER KESSLER

UNBELIEVABLE ISN'T IT.

GENE SARAZEN

THE BRITISH OPEN WAS $500 AND THE MASTERS WAS $700 AND THE PGA WAS $500.

PETER KESSLER

WELL NO WONDER HAGEN WAS ALWAYS BROKE. RIGHT? I MEAN HE WOULD SPEND HIS MONEY TWO MINUTES AFTER WINNING A GOLF TOURNAMENT.

GENE SARAZEN

OH YES. WE DIDN'T MAKE ANY MONEY. WE WERE ALWAYS BORROWING MONEY.

PETER KESSLER

YOU KNOW YOU'VE HAD TWO INCREDIBLE WINNERS HERE IN YOUR FIRST, IN YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS, IN ERNIE ELS AND FRANK NOBILO. THIS IS PROVING TO BE A GREAT CHAMPIONSHIP SITE ISN'T IT?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL I THINK THAT WITHIN TEN YEARS THAT THIS WILL BE A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF FRANK NOBILO'S AND ERNIE ELS COMING OUT OF THE BACK WOODS, A LOT OF THEM. GOOD PLAYERS THAT YOU NEVER HEARD OF. THE SAME THING HAS HAPPENED TO THE SENIOR GOLF. PLAYERS THAT YOU NEVER HEARD OF ARE COMING OUT WINNING, BEATING FELLOWS LIKE NICKLAUS AND I, I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE IT AND THEY'RE ALL BECOMING MILLIONAIRES.

PETER KESSLER

BUT YOU CAN ONLY BEAT THE GUYS WHO SHOW UP. I MEAN WHEN YOU AND BOBBY JONES AND WALTER HAGEN WERE BEATING EVERYBODY IN THE `20'S AND 30'S YOU COULD ONLY BEAT THE GUYS WHO WERE AROUND. YOU KNOW YOU ONCE SAID ABOUT BOB JONES AND I ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT IT, YOU ONCE DESCRIBED HIM AS CONSIDERATE. WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?

GENE SARAZEN

OH JONES WAS A VERY CONSIDERATE PLAYER. FOR INSTANCE, I'LL NEVER FORGET PLAYING A ROUND WITH HIM ON THE FIRST HOLE AT UH I FORGET THE CHAMPIONSHIP BUT THE GALLERY, YOU KNOW, JONES WOULD HIS SHOT AND THEN THE GALLERY WOULD RUN, THEY'D DISREGARD ME AND JONES GOT ON THE GREEN AND HE ADDRESSED THE CROWD. HE TOLD THEM THAT THEY COULDN'T MOVE UNTIL UH HIS PARTNER PLAYED HIS SECOND SHOT AND FROM THEN ON THEY ALL BEHAVED PROPERLY.

PETER KESSLER

YOU HAD A CHANCE AND SO DID BOB TO PLAY WITH YOU, IN THE, IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH ROUNDS OF A NUMBER OF U.S. OPEN WHEN JONES WON HIS FIRST IN 1923, YOU PLAYED WITH HIM IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH ROUND BEFORE THE PLAY OFF WITH BOBBY CROOKSHANK (???) THAT HE ULTIMATELY WON. WHAT WAS IT ABOUT JONES' INSIDES THAT MADE HIM SO GOOD DOWN THE STRETCH GENE?

GENE SARAZEN

WELL JONES WAS A NERVOUS PLAYER BUT SOMETIME A LITTLE NERVOUS IS GOOD FOR YOU. GIVES YOU A LOT OF ZIP AND JONES HAD THAT. HE COULD HIT THAT BALL BEAUTIFUL RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE BUT SOME HOW OR OTHER HE HAD HIS BAD MOMENTS TOO AND UH I THINK HE DID THE RIGHT THING TO RETIRE FROM GOLF BECAUSE UH HE COULDN'T TAKE THE PRESSURE. JONES AND I BECAME FRIENDS A LONG TIME. I REMEMBER PLAYING IN THE MASTERS AND I'D GO DOWN TO HIS COTTAGE TO HAVE A, HAVE A LITTLE DRINK WITH HIM AND HE'D SAY I KNOW YOU'D COME DOWN BECAUSE YOU SHOT A GOOD SCORE. HE SAYS THAT WHEN YOU SHOOT A HIGH SCORE YOU DON'T COME DOWN TO HAVE A DRINK WITH ME.

PETER KESSLER

DID YOU DRINK THE CORN WHISKY WITH HIM?


GENE SARAZEN

NO I HAD SCOTCH.

PETER KESSLER

THAT WAS PRETTY STRONG STUFF THAT CORN WHISKY HE DRANK, WASN'T IT?

GENE SARAZEN

OH VERY STRONG.

PETER KESSLER

WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK AND WE'LL TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WALTER HAGEN. DON'T GO AWAY.

GENE SARAZEN

I RECALL THE EARLY DAYS WHEN YOU AND I PLAYED IN THE OPEN AT COLUMBIA. WE PLAYED FOUR ROUNDS TOGETHER AND WE WALKED OUT ON THE TEE AND UH WE WERE A COUPLE OF CLUB THROWERS AND WE SAID NOW LOOK IF YOU THROW A CLUB YOU'RE GOING TO PAY ME $5.00 AND IF I THROW A CLUB I'M GOING TO PAY YOU $5.00. I DON'T THINK I THREW A CLUB SINCE.

BOBBY JONES :

WELL I HAVE. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT.

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