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Golf Talk Live - Lanny Wadkins Transcript Segment 3

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PETER KESSLER
WELCOME BACK AND WE'LL TAKE A SPECIAL PHONE CALL RIGHT NOW FROM MAJOR CHAMPION, MAJOR GUY, SOMEONE WHO JUST WON AGAIN ON THE PGA TOUR AFTER A LITTLE BIT OF AN ABSENCE, WELCOME PAUL AZINGER.

PAUL AZINGER
HEY PETER AND LANNY.

LANNY WADKINS
HELLO PAUL. HOW YOU DOING?

PETER KESSLER
HELLO PAUL.

PAUL AZINGER
GOOD MAN. CONGRATULATIONS.

LANNY WADKINS
THANK YOU, THANK YOU. SAME TO YOU.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, THEY EDITED IT UP SO BAD HERE AT - AT HOME, I - I MISSED A LOT OF IT.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, IT WAS UH, IT WAS FUN. IT WAS UH TENSE BUT I FELT GOOD. I THINK I FELT AS GOOD IN THE UH, PLAYOFF AS I'VE FELT IN A LONG TIME.

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW, HE .

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, YOU HAD SOME GREAT SHOTS, MAN. I'M PUMPED FOR YOU. I'M JUST A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED I'M NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO PICK YOUR POCKETS ON THE REGULAR TOUR.

LANNY WADKINS
`ZINGER, I CAN TAKE YOU ANY TIME JUST GO - IN FACT, I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, WHEN YOU WON IN HAWAII, I - I ALMOST DECIDED I WAS GONNA CHUCK THE SENIOR TOUR AND GO BACK TO THE REGULAR TOUR, IF IT WAS THAT EASY.

(PAUL LAUGHS)

PETER KESSLER
BECAUSE IF HE CAN WIN, ANYBODY CAN WIN.

LANNY WADKINS
THAT'S . THAT WAS MY THOUGHT EXACTLY. UH, I MEAN, HE'S A . I MEAN, I'VE TAUGHT HIM THE HAMMER GAME AND - AND SO . HE'S - AND HE'S STILL LEARNING.

AND UH, HE'S GOT A FEW MORE LESSONS, AND THEY'RE COSTLY LESSONS. BUT YOU KNOW, WE'LL GET HIM THERE.

PAUL AZINGER
YOU KNOW, I - I WILL BE HONEST. I . I AM GONNA MISS LANNY BIRDYING 2 OF THE LAST 3 HOLES TO - TO BEAT ME 1-UP. IT'S - IT'S KIND OF LIKE UH . YOU KNOW, THERE'S NOTHING I COULD DO TO STOP THE GUY.

AND I KNEW YOU'D BE . I KNEW YOU'D BE GOOD OUT THERE ON THAT SENIOR TOUR. I DIDN'T KNOW YOU'D BE GOOD THAT FAST THOUGH, LANNY. THAT WAS GREAT.

PETER KESSLER
HE WAS UPSET THAT HE DIDN'T SHOOT 60 YESTERDAY.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, YOU KNOW, HE SETS A DIFFERENT STANDARD, I THINK, THAN A LOT OF GUYS. THERE WERE SOME GUYS WHO WERE SOME - A FEW CADDIES THAT WERE NAY SAYING LANNY, SAYING 'NAH, I DON'T KNOW IF LANNY'S GONNA BE ABLE TO .

TO DO IT. I THINK - I THINK IT'LL BE HARDER THAN HE THINKS AND .' I KEPT SAYING 'I DON'T KNOW, MAN. LANNY STILL WANTS IT PRETTY BAD.' AND I THINK IT - IT PROVED TO BE THE CASE YESTERDAY.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, THAT - MAYBE THAT'S WHY THEY'RE CADDYING.

PAUL AZINGER
THAT'S TRUE.

PETER KESSLER
AND IS THERE ANY SHOT THAT YOU MISSED? LANNY'D BE HAPPY TO DESCRIBE HOW IT LANDED RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOLE. WHICH ONE DID YOU MISS, PAUL?

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, ACTUALLY YOU KNOW WHICH ONE I DID MISS BECAUSE THEY WERE EDITING IT AND I - I . YOU KNOW, I DON'T LIKE TO WATCH THE COMMERCIALS .

BUT YOU STIFFED IT ON THAT UH FIRST PLAYOFF HOLE AND YOU MISSED THE PUTT. AND I . WHEN I CAME BACK ON, I DIDN'T SEE WHAT HAD HAPPENED ON THE PUTT. YOU DIDN'T LEAVE IT SHORT, DID YOU?

LANNY WADKINS
UH . NO, I'D .

`ZINGER, COME ON. I .

(PAUL LAUGHS)

I LEFT - THE - THE THING THAT YOU MISSED ON THE EDIT WAS THAT UH, WATSON HAD THE SAME PUTT UH, BUT IT WAS 2 OR 3 INCHES LONGER UH, FOR BOGEY.

AND UH, HE MADE IT. AND I WALKED BY - I WAS WATCHING HIS PUTT THE WHOLE TIME `CAUSE IT WAS THE SAME LINE. AND THEN AS I WALKED BY, HE SAID, 'DID YOU SEE THAT, LANNY?'

I SAID, ' I SAW EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT.' AND SO (LAUGH) . AND THEN UH, I STARTED LAUGHING AND LOOKED AT IT. AND I HIT IT RIGHT AT THE LEFT EDGE. IT STAYED THERE AND LIPPED OUT.

SO I ACTUALLY THOUGHT I MADE IT WHEN I HIT IT.

PAUL AZINGER
THAT'S SIMILAR TO THE PUTT YOU HAD IN REGULATION TOO. IT LOOKED LIKE IT SHOULD'VE GONE RIGHT AND DIDN'T.

LANNY WADKINS
YEAH, THE ONE IN REGULATION WAS A PRETTY STRAIGHT PUTT. I MUST HAVE PULLED IT JUST SLIGHTLY. THIS ONE I THOUGHT I'D MADE, CAUGHT THE LEFT EDGE AND DIDN'T GO.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, I'M HAPPY FOR YOU, BUD. YOU - YOU REALLY UH, YOU SHOWED ME SOMETHING. AND I THINK UH, THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE REAL HAPPY FOR YOU EXCEPT FOR A FEW OF THOSE SENIOR GUYS. I THINK THEY'RE PROBABLY A LITTLE WORRIED RIGHT NOW.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, THAT'S OKAY.

PETER KESSLER
I THINK THEY WERE - GUYS WERE PRETTY HAPPY FOR YOU TOO AFTER SEEING YOU WIN, PAUL.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, I GOT LANNY'S MESSAGES. HIS LOVELY WIFE, PENNY, LEFT ME A MESSAGE SAYING THAT UH, 'LANNY SAID IF HE'D HAVE KNOWN THE REGULAR TOUR WAS GONNA BE THAT EASY, HE'D . HE PROBABLY WOULD WANT TO STICK AROUND.'

LANNY WADKINS
WELL THAT'S, YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE CASE. BUT UH . ANYWAY, I'M - I'M GLAD FOR YOU. AND UH, YOU KNOW, THE TRICK IS TO GO DO IT AGAIN THOUGH.

PAUL AZINGER
WELL, LISTEN LANNY, I KNOW YOU'RE GONNA HAVE A GREAT YEAR. AND UH, I'M JUST PUMPED FOR YOU. AND I HAD TO CALL AND CONGRATULATE YOU `CAUSE I LOST YOUR PHONE NUMBER AT THE HOUSE.

LANNY WADKINS
THAT FIGURES. UH, YOU'RE SO ORGANIZED.

(PAUL LAUGHS)

PETER KESSLER
GREAT OF YOU TO CALL.

PAUL AZINGER
ALRIGHT, YOU GUYS HAVE A GOOD SHOW.

PETER KESSLER
TAKE GOOD CARE.

LANNY WADKINS
THANKS.

PETER KESSLER
AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON THE GOLF CHANNEL SOON. I KNOW YOU'RE COMING TO VISIT US.

PAUL AZINGER
SUNDAY.

PETER KESSLER
SUNDAY?

PAUL AZINGER
SEE YA.

PETER KESSLER
LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

LANNY WADKINS
BYE PAUL.

PETER KESSLER
AFTER HE'S COMING, SHORTLY HE'S GONNA BE ON ACADEMY LIVE WITH HIS TEACHER, JOHN REDMAN,

LANNY WADKINS
OH, OKAY.

PETER KESSLER
CAN SHOW US HOW HE ACTUALLY MAKES THAT GOLF SWING WITH THAT GRIP OF HIS.

LANNY WADKINS
WELL, BE SURE AND LISTEN TO JOHN. DON'T LISTEN TO PAUL `CAUSE HE HAS A, YOU KNOW, A DIFFERENT THEORY EVERY DAY. SO, YOU KNOW, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT JOHN SAYS.

PETER KESSLER
YOU GETTING ANY . ANY SORT OF 'DE JA VU' SENSE WHEN YOU SEE WHAT TIGER'S UP TO RELATIVE TO WHAT JACK WAS UP TO WHEN HE WAS AT HIS ABSOLUTE BEST IN THE EARLY 70'S WHEN YOU JOINED THE TOUR?

LANNY WADKINS
UH, INTERESTING. YEAH, I MEAN, THEY BOTH PLAY A ... A DIFFERENT GAME FROM A LOT OF PLAYERS ON TOUR AT - AT THEIR RESPECTIVE TIMES.

JACK WAS UH, SO MUCH LONGER AND STRONGER WHEN HE FIRST CAME ON TOUR, HAD A, YOU KNOW, A WIDER STANCE THAN HE HAS TODAY, BIGGER SWING.

UH, I MEAN . REVERSE, SEE JUST - JUST KILLS IT. UH . I THINK JACK AT THAT - THIS POINT IN TIME IN HIS CAREER COMPARED TO TIGER WAS A - A BETTER PUTTER. UH,

TIGER HAS AS MUCH IMAGINATION AND PROBABLY PLAYS MORE SHOTS THAN JACK. JACK WAS JUST UH . JUST HIT IT SO SOLID,

YOU KNOW, TIME AFTER TIME, AND DROVE IT LONG AND STRAIGHT UH, GREAT IRON PLAYER. AND I THINK JACK MADE UP FOR A LOT OF UH, MAYBE HIS SHORT IRON INABILITIES AT THAT POINT IN TIME,

UH, MAYBE HIS BUNKER PLAY AT THAT POINT IN TIME, WITH HIS PUTTING. UH .

HE WAS JUST AN AMAZING PUTTER. HE - JACK, I ALWAYS THOUGHT, HAD THE - HAD THE AMAZING ABILITY TO MAKE MORE

10, 12, 15-FOOTERS FOR PAR AS ANYBODY I EVER SAW. HIS LEVEL OF CONCENTRATION UH, ON THOSE PUTTS WAS JUST BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE'S. AND THAT'S . THAT - THAT REALLY SEPARATED HIM FROM - FROM A LOT OF PLAYERS.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THE IMPROVEMENT IN TIGER'S GAME JUST IN A COUPLE OF YEARS. HE DIDN'T LIKE THE GOLF SWING HE WON THE MASTERS BY 12 SHOTS WITH IN `97.

LANNY WADKINS
I WOULD HAVE DISCARDED IT IN A HEARTBEAT, YEAH. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
AND HE DID TOO. AND HE AND BUTCH HARMON HAVE REBUILT THE GOLF SWING THAT HE HAS NOW. HIS BODY'S DIFFERENT. HIS GOLF SWING'S DIFFERENT.

DID YOU EVER SEE ANYBODY IMPROVE THAT MUCH WHO WAS ALREADY TERRIFIC?

LANNY WADKINS
NO, HE'S - HE'S AMAZING. UH, I THINK THE THING THAT IMPRESSES ME THE MOST ABOUT TIGER IS JUST HIS COMPLETE WORK - WORK ETHIC. JUST THE WAY HE REDEFINED HIS BODY,

I MEAN, HIS - HIS PHYSICAL CONDITIONING IS JUST UNBELIEVABLE. HE'S - HE'S A GREAT ATHLETE, NOT JUST A GREAT GOLFER. UH .

HIS SWING IS REALLY SOLID, STAYS ON LINE. I JUST LOVE THE WAY HE ACCELERATES THROUGH THE BALL. UM, HE'S LEARNING TO PLAY MORE AND MORE SHOTS. AND UH, AND I THINK THAT'S JUST GONNA MAKE HIM A MUCH BETTER PLAYER. I.

RIGHT THERE IS A THREE-QUARTER SWING THAT HE MAKES AND UH, LOOKS LIKE HE JUST HAS COMPLETE CONTROL OVER IT, YOU KNOW. HE JUST . YOU KNOW, HE'S RIGHT DOWN THE LINE FOR A LONG TIME AND - AND JUST FIRING IT. SO UH .

AND TIGER'S GOT A LOT OF IMAGINATION. HE PLAYS A LOT OF SHOTS AROUND THE GREENS. I THINK HE'S BECOMING A BETTER PUTTER ALL THE TIME. I THINK AS HE GETS .

YOU KNOW, THE THING I NOTICED WHEN HE FIRST CAME OUT, I THOUGHT HIS SPEED COULD BE BETTER PUTTING. UH, HE RAN A LOT OF PUTTS 4 OR 5 FEET BY THE HOLE.

THAT TAKES ITS TOLL ON YOU. YOU KNOW, AND IT - IT'S HARD TO CONTINUALLY MAKE THOSE TIME AND TIME AGAIN. AND UH, I JUST THINK THAT UH, AS HIS SPEED GETS BETTER .

YOU KNOW, WHEN YOUR SPEED'S THE RIGHT SPEED, THE HOLE'S BIGGER. AND PUTTS FALL IN THE SIDE EVERY NOW AND THEN. AND I THINK THAT'S GONNA HAPPEN - HAPPEN WITH TIGER.

PETER KESSLER
PEOPLE USED TO SAY THAT WHEN JACK'S NAME WOULD POP UP ON THE LEADER BOARD THAT SOME GUYS WOULD ACTUALLY NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY THEIR GAME ANYMORE. IS THE SAME THING TRUE, DO YOU THINK, ABOUT TIGER TODAY?

LANNY WADKINS
I THINK TO AN EXTENT. I THINK THAT UH IT DEPENDS ON WHO'S LOOKING AT THE LEADER BOARD. I THINK THAT UH .

AT THAT LEVEL, WHEN I WAS COMING OUT, I RELISHED THE CHANCE TO PLAY AGAINST NICKLAUS OR WATSON OR WEISKOPF OR ARNOLD

20:28:44
OR TREVINO OR ANY OF THEM. I MEAN, THAT'S WHO I'VE . AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO DO. I THINK THE GOOD PLAYERS TODAY, IF THEY SEE TIGER, THEY - THEY THINK 'ALRIGHT, THE GAME'S ON.'

AND THEY - THEY GET AFTER IT TOO. AND TIGER'S STILL GETTING THEM. BUT UH, I THINK THEY GET EXCITED ABOUT BEING ABLE TO RUN AGAINST HIM. THERE'S - THERE'S NOTHING SWEETER THAN A WIN AGAINST A - THE BIGGEST NAME OUT THERE.

I MEAN, THAT MAKES WINS EVER THAT MUCH BETTER.

PETER KESSLER
AS WE TAKE THIS BREAK, WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT A CAREER GRAPHIC AND SHOW YOU SOME OF THE THINGS THAT LANNY DID ON THE GOLF COURSE, ALL THAT WE'RE ABLE TO FIT ON THIS SMALL GRAPHIC.

(GRAPHIC SHOWN:
LANNY WADKINS
SELECTED CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
WON 1972 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
TIED WITH ARNOLD PALMER & RAYMOND FLOYD FOR MOST APPEARANCES (8) ON THE U.S. RYDER CUP TEAM. HOLDS OR SHARES THREE OTHER U.S. RYDER CUP RECORDS
9TH PLAYER TO WIN IN HIS SENIOR PGA TOUR DEBUT )

(BREAK)

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