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Golf Talk Live - Payne Stewart Transcript Segment 1

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GOLF TALK LIVE - SEPTEMBER 14, 1998
PAYNE STEWART

PETER KESSLER

PAYNE STEWART HAS BEEN WORKING HARD. ON HIS GAME, ON RESPONDING SUCCESSFULLY TO THE PRESSURE OF CONTENDING, ON SOLIDIFYING HIS PLACE AS ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION. MEET PAYNE STEWART, NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.


PETER KESSLER

BECAUSE OF THE WAY HE LOOKS AND CARRIES HIMSELF. PEOPLE UNDERSTANDABLY ASSUME THAT EVERYTHING COMES EASILY TO PAYNE STEWART. IT'S TRUE THAT HE WAS BORN TO BE A GREAT ATHLETE. BUT HE DIDN'T

JUST FALL OUT OF BED WITH THAT GLORIOUS, DELICIOUS GOLF SWING. HE

HAD THE TALENT TO PLAY BUT HE ALSO HAD THE DISCIPLINE, THE PERSEVERANCE AND WORK ETHIC TO BUILD THAT MAGNIFICENT SWING AND REFINE IT OVER THE LAST 25 YEARS. HIS FATHER TAUGHT

PAYNE TO PLAY AT HOME IN SPRINGFIELD MISSOURI. WHERE PAYNE COMPETED WITH SUCCESS IN JUNIOR AND HIGH SCHOOL GOLF. HE WAS AN ALL AMERICAN AT SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY. AND WON THE MISSOURI STATE AMATEUR AND THEN HE WENT TO WORK. HE DIDN'T

QUALIFY FOR THE PGA TOUR AS EXPECTED IN 1979. SO HE LEARNED THE REALITIES OF PRO GOLF, ON THE ASIAN TOUR. HE PLAYED THERE FOR 2 YEARS, WON TWICE. AND MET TRACY FERGUSON, WHO WOULD BECOME HIS WIFE AND PARTNER. HE'S

KNOCKED FOR NOT WINNING ENOUGH. FOR NOT DOMINATING THE GAME EVEN THOUGH NO ONES DONE THAT SINCE THE TOM WATSON ERA. WITH 9 PGA TOUR WINS, INCLUDING THE US OPEN AND PGA CHAMPIONSHIP. HE'S PROVEN HE CAN PLAY CONSISTENTLY AT WORLD CLASS

LEVELS. BUT HE'S TIRED OF THE CRITICISM THAT HE DOESN'T WIN ENOUGH, THAT HE LETS TOO MANY TOURNAMENTS SLIP FROM HIS GRASP. SOMETIMES HIS ATTITUDE HAS GOTTEN IN HIS WAY. HE'S MADE GREAT STRIDES ON CURBING THE TENDENCY TOWARDS IMPATIENCE. PAYNE
IS A FEEL PLAYER, LIKE BOBBY JONES. PAYNE'S SWING IS ALSO REMINISCENT OF JONES' MOVE. BOTH EMPLOY FULL AND FREE TURNS OF THE BODY, AWAY AND

THROUGH THE BALL. THEY ALSO SHARE A SIMILAR TASTE IN TROUSERS. PAYNE WANTS MORE FROM HIS GAME, MORE WINS, MORE CHAMPIONSHIPS. IT'S CLEAR FROM RECENT PERFORMANCES THAT HE'S PUTTING IN THE TIME, THAT HE FOCUSED ON THE PROCESS OF WINNING. AND AS PAYNE WOULD BE HAPPY TO TELL YOU.

HARD WORK HAS BEEN PAYING OFF, AND THAT'S WHY IT LOOKS SO EASY.

PETER KESSLER

WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO TONIGHT, PAYNE STEWART, GREAT TO SEE YOU HERE BUDDY.

PAYNE STEWART

THANKS PETER, THANK YOU, NICE TO BE BACK.

PETER KESSLER

WELL THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NOW TELL ME YOUR TOUGHEST CRITIC OF COURSE IS YOUR WIFE TRACY DOES SHE THINK YOUR A GREAT PLAYER YET?

PAYNE STEWART

I THINK SHE, I THINK SHE DOES. NOW MY KIDS ARE MY CRITICS, YOU KNOW THEY'VE GOTTEN TO THE STAGE WHERE THEIR OLD ENOUGH TO SAY. DAD WHY AREN'T YOU WINNING ANY MORE.
PETER KESSLER

WELL PARTICULARLY TRUE SINCE YOU LOST THE FIRST LITTLE LEAGUE GAME THAT YOU WERE THE MANAGER OF JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO.

PAYNE STEWART

I KNOW AND I DO HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO THE INDIANS, THAT'S THE NAME OF OUR TEAM. I'M ONE OF THE ASSISTANT COACHES AND YOU KNOW WHEN WE LOSE IT'S ALWAYS THE COACHES FAULT, IT'S NEVER THE PLAYERS FAULT. SO I APOLOGIZE GUYS, I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND. NOW WE'VE GOT 2 GAMES

ONE ON FRIDAY, ONE ON SATURDAY WERE GOING TO GET THEM BOTH, GO INDIANS.

PETER KESSLER

DO YOU THINK THAT PEOPLE TAKE YOU LESS SERIOUSLY THAN YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TOO BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT YOU LOOK AND PROJECT YOURSELF.

PAYNE STEWART

WELL PETER I HAVE A LOT OF FUN WITH LIFE. I ENJOY LAUGHING, I ENJOY PRACTICAL JOKES. UM, IT PEOPLE DON'T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY BECAUSE OF THAT, THEN THAT'S ALL RIGHT, I DON'T MIND THAT AT ALL. I HOPE THAT THEY THINK THAT I'M SERIOUS ABOUT MY GOLF BECAUSE EVERYBODY ALWAYS SAYS

WELL WHY DON'T YOU SMILE MORE ON THE GOLF COURSE, WHY DON'T YOU DO THIS, WHY DON'T YOU DO THAT. WELL I GUESS IT'S NOT MY NATURE. MY DAD

ALWAYS USE TO SAY, YOU NEED TO SMILE MORE ON THE GOLF COURSE. WELL, YOU KNOW I'M FOCUSING AND NOT EVERYBODY CAN BE A FUZZY ZELLER AND SMILE AND LAUGH THEIR WAY AROUND THE GOLF COURSE. I DO SMILE AT TIMES

OUT THERE BUT NOT ALL THE TIME.

PETER KESSLER

YOU KNOW WHEN TIGER WOODS JOINED THE TOUR HE CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WORKED A LITTLE HARDER ON THEIR GAME TO MAKE SURE THEY KEPT PACE. BUT IN YOUR CASE, I'M THINKING THAT THE GUYS THAT HAVE

YOUR ATTENTION ARE THE GUYS IN THEIR

EARLY 40'S, LIKE O'MEARA, AND LIKE FALDO, AND PRICE. AND IF WE GO BACK TO 1991, AFTER YOU WON THE US OPEN AND YOU LOOK AT ALL THE GUYS WHO WERE THEN YOUR AGE, AND YOUR

PAYNE STEWART

THEY STILL ARE MY AGE

PETER KESSLER

AND STILL ARE YOUR AGE, AND YOU COMPARE THE RECORDS YOUR RIGHT THERE. BUT IN THE LAST FEW YEARS HAVE YOU, YOU HAVE ONLY WON 1 TIME. SEEN O'MEARA WIN A COUPLE OF MAJORS. FALDO ADD TO HIS RECORD, ARE THOSE THE GUYS WHO CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION?

PAYNE STEWART

WELL, PROBABLY MORE SO MARK THAN ANYBODY. UM, TO SEE WHAT HE'S DONE THIS YEAR, HE'S YOU KNOW, WHAT A PHENOMENAL YEAR AND IT COULDN'T HAPPEN TO A NICER PERSON. I MEAN FOR HIM TO WIN THE MASTERS AND THE BRITISH OPEN. IF THERE'S EVER A PLAYER

THAT DESERVED TO WIN A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP, PROBABLY MARK O'MEARA BECAUSE HE'S A GENTLEMEN. HE CONDUCTS HIMSELF VERY WELL ON THE GOLF COURSE AND HE'S A CLASS PROFESSIONAL, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER AND WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE MARK O'MEARA OUT ON OUR TOUR.

PETER KESSLER

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN MARK, AND WHAT IS HE DOING RIGHT NOW THAT YOU AREN'T DOING RIGHT NOW?

PAYNE STEWART

HE'S PLAYING A LOT MORE GOLF WITH TIGER THAN I AM. TRULY, I ASK HIM, I ASK MARK I SAID DO YOU REALLY THINK I MEAN DO YOU THINK THAT YOUR GAME INCREASED AND GOT BETTER IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN PLAYING WITH TIGER SO MUCH. AND HE SAID, DEFINITELY HE SAID BECAUSE I

WASN'T GOING TO LET THAT KID KICK MY ASS SO YOU KNOW HERE HE GOES. HE RAISED HIS GAME TO A LEVEL TO COMPETE WITH TIGER. EVEN THOUGH HE DOESN'T HIT IT AS FAR AS TIGER, HE LEARNED HOW TO COMPETE WITH TIGER

AND BEAT TIGER , YOU KNOW OUT AT ISLEWORTH AND IN THESE TOURNAMENTS THAT WE PLAY. I MEAN LINK THIS INTO EVERYTHING IN THE GAME OF GOLF AND I CAN'T HIT IT AS FAR AS TIGER BUT I LIKE TO COMPETE WITH HIM.

PETER KESSLER

YOU KNOW IF WE THINK ABOUT THE KIND OF CLOSURE HE'S BECOME FOR EXAMPLE AT THE MASTERS HE BIRDIES 3 OF THE LAST 4, AT THE BRITISH OPEN HE DID ABOUT THE SAME THING. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE IN HIS GOLF DOWN THE STRETCH?

PAYNE STEWART
WELL I THINK THAT, I DON'T KNOW THAT HE EVER WORRIES ABOUT OUT COME, YOU

KNOW. HE JUST, HE GETS IN THERE, HE GETS HIMSELF IN POSITION, HE RELIES ON HIS MECHANICS, HE RELIES ON HIS ABILITY AND LETS IT HAPPEN. HE DOESN'T WORRY ABOUT YOU KNOW, WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO THIS, WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO THAT. HE JUST PLAYS ONE SHOT AT A TIME AND FOCUSES ON THAT SHOT AND DOES THE BEST THAT HE CAN ON EACH SHOT.

PETER KESSLER

YOUR YEAR REMINDS ME A LITTLE BIT LIKE A GREAT ROUND OF GOLF, WHERE YOU CAN FIND 2 OR 3 SHOTS THAT YOU COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER AND OF COURSE FORGET THE 2 CHIP INS AND THE 2 FORTY FOOTERS AND THE HOLE OUT FROM THE BUNKER, BUT YOUR YEAR HAS BEEN
A LITTLE LIKE THAT. IT'S BEEN A GREAT YEAR AND IT'S BEEN A DISAPPOINTING

YEAR HASN'T IT?

PAYNE STEWART

IT HAS, PETER I UM, YOU KNOW WHEN I WENT OUT TO THE US OPEN THIS YEAR I, WASN'T A BIG FAN OF THE OLYMPIC CLUB BUT I WAS GOING OUT THERE TO PLAY THE US OPEN. AND I WENT OUT THERE WITH THE IDEA OKAY, YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY THIS GOLF COURSE AND

THESE PRACTICE ROUNDS. DEVELOP A GAME PLAN AND STICK TO IT. BECAUSE PAR'S GOING TO BE A HELL OF A SCORE COME THE END OF 72 HOLES. AND HOW ARE YOU GOING TO COME UP WITH PAR AT THE END OF 72 HOLES. I DIDN'T, I CAME UP 1 OVER PAR, SO UM ANYWAY. BUT I DEVELOPED THIS GAME PLAN AND I STUCK

TO IT AND I WAS VERY PROUD OF THAT I WAS PROUD OF THE WAY I CONDUCTED MYSELF. I WAS DISAPPOINTED THAT I DIDN'T WIN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT I JUST WASN'T FAR ENOUGH AHEAD GOING INTO SUNDAY OBVIOUSLY. BECAUSE I DIDN'T PLAY WELL ENOUGH ON SUNDAY

TO WIN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT. AND LEE JANZEN DID, AND HE PLAYED A WONDERFUL ROUND OF GOLF. OUT OF THE GUYS UP AT THE TOP HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON TO SHOOT UNDER PAR AND ALL THE CREDITS GOT TO BE GIVEN TO LEE, ON WHAT HE DID TO WIN THE US OPEN, THAT

WAS PHENOMENAL ROUND OF GOLF, I DIDN'T GET THE JOB DONE. I'M GOING TO SIT HERE AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, I

DIDN'T GET THE JOB DONE, IT'S NOBODY'S FAULT BUT MY OWN.

PETER KESSLER

WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE AT THE SAME GOLF COURSE WHERE YOUR DAD QUALIFIED AND PLAYED IN THE US OPEN, OF COURSE THE ONE WHERE FLECK BEAT HOGAN.

PAYNE STEWART

I UM, PETER I ASKED MY MOM SHE WAS OUT THERE WITH ME AND I SAID WHAT DID DAD SHOOT OUT HERE? SHE SAYS, I DON'T KNOW BUT I REMEMBER ALL HE WAS SAYING WAS, MAN THIS ROUGH IS HIGH.

PETER KESSLER


PAYNE STEWART

AND SHE SAID, THE ROUGH WAS HIGHER WHEN YOUR FATHER PLAYED OUT HERE, THAN WHEN YOUR PLAYING. AND SO I HAD THEM LOOK IT UP, AND I SAID OOO, THOSE WEREN'T VERY GOOD SCORES BUT YOU KNOW JUST THE FACT THAT HE QUALIFIED AS AN AMATEUR AND PLAYED IN THE UNITED STATES OPEN OUT AT THE OLYMPIC CLUB. THERE WAS SOME

SPECIAL MAGIC, THAT I THINK RUBBED OFF ON ME THAT WEEK OUT THERE.

PETER KESSLER
IF YOU TALK TO A GREAT BASEBALL HITTER, AND ASK THEM ABOUT HITTING

THEY'LL SAY WELL BASEBALL'S MY SPORT AND HITTING COMES EASY TO ME. DO YOU AT ALL FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT GOLF?

PAYNE STEWART

I DO I, GOLF'S COME VERY NATURALLY TO ME. MY SWING HAS COME VERY NATURALLY AND WHEN AFTER I WON THE US OPEN IN 91 I WAS I DIDN'T REALIZE , THAT I WAS AT THE PEAK OF MY PROFESSION, I WANTED TO GET BETTER AND I ASKED MY SWING COACH, WHO I

TRUST WITH, WITH EVERYTHING CHUCK COOK AND I SAID CHUCK WHAT CAN I DO TO GET BETTER? AND HE SAYS WELL I THINK FOR YOU TO BECOME MORE CONSISTENT YOU NEED TO TAKE THE LOOP

OUT OF YOUR SWING. THAT WAS MY FEEL YOU KNOW AND SO IN WANTING TO GET BETTER, OKAY I AGREED TO TRY THIS AND IT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME AND WE BOTH REALIZED THAT AND WERE BACK TO SWINGING THE WAY THAT PAYNE STEWART SWUNG BACK IN THE LATE 80'S

AND EARLY 90'S AND HIS WHOLE LIFE, AND I'M PRODUCING AGAIN YOU KNOW AND IT'S A LOT OF FUN TO BE IN, IN THE HEAT OF THE BATTLE AGAIN.

PETER KESSLER

WHEN WE COME BACK WE'LL REVISIT THE 89 PGA AND WE'LL REVISIT BRIEFLY THE 91 US OPEN AND WE WILL DO THAT RIGHT AFTER THIS DON'T GO AWAY.
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