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Golf Talk Live - Tom Watson Transcript Segment 2

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PETER KESSLER
IT'S BEEN SAID THAT BOBBY JONES AND BEN HOGAN AND BYRON NELSON ALL SORT OF VISITED BRIEFLY GOLF'S 4TH DIMENSION OF PERFECT BALL STRIKING FOR A PERIOD. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU TOUCHED THAT BRIEFLY TOO, YOURSELF?

TOM WATSON
I THINK, IN MY CASE, PROBABLY ABOUT 3 OR 4 TIMES IN MY CAREER I FELT I HAD THAT 99.9 % COMMAND OF MY GOLF SWING AND THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, I STILL MADE SOME MISTAKES BUT I MEAN IT IS, I, I HAD IT AT ABOUT 3 OR 4 TIMES. THAT'S ALL, BUT, AND, AND I WON, I WON 3 OUT OF THE 4

TOURNAMENTS SO IT WAS, IT WAS RIGHT THERE, BUT, THE OTHER TIMES YOU'RE, YOU'RE ALWAYS MAKING SOME SORT OF ADJUSTMENT. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE

SOMETIMES 75%, SOMETIMES 25% WHICH IS, THAT'S WHEN YOU'RE REALLY FEELING MISERABLE OUT THERE, BUT, I'VE SEEN SOME GOLFERS WHO WERE IN THAT ZONE. I SAW JOHNNY MILLER WHEN HE WAS IN THAT ZONE PLAYING TUCSON WHEN HE COULD HAVE SHOT 56 IN THE LAST ROUND. IT WAS

THE MOST AMAZING ROUND OF GOLF I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. GRANTED THE CONDITIONS WERE PRETTY GOOD, NOT A LOT OF WIND, BUT THE WAY HE STRUCK THE GOLF BALL THAT DAY, I, I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.

PETER KESSLER
JONES SAID, IF HE THOUGHT OF TWO THINGS, HE WOULDN'T PLAY VERY WELL. IF HE THOUGHT OF ONE HE COULD DO WELL, AND IF HE THOUGHT OF NOTHING THAT NOBODY

COULD BEAT HIM. IS THAT HOW YOU FELT ON THOSE THREE OR FOUR OCCASIONS THAT THERE WERE NO SWING THOUGHTS AND YOU COULD JUST THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU WANTED IT TO GO?

TOM WATSON
NO I ALWAYS FELT THAT IF I CONCENTRATED JUST ON THE TAKE AWAY THAT'S ALL I NEEDED TO DO.

PETER KESSLER
STILL.

TOM WATSON
YEAH, AND, AND YOUR TAKE AWAY, YOUR TAKEAWAY AND IF YOU HAD TO CUT THE BALL, IT WENT A LITTLE BIT OUTSIDE, A LITTLE BIT INSIDE TO DRAW THE BALL, AND YOU STILL HAD TO HAVE THAT, THAT, THAT, THAT ESSENCE OF THE FIRST THOUGHT OF THE BACK SWING AND THEN LET IT HAPPEN.

PETER KESSLER
YOU'VE GOT 5 SHOTS AND I WANT YOU TO TALK OVER 4 OF YOURS AND ONE OF SOMEBODY ELSE'S AND TELL ME IF YOU WOULD, IF ANY OF THESE PERIODS WERE CHARACTERIZED BY TOUCHING THAT 4TH DIMENSION.

TOM WATSON
(LAUGHS) OKAY. ALRIGHT.

PETER KESSLER
FOR LITTLE BIT. LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK AND WE'LL START 1977 AT TURNBURY AND WE'RE GOING TO LEAD UP TO HERE AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT YOU AND JACK. JACK'S A SHOT AHEAD, A SHOT AHEAD. IT'S THE FINAL ROUND. YOU'RE ON 15, ABOUT 60 FEET FROM THE HOLE. OFF THE GREEN, AND JACK'S GOT A MAKEABLE BIRDIE PUTT.

TOM WATSON
WELL HE'S ABOUT 40 FEET SHORT AND I'M OFF THE GREEN TO THE LEFT, FOR A 4 IRON SHOT AND I TAKE THIS PUTTER FROM OFF THE GREEN. THERE'S A SLOPE RIGHT, RIGHT OFF, RIGHT OFF THE BALL. THERE IT GOES DOWN AND IT BREAKS, THIS PUTT BREAKS AT ABOUT EIGHT FEET FROM LEFT TO RIGHT,

AND I KNOCK IT DOWN THE HILL THERE AND I'M, I'M JUST TRYING TO GET THIS THING CLOSE. I MEAN, AND IT GOES AND IT BANGS INTO THE HOLE AND GOES IN AND, YOU KNOW PETER, ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT ME IN, IN, IN GOLF, I'VE ALWAYS MADE A LOT OF

LONG, LONG PUTTS AND I HAVEN'T BEEN THE GREATEST PUTTER WHEN IT REALLY, WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN FROM 15 OR 20 FEET OR, OR 5 FEET, BUT, I'VE MADE MY SHARE, MORE THAN MY SHARE OF THOSE LONG PUTTS AND THAT WAS MAYBE THE BEST LONG PUTT I EVER MADE.

PETER KESSLER
AND HERE'S ANOTHER ONE AT JACK'S EXPENSE. OF COURSE THE '82 OPEN AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO SHOW THE CHIP IN BUT WE ARE GOING TO SHOW THIS DOWN HILL BIRDIE PUTT ON THE PAR 5, 14TH.

TOM WATSON
YEAH. I GIVE A LOT OF CREDIT TO MY CADDIE, BRUCE EDWARDS, ON THIS ONE, BECAUSE HE READ THIS PUTT PERFECTLY FOR ME AND IT'S A VERY SLICK PUTT. THE PEOPLE WERE HANGING OUT OF THE TREES


AS YOU CAN SEE RIGHT THERE AND I, I WAS PUTTING, THAT WAS THE BEST PUTTING ROUND I THINK I'VE EVER HAD IN, IN, IN THE END OF A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP AND I WAS,

THIS, THAT PUTT RIGHT THERE, KNOWING THAT JACK WAS, WAS A SHOT AHEAD, YOU KNOW THAT, WAS JUST ONE OF MANY PUTTS THAT DAY THAT WENT IN AND ANY ONE OF WHICH OR ANY 3 OR 4 OF WHICH PROBABLY

SHOULDN'T HAVE GONE IN, BUT THEY DID GO IN THAT DAY, AND IT WAS, IT WAS ONE OF THOSE, THAT WAS THE DAY OF, MY PUTTER WAS IN THE ZONE THAT, I, YOU CAN'T DESCRIBE THAT ZONE. EVERYTHING WENT IN.

PETER KESSLER
NOW ISN'T THIS THE CLUB YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TO HIT THE FINAL ROUND OF A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP, A FULL BLOODED TWO IRON?

TOM WATSON
HERE'S A TWO IRON, AFTER WAITING ABOUT 15 MINUTES FOR A, A, PEOPLE TO, PEOPLE TO CLEAR THE GREEN. I MADE A SWING RIGHT THERE THAT I DON'T THINK I EVER MADE A BETTER, EVER MADE A BETTER SWING WITH A LONG CLUB WHEN I HAD TO, AND THAT WAS, THAT WAS ONE OF THE BEST SHOTS I'VE EVER HIT WHEN I REALLY HAD TO

PETER KESSLER
AND OF COURSE YOU COULDN'T SEE IT

TOM WATSON

I NEVER SAW, I NEVER SAW THE BALL COME DOWN. YOU SAW THE CROWD JUST RUN RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT.

PETER KESSLER
BUT YOU KNEW WHERE IT WAS.

TOM WATSON
I WAS HOPING THE BALL WAS, I KNEW I HIT IT SOLID. I KNEW IT WAS REALLY CLOSE. CLOSE ENOUGH TO WHERE I COULD GAG IT AND STILL GET THE BALL DOWN IN TWO.

PETER KESSLER
NOW HERE OF COURSE YOU HAD GONE NINE YEARS, 141 EVENTS WITHOUT A TOUR WIN.

TOM WATSON
A LONG TIME... AND

PETER KESSLER
18TH HOLE

TOM WATSON
THE PUTTER WAS, THE PUTTER WAS NEVER, NEVER FELT THAT COMFORTABLE IN MY HANDS THAT DAY, BUT MY, I STRUCK THE BALL VERY, VERY WELL THAT DAY AND THIS

IS THE 18TH HOLE AT MUIRFIELD VILLAGE AND THE FIRST VICTORY IN NINE YEARS RIGHT THERE. MY WEATHER THOUGH, AND IT WAS MY WEATHER. IT WAS RAINING AND COLD (LAUGHS).

PETER KESSLER
I REMEMBER THE 69 YOU SHOT AT MEMORIAL IN SIX... IN SEVENTY-NINE OR EIGHTY.

TOM WATSON
IT WAS A LITTLE BIT COLDER THAT, THAT...

PETER KESSLER
AND THE NEXT CLOSEST ROUND WAS 74.

TOM WATSON
I WAS A LOT, LOT YOUNGER. I COULD HANDLE IT THEN.

PETER KESSLER
NOW HERE'S A SHOT YOU DIDN'T HIT BUT I'D LOVE TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT.

TOM WATSON
YEAH, THIS IS... ONE OF THE GREAT SHOTS OF GOLF RIGHT HERE. THIS IS A SHOT THAT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT FOR... FOR DECADES BECAUSE OF THE, BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY OF THE SHOT, ALL THE, ALL THE TROUBLE WITH THE SHOT. HE HIT, HE HIT

JUST A TREMENDOUS SHOT. I STILL THINK THE WAY HE LEANS WITH HIS BODY HERE, I THINK HE MISSED IT A LITTLE BIT RIGHT OF WHERE HE WANTED, WANTED TO HIT IT. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THAT QUESTION WAS EVER ASKED OF HIM, BUT

PETER KESSLER
IT WAS AND HE WAS AIMING LEFT AND HE WAS AIMING AT GRANT WAITE'S BALL WHICH WAS IN THE CENTER OF THE GREEN.

TOM WATSON
OKAY. ALRIGHT, BUT IT WAS A SPECTACULAR SHOT AND OF COURSE, WON THE TOURNAMENT FOR HIM AND, IT WILL BE REMEMBERED AS, AS I SAY, ONE OF THE GREAT SHOTS OF THE, IN THE GAME.

PETER KESSLER
DO YOU THINK THAT THE GREAT AVAILABILITY OF MONEY TO ALL THE GOOD PLAYERS ON TOUR NOW, WILL KEEP SOME GUYS WHO COULD OTHERWISE CHALLENGE TIGER, FROM REACHING THEIR FULL POTENTIAL BECAUSE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF MONEY?

TOM WATSON
PETER, GOOD QUESTION AND I THINK YES. I THINK THE ANSWER IS YES TO THAT. I THINK MONEY CORRUPTS. HAVING TOO MUCH MONEY CORRUPTS IT. YOU'RE JUST NOT AS HUNGRY. IT JUST, I KNOW IT, IT HAD AN EFFECT ON ME. I LOVE TO PLAY THE GAME, BUT PRIORITIES SOMEWHAT CHANGED AND

I GOT A LITTLE BIT SOFT. I STOPPED, I STOPPED PRACTICING AS HARD AS I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE, BUT, YOU KNOW, THAT, THAT WAS MY CHOICE AND THAT, I HAD A FAMILY, A GROWING FAMILY, AND I TOOK A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME WITH THEM AND DIDN'T CONCENTRATE ON THE GAME OF GOLF AS MUCH AS I NEEDED TO STAY THAT SHARP.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT DOES TIGER HAVE INSIDE OF HIM THAT YOU AND JACK AND NELSON AND JONES AND ARNOLD CAN ALL IDENTIFY WITH?

TOM WATSON
TIGER, ACCORDING TO WHAT I'VE READ, HE HAS ON THAT WALL, WHEN HE GREW UP, HE HAS JACK NICKLAUS UP THERE AND HIS MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORIES AND HE LOOKED AT THAT BEFORE HE WENT TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT AND HE WOKE UP TO

THAT EVERY DAY AND THAT, THAT'S, THAT WAS HIS DREAM AND IT IS HIS DREAM AND HE'S DOING A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF FILLING THAT DREAM RIGHT NOW. I MEAN THAT IS TO BE THE BEST PLAYER'S EVER PLAYED THE GAME.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. DON'T GO AWAY. AS WE LEAVE YOU, A LITTLE BIT OF INFORMATION ABOUT TOM'S MAJORS.

(BREAK)

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