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Golf Talk Live - Tommy Bolt Transcript Segment 4

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(VIDEO BEGINS)
BOLT THUNDERS
TO OPEN CROWN
TELENEWS )

VIDEO NARRATOR:
SCENIC SOUTHERN HILLS AT TULSA, OKLAHOMA, BATTLEGROUND FOR THE 58TH UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS.

FROM THE OPENING SHOT, IT TAKES A TOLL ON THE CONTENDERS WHO FIND IT THE TOUGHEST COURSE IN YEARS.

BUT AT LEAST ONE MAN IS PLAYING SOLID GOLF FROM THE START. IT'S TOMMY BOLT WHO'S HAD TO CONQUER HIS TEMPER BEFORE HE COULD CONQUER PAR. APPARENTLY, HE HAS SUCCEEDED.

GENE LITTLER MAKES A FIERCE CHALLENGE IN THE THIRD ROUND. THE FORMER AMATEUR CHAMPION FIRES THE LOW ROUND OF THE TOURNAMENT AT THE LEADERS, A 67.

HE MAKES BRILLIANT RECOVERIES THE FEW TIMES HE GETS INTO TROUBLE.

LITTLER'S SPURT PUTS HIM CLOSEST TO BOLT WITH 18 HOLES TO GO.

BUT BOLT HAS THE STUFF TO MEET THE THREAT. HE CLINGS TO THE LEAD WITH A 69.

NOW THE FINISH OF THE LONG GRIND. PLAYER RALLIES AGAIN ON HIS LAST ROUND AND MAKES A STRONG BID FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

THE 22 YEAR OLD SOUTH AFRICAN CLOSES WITH A 71 FOR A SCORE OF 287, LOWEST IN SO FAR. NOW HE'S THE MAN TO BEAT.

AND HERE'S THE MAN TO BEAT HIM. WITH A FINAL ROUND OF 73, TOMMY BOLT WINS THE TITLE. HIS 72 HOLE SCORE OF 283 IS 4 STROKES BETTER THAN SECOND PLACE PLAYER.

KEEPING HIS TEMPER QUIET, BOLT LETS HIS GOLF DO THE THUNDERING FOR HIM, OPEN CHAMPION OF THE UNITED STATES.

(VIDEO ENDS)

PETER KESSLER
YOU LEAD IT WIRE TO WIRE STARTING WITH A BIRDIE ON THE FIRST HOLE. AND YOU'VE ALWAYS TOLD US YOU HAD THE SECRET THAT WEEK. WHAT WAS THE SECRET?

TOMMY BOLT
UH, I WAS AT PEACE WITH MYSELF, PETER, AND THE WORLD.

PETER KESSLER
WERE YOU SURPRISED AFTER THAT CHAMPIONSHIP - IF I HAD SAID TO YOU AFTER THAT CHAMPIONSHIP, 'TOMMY, HOW MANY MORE MAJORS ARE YOU GONNA WIN?' WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SAID TO ME?

TOMMY BOLT
(SIGH) I WOULD'VE SAID UH . THIS - I - I DON'T KNOW UH, PETER, BECAUSE I - I'D WON MY - I'D ACHIEVED MY GOAL, A GOAL. I - I WON THE OPEN AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO WIN WHEN I WAS A KID.

PETER KESSLER
NOW YOU WERE 42 WHEN YOU WON THAT.

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH.

PETER KESSLER
DID YOU . DID YOU LET DOWN AS - AS ONE CAN DO WHEN YOU'VE ACHIEVED THE GOAL THAT YOU HAD IN MIND?

TOMMY BOLT
I REALLY DID. I DIDN'T . I NEVER REALLY STARTED BACK PLAYING SERIOUSLY UNTIL I BECAME A SENIOR. I - I WON A COUPLE OF OTHER TOURNAMENTS. BUT UH, I - I DIDN'T PLAY SERIOUS GOLF LIKE I SHOULD HAVE.

YOU KNOW, YOU'RE 42 YEARS OLD. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO PLAY SERIOUS GOLF, PETE.

PETER KESSLER
WELL, WHAT WERE THE THINGS THAT MADE YOU HAPPY AFTER THAT THAT - THAT TOOK THE PLACE OF MORE U.S. OPENS?

TOMMY BOLT
WELL UM .

IT WAS THE . I WAS UH, DOING A LOT OF CORPORATE OUTINGS AND . AND UH, THINGS LIKE THAT AND - AND IT TOOK - IT TAKES UP A LOT OF TIME, BELIEVE ME IT DOES.

AND IT - IT'S VERY DISTRACTING TO YOUR GOLF GAME. UH, YOU - YOU - YOU LOSE YOUR DESIRE IF YOU DON'T PLAY COMPETITIVELY. AND UH,

AND I JUST THOUGHT THAT WAS THE EASE - THAT WAS EASIER TO - TO MAKE MONEY THAT WAY THAN IT WAS TO COMPETE IN THOSE TOURNAMENTS.

AND JUST DIDN'T UH, PURSUE IT LIKE I SHOULD HAVE.

PETER KESSLER

WASN'T IT IMPORTANT IN THOSE DAYS THAT TO - TO WIN A MAJOR LIKE AN OPEN SO THAT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU COULD MAKE IN EXHIBITIONS THAT WOULD REALLY LET YOUR ENDS MEET WAS THE KEY?

TOMMY BOLT

I'M STILL - IT'S STILL - I'M STILL DOING IT, PETER. IT'S STILL HAPPENING. THE OPEN, I STILL DO CORPORATE THINGS. AND UH, I'M UH . I STILL MAKE MONEY OUT OF THE - OUT OF WINNING THE U.S. OPEN.

YOU KNOW, I ALSO LED THE BUICK OPEN FOR 3 ROUNDS AFTER I LED - UH, WON THE U.S. OPEN.

THE NEXT TOURNAMENT WAS THE BUICK OPEN. AND I LED IT FOR 3 ROUNDS. I FINALLY LOST THE TOURNAMENT IN THE LAST ROUND WHEN BILLY CASPER . I WAS WILTED.

UH, 7 STRAIGHT ROUNDS OF LEADING TOURNAMENTS, IT - IT'LL TAKE SOME UH SPEED OUT OF YOU, BELIEVE ME.

PETER KESSLER
DIDN'T YOU WIN THE WEEK BEFORE THE OPEN AS WELL?

TOMMY BOLT
UH, NOT THE WEEK BEFORE. BUT UH, I MISSED A 4 FOOT PUTT ON THE LAST HOLE .

PETER KESSLER
TO TIE SNEAD (GIGGLE) . RIGHT.

TOMMY BOLT
TO TIE SNEAD.

UH, BUT I DID WIN THE COLONIAL ABOUT A UH . UH, 2 OR 3 WEEKS BEFORE I WENT TO THE OPEN, WON THE COLONIAL IN FORT WORTH.

PETER KESSLER
AND YOU WERE THE FAVORITE GOING INTO THE OPEN.

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH, WELL NO, I WASN'T THE FAVORITE. HOGAN AND THE SNEAD WERE THE FAVORITES.

PETER KESSLER
IN '58?

TOMMY BOLT
SURE, THOSE ARE - THEY WERE THE - STILL THE BIG NAMES ... IN '58.

PETER KESSLER
YOU WERE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD.

TOMMY BOLT
WELL, I - I THOUGHT I WAS. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY SAID THAT SNEAD WAS THIS INCREDIBLE PLAYER FROM TEE TO GREEN. BUT REALLY, IT WAS HIS SHORT GAME THAT WAS THE MOST BRILLIANT THING THAT SAM DID.

TOMMY BOLT
SNEAD WAS NO DOUBT THE GREATEST PLAYER AROUND THE GREENS THAT UH, THAT I'VE EVER SEEN. NOW BOBBY LOCKE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AND I PLAYED WITH BOBBY LOCKE TOO.

HE WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN GREAT, BUT NOBODY COULD TOUCH SAM SNEAD AROUND THE GREENS. HE WAS GREAT CHIPPING THE BALL. HE WAS GREAT OUT OF THE BUNKERS. AND HE WAS A GREAT PUTTER ALSO.

NO, HE - HE WASN'T THE GREATEST PLAYER FROM TEE TO GREEN. HOGAN WAS THE BEST PLAYER FROM TEE TO GREEN.

PETER KESSLER
NOW YOU SAW SNEAD WITH HIS TEMPER, DIDN'T YOU?

TOMMY BOLT
YOU TELL THEM I HAVE. DON'T YOU THINK THAT THOSE - ALL THOSE GUYS DON'T - DON'T HAVE A TEMPER. EVERYONE OF THEM, EVERY COMPETITOR THAT'S GONNA WIN HAS A TEMPER, PETER. HE'S - HE'S NOT GONNA WIN UNLESS HE DOES HAVE ONE.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN - WHEN HOGAN HAD HIS ACCIDENT AND THEN WON 6 OF 9 MAJORS OVER THE NEXT 4 YEARS AFTER THE ACCIDENT, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAID THAT HIS GOLF GAME WAS BETTER BECAUSE THE ACCIDENT FORCED HIS LEG ACTION TO BE QUIETER

AND HE WAS ABLE TO KEEP THINGS SYNCHRONIZED. DO YOU BUY INTO THAT?

TOMMY BOLT
IT HAD NOTHING DO WITH IT. UH . UH, PETER, HE CHANGED HIS SWING ENTIRELY, CHANGED HIS GRIP. HE READ THOSE BOOKS FROM UH, SOME BOOKS THAT SOME OF THE OLD SCOTCH UH PLAYERS AND - AND ENGLISH PLAYERS HAD WRITTEN.

AND HE GOT THOSE BOOKS. AND THAT WHOLE YEAR HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL, HE READ THOSE BOOKS AND HE CHANGED HIS GRIP, THE HARRY VARDON GRIP, THE LEFT - THE WEAK LEFT HAND.

AND THAT WAS HIS SECRET, BELIEVE ME IT WAS.

AND HE SAID, 'NOW DON'T TELL THOSE KIDS OUT THERE ANYTHING', WHEN HE TOLD ME, 'BECAUSE THEY WON'T APPRECIATE IT.' AND I TOLD EVERYONE OF THEM.

PETER KESSLER
AND THIS IS HOGAN ACTUALLY AT THE - THE MASTERS PRACTICING IN 1967, I BELIEVE.

TOMMY BOLT
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH WIT WAS.

PETER KESSLER
SWING LOOKED AS GOOD AS EVER, DIDN'T IT?

TOMMY BOLT
YES, IT DID. HE COULD STILL SWING.

PETER KESSLER
TELL ME ABOUT TITANIC THOMPSON.

TOMMY BOLT
BOY, HE WAS A . HE WAS THE GREATEST GAMBLER THAT I'VE EVER - EVER SEEN, PETER. HE - HE WOULD SET THOSE OIL MEN UP UH . UH, PLAYING RIGHT-HANDED.

AND THEY'D GET IN UH AFTER THE DAY. HE'D - HE'D LOSE A LITTLE MONEY TO THEM. AND AFTER THE DAY WAS OVER, THEY'D GO IN THE BAR AND HAVE A FEW DRINKS, YOU KNOW. AND .

AND YOU GET THAT UH, YOU GET A FEW DRINKS INTO YOU. THE - THE . THE MORE DRINKS YOU GET IN, THE RICHER YOU GET.

AND UH, THOSE UM, THOSE OIL - OIL FOLKS UH, WOULD UH GET IN THAT BOOZE A LITTLE BIT. AND THEY WOULD - THEY WANTED TO CHALLENGE 'TI' (TITANIC) AND SAID,

'IF YOU THINK YOU'RE SO GOOD, I'LL JUST PLAY YOU LEFT-HANDED TOMORROW.' AND HE COULD PLAY BETTER LEFT-HANDED THAN HE COULD RIGHT-HANDED. SO HE MURDERED THEM.

HE WAS A GREAT PLAYER. HE COULD HAVE PLAYED ON THE TOUR, BUT THERE WAS - THERE WAS MORE MONEY HUSTLING THE OIL MEN UH, THAN THERE WAS TO - TO - TO WIN ON THE TOUR IN THOSE DAYS.

PETER KESSLER
IS THAT TRUE FOR GUYS LIKE MARTY STANOVICH AND MYSTERIOUS MONTAGUE, OTHER GAMBLERS OF THE TIME?

TOMMY BOLT
WELL UM, I REMEMBER BOTH OF THEM. UH, BUT UH . UH .

THEY . I .

THEY WERE GOOD PLAYERS. THEY WERE - THEY COULD GET THE BALL UP AND DOWN. AND THEY HAD TO HAVE A FEW SHOTS, MARTIN STANOVICH DID.

HE - HE NEVER - NEVER REALLY PLAYED ANYBODY EVEN, I DON'T THINK. I THINK HE HAD TO GET SOME STROKES.

AND UH, THE UH . BUT UH, MONTAGUE, HE'S A - HE'S A GUY THAT UH BING CROSBY RAN INTO IN NEW JERSEY THERE AND TOOK HIM OUT ON THE WEST COAST AND REALLY PROMOTED HIM AND PUBLICIZED HIM AND UH MADE HIM A - A GREAT PLAYER.

HE COULD PLAY WITH A RAKE AND A HOE AND A SHOVEL, AND THINGS LIKE THAT. UH, I DON'T THINK HE EVER PLAYED ANYBODY, BUT IT WAS UH - THERE WAS SOME TALK ABOUT IT.

PETER KESSLER
I WANT TO TELL EVERYBODY WHERE THEY CAN GET YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY, 'THE WHOLE TRUTH'. AND IF YOU WANT TO ORDER TOMMY'S BOOK,
TO ORDER BOOK:
USA: 1-800-666-4660
Canada: 1-800-387-7638)

IN THE UNITED STATES, YOU CALL 800-666-4660. IN CANADA, 800-387-7638, TO ORDER TOMMY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED IN 1999, 'THE WHOLE TRUTH.' WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(BREAK)

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