Golf Talk Live - Jan Stephenson Transcript Segment 1

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TEASE
JAN STEPHENSON HAS BEEN BLESSED WITH A GREAT LOOK, A TIRELESS DEDICATION TO PERFECTION AND THE ENERGY TO MAKE THE WHOLE PACKAGE SUCCESSFUL. MEET HER NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(GTL MUSIC/INTRO BEGINS)

AUSTRALIAN'S JAN STEPHENSON AND GREG NORMAN HAVE A GREAT DEAL IN COMMON. WHEN GREG NORMAN STOPPED BY THE GOLF CHANNEL FOR A CHAT, HE SAID HE WAS A RELUCTANT CELEBRITY.

JAN STEPHENSON FEELS THAT WAY TOO. JAN, LIKE GREG, DOESN'T LOOK SHY OR RELUCTANT. WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN IMPORTANT TO GREG AND TO JAN IS THE GAME, THE PLAYING, THE SOLITUDE OF PRACTICE, AND THE RUSH THAT BEING IN CONTENTION BRINGS.

SHE'S AN AGGRESSIVE GOLFER BUT A CONSERVATIVE PERSON. SHE DOESN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE SOCIALIZING. AND HER PREFERENCE FOR KEEPING HER OWN COMPANY HAS CAUSED HER TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD.

SHE'S NOT BIG AND STRONG. AND HER GAME REQUIRES HOURS OF PRACTICE TO STAY IN TUNE. JAN PRACTICES HER CRAFT INSTEAD OF SOCIAL SKILLS WHEN SHE'S ON TOUR.

WHEN SHE FIRST JOINED THE LPGA TOUR, LAURA BAUGH WAS THE GLAMOUR GIRL. AND THERE WERE HALL OF FAMERS PLAYING AT THEIR PEAK.

BUT WHEN JAN GOT COMFORTABLE WITH A NEW COUNTRY, WITH THE VAGARIES OF THE TOUR, WITH THE NOTION THAT SHE HAD A WORLD CLASS GAME, SHE BEGAN TO BLOSSOM INTO A GREAT PLAYER AND WIN MAJORS AND INTO THE MOST GLAMOROUS STAR THE LPGA HAS EVER HAD.

THE SAME THINGS ARE IMPORTANT NOW AS THEY WERE WHEN SHE FIRST WON AS A SCHOOLGIRL IN AUSTRALIA, BEING APPRECIATIVE OF HER GIFTS, OF HER OPPORTUNITIES, AND FOR THE NEXT CHANCE TO WIN.

WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. I AM DELIGHTED TO INTRODUCE YOU TO AND WELCOME TO OUR SHOW, JAN STEPHENSON. AND IT IS A PLEASURE TO SEE YOU HERE.

JAN STEPHENSON
THANK YOU. GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN, PETER.

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW, WATCHING YOU PLAY GOLF THIS LAST YEAR, YOUR ENTHUSIASM, THE QUALITY OF YOUR PLAY, HOW CLOSE YOU'VE COME TO WINNING A REGULAR TOUR EVENT,

IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT WINNING AND COMPETITION ARE AS IMPORTANT TO YOU NOW AS THEY WERE WHEN YOU WERE THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?

JAN STEPHENSON
(CHUCKLE) IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE. IT'S SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT NOW. IT'S - I THINK MY DAD ALWAYS USED TO SAY, YOU KNOW, 'WE SHOULD SMELL THE ROSES.'

YOU KNOW, I'D WIN AND - AND HE'D SAY, YOU KNOW, 'LET'S SAVOR THIS WIN.' I'M LIKE, 'OH DAD, THERE'S ALWAYS - THERE'S NEXT WEEK - WE HAVE TO WIN NEXT WEEK NOW.'

AND HE'D SAY, 'PLEASE, PLEASE SMELL THE ROSES.' AND SO NOW, IF I JUST HAVE A GOOD FINISH, I REALLY SAVOR IT. I MEAN, LAST NIGHT DRIVING HOME FROM NAPLES,

AND I'D - I'D WON THE - THE VISTA LEGENDS SERIES, AND UH, I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. I MEAN, I WAS LIKE, 'OKAY DAD, I'M GONNA SMELL THE ROSES FOR 5 HOURS DRIVING HOME.' AND I REALLY, REALLY SAVORED IT.

AND I THINK IT'S - IT'S KIND OF UNFORTUNATE. YOU GET TO AN - AN AGE . I WISH YOU COULD DO IT WHEN YOU'RE YOUNGER, YOU KNOW. I ACTUALLY E-MAILED UM, SOME RESPONSES FOR SOME INTERVIEWS FOR - FOR UM,

A MAGAZINE FOR KARRIE TODAY. AND UH, THEY SAID, 'DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR KARRIE?' AND - AND THE ONLY THING I COULD SAY IS, BECAUSE I THINK SHE'S GOT AN INCREDIBLE HEAD ON HER SHOULDERS

AND SHE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTS FROM HER CAREER, BUT I THINK I REALLY WANT TO TELL HER 'JUST MAKE SURE YOU SMELL THE ROSES.'

PETER KESSLER
YOUR DAD SAID THAT YOU WERE HIS DREAM DAUGHTER BEFORE HE DIED. DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT A LOT?

JAN STEPHENSON
OH, I TALKED TO HIM EVERYDAY THE MOMENT I TEE OFF UH BECAUSE HE . I - I WAS LIKE A LITTLE SHADOW FOR MY FATHER. AND - AND UH, I FOLLOWED HIM EVERYWHERE. AND HE WANTED ME TO BE AN ATHLETE FROM THE TIME I WAS 7 YEARS OLD.

I CAN REMEMBER, PEOPLE ALWAYS WONDERED WHY I HAVE THIS INCREDIBLE WORK ETHIC. I MEAN, EVERYTHING I DO, I DO IT TO THE NTH DEGREE FROM THE MOMENT I WAKE UP AT 5:30 IN THE MORNING TILL I - TO GO TO SLEEP. I'M ALWAYS WORKING.

I MEAN, WHEN I TRAVEL, I HAVE MY PUTTING MACHINE AND ALL OF MY NOTES ON MY GOLF COURSE AND MY COMPUTER AND MY VIDEO. AND - AND LIKE I'M JUST IN MY ROOM, I'VE JUST GOT SO MUCH WORK TO DO EVERYDAY, AND I LOVE IT.

BUT I KNOW FROM THE TIME I WAS 7, I MEAN, HE WANTED ME TO BE A PROFESSIONAL - I MEAN, A - A SWIMMER FOR THE OLYMPICS.

SO I TRAINED, FROM THE MOMENT I WOKE UP, WITH MY FATHER SWIMMING. BUT MY MOTHER WANTED ME TO BE A DANCER. SO I HAD TO - TO TRAIN AT DANCING AT NIGHT WHEN I WAS 7.

SO I'VE JUST LEARNED FROM THE TIME I WAS A YOUNG KID THAT I HAD TO WORK REALLY HARD.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT ABOUT THAT DISCIPLINE STORY THAT TURNED OUT TO BE SO HELPFUL TO YOU AS YOU GREW UP? THE ONE ABOUT, WHEN YOU WERE A KID AND HE SAID, IT'S TIME TO GO HIT BALLS.'

AND YOU SAID, 'I DON'T WANT TO GET UP AND HIT BALLS.' AND HE SAID, 'BUT THIS COULD END UP BEING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING THE U.S. OPEN ONE DAY OR NOT.'

JAN STEPHENSON
YOU'VE GOT A GREAT MEMORY. I REMEMBER TELLING YOU THAT YEARS AND YEARS AGO. BUT IT'S TRUE. I REMEMBER MY FATHER WANTING ME TO PRACTICE REALLY HARD.

AND - AND I WAS ABOUT 12 OR 13. AND YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, WE DON'T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING OR HEATING IN AUSTRALIA. AND UH, IT WAS A COLD DAY. AND I WENT TO AN ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL.

20:05:42
BUT I WAS JUST - I WAS ABOUT 13. SO I WAS JUST KIND OF GETTING INTO BOYS. AND THERE WERE SOME BOYS ON THE BUS THAT WE WENT TO - TO SCHOOL WITH. AND ALL MY FRIENDS SAYING,

'YOU KNOW, IF YOU GO - COME WITH US ON THE - ON THE PUBLIC BUS, YOU'LL GET TO SEE THE BOYS THAT GO TO THE BOYS SCHOOL.' I'M LIKE, 'OH, THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN.'

AND OF COURSE, I WOKE UP AND IT WAS FREEZING COLD. AND MY DAD WAS DOING NIGHT SHIFTS SO HE COULD TAKE ME TO GOLF BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL.

AND HE CAME IN FROM WORK. AND - AND MOTHER GOES, 'FRANK, WE - I HAVE BAD NEWS. JAN WON'T GO WITH YOU. IT'S TOO COLD. SHE WON'T GET UP. SHE WANTS TO TAKE THE BUS TO SCHOOL.'

AND HE'S LIKE, 'WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?' SO THEY BROUGHT IN SOME HOT CHOCOLATE. THEY BOTH SAT ON MY BED AND SAID, 'NOW, COME ON NOW. HERE'S YOUR HOT CHOCOLATE. IF YOU GET UP RIGHT NOW AND PRACTICE, YOU MIGHT WIN THE U.S. OPEN.'

AND I'M LIKE, 'OKAY.' NOW I REALLY - EVEN AT THAT STAGE, DIDN'T THINK THAT IT WAS THAT IMPORTANT. BUT IT WAS SO IMPORTANT TO MY PARENTS. I WENT, 'OKAY DAD.' SO I GOT UP. AND - AND I WON THE U.S. OPEN ONE DAY.

PETER KESSLER
ALL THESE PLAYERS WHO'VE BEEN PLAYING GREAT GOLF AFTER THEY TURN 40 SAY, 'WELL, BECAUSE I'M SO MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED NOW, I'M SMARTER NOW. AND THAT'S WHY I'M PLAYING BETTER.' SO ARE YOU SMARTER NOW?

JAN STEPHENSON
ABSOLUTELY NOT. I'M STILL AN IDIOT ON THE GOLF COURSE. I WAS JUST . IF - YOU SHOULD HAVE HEARD ME YESTERDAY. I WAS LIKE, 'YOU STUPID IDIOT. YOU THINK I WOULD KNOW BY NOW.'

I MEAN, SOME OF THE THINGS - I MEAN, I MADE MORE MENTAL ERRORS THE LAST 2 TOURNAMENTS, AND I ONLY HAD 3 WEEKS OFF. I - I CAN'T BELIEVE IT. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, GOLF IS JUST INCREDIBLE.

I MEAN, I LEARN - EVERY SINGLE DAY, I - I LEARN ANOTHER LESSON ABOUT GOLF. IT'S . I'M - I'M NEVER GONNA BE SMART ENOUGH TO PLAY GOLF.

AND I HAVE WAY TOO MUCH EMOTION FOR THE GOLF COURSE. UH, I KNOW THAT. UH, SO I MEAN, I LIVE AND DIE WITH EVERY SHOT. AND I CRY AT NIGHT.

IF I'VE HAD THREE 3-PUTTS, I GO HOME AND CRY MY EYES OUT BECAUSE I HAD THREE 3-PUTTS, STILL TO THIS DAY. I MEAN, EVEN THOUGH THERE'S ANOTHER TOURNAMENT NEXT WEEK, IT STILL ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATES ME.

AND SO UM, IT'S - IT'S KIND OF NEAT THAT THAT'S NOT THE REASON I'M PLAYING WELL.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT IS THE REASON YOU'RE PLAYING WELL?

JAN STEPHENSON
(CHUCKLE) WELL UM . WELL, THIS WEEK IS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY FOR MY MUGGING. AND THE DOCTORS TOLD ME I COULDN'T DO IT, I COULDN'T COME BACK. AND I HAVE GONE THROUGH A . (PETER INTERRUPTS)

PETER KESSLER
TELL PEOPLE WHAT HAPPENED.

JAN STEPHENSON
WHEN I WAS MUGGED UM . WELL, I - ACTUALLY I - I FELT LIKE I'D REALLY WORKED HARD BECAUSE I'D - I'D HAD ABOUT 5 YEARS OF HORRIBLE THINGS HAPPENING.

'87, I GOT IN A CAR WRECK WHEN I FELT LIKE THAT WAS GONNA BE - I WAS GONNA BE NUMBER ONE. '88, MY DAD DIED. '89, MY CADDIE DIED.

1990, I HAD A MISCARRIAGE. AND THEN IT WAS LIKE . THEN - AND THEN I GOT MUGGED. AND IT WAS LIKE, 'WHAT ELSE IS GONNA HAPPEN IN MY LIFE?'

AND SO I'VE REALLY WORKED HARD. BUT THE - THE PROBLEM WAS THAT EVERYBODY SAYS THE LEFT SIDE IS SO IMPORTANT IN GOLF. AND MY LEFT SIDE HAD BEEN DAMAGED.

UH, IN THE CAR WRECK, I HAD ALL THE - I'D HAD ALL MY RIBS BROKEN ON MY LEFT SIDE. BUT IN THE MUGGING UH, WHEN I - WHEN I WAS MUGGED UM,

THEY UM, THEY TRIED TO GET THE RING OFF - MY WEDDING RING OFF MY FINGER. AND THEY SPIRAL FRACTURED IT. SO WHEN THEY DID THAT, THEY KIND OF FRACTURED ALL THE LITTLE BONES INTO LIKE LITTLE SLIVERS.

SO THEY PUT SOME SCREWS IN IT. AND OF COURSE, IT WON'T BEND OR STRAIGHTEN. BUT BY DOING THAT, WHEN IT - WHEN IT WAS HANGING ON BY THE TENDON, THEY ACTUALLY DAMAGED THE TENDONS IN MY HAND WHICH, OF COURSE, GO UP MY LEFT FOREARM.

SO I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO STRENGTH IN MY LEFT SIDE. AND SO, IT WAS LIKE I HAVE TO FIND A TEACHER THAT BELIEVES IN THAT. AND I WENT THROUGH SOME INCREDIBLE GREAT COACHES

AND ACTUALLY WENT BACK TO MY BOYFRIEND. AND MY COACH IN AUSTRALIA THAT I HAD WHEN I WAS 16 YEARS OLD BELIEVES IN THE RIGHT SIDE BEING STRONG.

SO I ACTUALLY HAD TO START ALL OVER. SO PEOPLE KEEP SAYING, 'HOW CAN YOU BE SO ENTHUSIASTIC?' IT'S LIKE, 'WELL, I'VE REALLY ONLY BEEN OUT HERE 10 YEARS.'

I'VE HAD A NEW GOLF SWING FOR ONLY ABOUT 2 YEARS. SO I HAVE WORKED INCREDIBLY HARD TO ACTUALLY CHANGE MY GOLF SWING.

PETER KESSLER
SO WHAT KIND OF WORK ETHIC DOES IT TAKE FOR YOU TO BE COMPETITIVE RIGHT NOW?

JAN STEPHENSON
WELL, MOST - THE AVERAGE PERSON COULDN'T DO IT. IT'S . I DON'T REALLY SAY MUCH ABOUT IT. BUT I - I . EVERY NIGHT, I HAVE TO - I DO UH, UNDER - THE WATER THERAPY IN THE BATH WITH MY - WITH MY TENDONS.

`COURSE HEALTH SOUTH ON TOUR REALLY HELPS US A LOT BECAUSE I CAN - AS SOON AS I GO IN THERE, THEY WORK ON ME EVERYDAY. THEY INJECT IT.

AND BEFOREHAND, THEY USUALLY TRY TO WORK THE - THE TENDONS AND - AND DO A LITTLE BIT OF ULTRASOUND.

BUT UM, THE PRACTICE I HAVE TO DO TO ACTUALLY CHANGE FROM BEING - TO BE A RIGHT-HAND - RIGHT ARMED PLAYER WAS REALLY INCREDIBLE.

AND OF COURSE, THEN I FEEL LIKE MY SHORT GAME SUFFERS. SO THEN I PRACTICE MY PUTTING AT NIGHT.

PETER KESSLER
HAVE PEOPLE RECONCILED AT ALL ABOUT YOU THE FACT THAT YOU'RE A REALLY PUBLIC FIGURE, BUT YOU INSIST ON BEING A VERY PRIVATE PERSON?

JAN STEPHENSON
WELL, ACTUALLY THE PLAYERS UNDERSTAND IT A LOT MORE NOW. AND THEY - THEY SEE THE ENTHUSIASM WITH THIS GOLF COURSE I'M DESIGNING BECAUSE THEY KNOW HOW I DO THINGS.

AND I THINK THE PLAYERS . UH, THE BEST COMPLIMENT I'VE HAD FROM THE PLAYERS IS THAT SO MANY OF THEM WANT TO COME LIVE AT WALKABOUT.

UH, THEY'VE ALREADY SAID, 'YOU KNOW, ANYTHING THAT YOU DO, WE KNOW YOU'RE GONNA DO IT TO THE NTH DEGREE. AND SO WE BELIEVE THIS IS GONNA BE A GREAT GOLF COURSE AND WE WANT TO COME LIVE THERE.'

AND THAT WAS AN INCREDIBLE COMPLIMENT BECAUSE I USED TO THINK THAT I REALLY WASN'T VERY WELL LIKED ON THE TOUR BECAUSE I DO KEEP TO MYSELF. I EAT ROOM SERVICE AND MOST OF MY FRIENDS NOW KNOW

THAT EVERY TIME THEY'VE ME ASKED ME FOR DINNER, I GO 'NO.' THEY NOW KNOW THAT I EAT ROOM SERVICE 99% OF THE TIME. AND - AND SO NOW THEY UNDERSTAND.

IN FACT UH, WE HAD A BOARD MEETING FOR OUR SENIORS TOUR, WHICH I'M ONE OF THE OWNERS, UH, I'M - I'M ON THEIR BOARD, AND THEY ASKED ME FOR JIM. THEY SAID, 'LOOK, WE'RE GONNA HAVE A MEETING AND WE'RE GONNA HAVE DINNER.

AND WE'RE ONLY GONNA ASK YOU FOR ONE DINNER FOR THE WHOLE YEAR.' AND I WAS LIKE, 'OKAY, BUT IT HAS TO BE THE WEEK BEFORE A TOURNAMENT, CAN'T BE THE WEEK OF A TOURNAMENT.'

PETER KESSLER
AS WE GO TO BREAK, WE'RE GONNA TAKE A LOOK AT THE SAND WEDGE YOU HIT FROM 95 YARDS WHERE YOU NEEDED EAGLE-3 ON THE LAST HOLE OF THE AREA WEB DOT COM (areaWEB.COM).

AND I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY YOU COULDN'T HOLE THIS SIMPLE SHOT. WE'LL TAKE A LOOK .

IT WAS A NOTHING SHOT.

JAN STEPHENSON
YOU CAN'T?

PETER KESSLER
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT IT AS WE GO TO BREAK.

JAN STEPHENSON
AFTER ALL THAT ACADEMY LIVE, YOU CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT?

PETER KESSLER
I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY YOU DIDN'T HOLE IT.

YOUR DISTANCE CONTROL IS OBVIOUSLY A PROBLEM. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(DURING BREAK, GRAPHIC SHOWN:
FOR MORE INFORMATION
About Walkabout GC:
walkaboutgolf.com
Or jan@walkaboutgolf.com
On Jan:
jan@liquidgolf.com )
(BREAK)

 
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