Golf Talk Live - Bruce Lietzke Transcript Segment 1
(GTL INTRO/MUSIC STARTS)
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.
SO MANY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE FIND OUT WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT AT A TIME IN THEIR LIVES WHEN IT'S TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. BY THE TIME PERSPECTIVE TAKES HOLD,
THEIR CHILDREN HAVE BECOME ADULTS WITH CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN, AND LOST SUMMERS AND ABBREVIATED HOLIDAYS ARE GONE FOREVER.
13-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION, BOBBY JONES ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY. AND 20-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION, JACK NICKLAUS,
NEVER SPENT MORE THAN 2 WEEKS AWAY FROM HOME EVEN AT THE PINNACLE OF HIS GREATNESS WHEN HE CHASED AND LATER BESTED THE RECORDS OF THE LATE GREAT MR. JONES.
BRUCE LIETZKE WAS BORN TO BE RETIRED. AND HE NEVER MADE A MAJOR FUSS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF NEEDING MAJORS ON HIS RESUME.
BRUCE SOMEHOW GRASPED THE SENSIBLE CONCEPT AT AN EARLY AGE THAT HAPPINESS CAN BE FOUND AT HOME, THAT IT'S NOT NECESSARY TO LIVE FOR YOUR WORK WHEN YOU CAN WORK JUST ENOUGH TO LIVE THE LIFE THAT BRINGS YOU THE GREATEST JOY.
HE WON 13 TIMES ON TOUR SINCE 1977 AND ALWAYS MADE THE MOST OF HIS LIMITED APPEARANCES BY RARELY MISSING CUTS, PARTLY BECAUSE HE NEVER TINKERED WITH HIS SWING THAT DIDN'T REQUIRE TINKERING.
AND ANY FELLOW THAT LISTS SERIOUS FISHING AS HIS SPECIAL INTEREST IS SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN CONTINUING TO PERFECT THE ART OF NOT LOOKING BUSY, BECAUSE HE'S NOT.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. OUR GUEST TONIGHT BECAME FAMOUS ON TOUR OVER A 25 YEAR PERIOD BY MAKING A SERIES OF CAMEO APPEARANCES. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BRUCE LIETZKE. GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE.
THANK YOU, PETER. NICE TO BE HERE.
IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU WITH US. YOU KNOW, JAIME DIAZ, THE AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST, ONCE WROTE ABOUT YOU AND THE FACT THAT YOU APPEARED INFREQUENTLY AND MADE THE MOST OF THOSE APPEARANCES THAT ...
FEW HAVE EVER DONE LESS WITH MORE. HOW DO YOU REACT TO THAT?
FEW HAVE DONE LESS WITH MORE ... UH, I DON'T KNOW. I - I ...
I SUPPOSE, UH, YOU LET PEOPLE HAVE THEIR OWN OPINIONS AND YOU STILL LIVE BY YOUR OWN CREED. AND I'VE BEEN CRITICIZED, GOOD AND BAD, FOR UH THE THINGS I'VE DONE AND, AND I'VE ALWAYS JUST DECIDED TO FALL BACK ON WHAT I BELIEVE.
AND UH, AND I'VE NEVER HAD ANY REGRETS ABOUT THAT. SO I THINK I'VE DONE THE RIGHT THING UH, DESPITE THE ... THE REMINDERS THAT I COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING ELSE. UH, I'VE ALWAYS FELT COMFORTABLE IN THE DECISIONS I'VE MADE.
AND FOR THE MOST PART, MOST OF THOSE DECISIONS WERE THE RIGHT ONES.
IS IT REALLY TRUE THAT YOU NEVER WANTED TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD?
I CAN'T REMEMBER EVER THINKING THAT ... THAT THAT WAS MY GOAL. I DON'T REMEMBER THAT EVER BEING IN MY HEAD. I THINK THERE ARE TIMES THAT I WANTED TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE FIELD THAT WEEK IN THE TIMES THAT I HAVE WON. UH, I HAVE - I'VE HAD THAT FEELING.
UH, BUT TO JUMP A LITTLE HIGHER THAN THAT AND TO EITHER STAY AT THAT TOP OR UH, OR JUST GAIN SOME SATISFACTION FROM BEING THE BEST PLAYER THAT WEEK, UH, SEEMED TO BE ENOUGH.
AND I JUST DON'T REMEMBER THE THOUGHT OF EVER BEING THE BEST IN THE WORLD FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME. UH, I JUST LET ONE WEEK AT A TIME, UH, SATISFY ME.
I MEAN, EVERY LITTLE BOY WHO LEARNS TO PLAY GOLF, WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE GONNA BE A 20-HANDICAPPER OR ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD, AT SOME POINT WHEN THEY'RE 8 OR 9 YEARS OLD,
STANDS OVER 5-FOOTERS ALONE ON THE PRACTICE GREEN AND SAYS, 'THIS IS FOR THE U.S. OPEN'. AND SOME OF US IMAGINE THAT YOU MUST HAVE STOOD OVER THOSE 5-FOOTERS AS A 9 YEAR OLD AND SAID, 'IF I MAKE THIS, I'LL MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO RETIRE.'
NO, I'LL TELLYOU EXACTLY WHAT MY THOUGHTS WERE. INSTEAD OF ALWAYS THINKING OF A U.S. OPEN OR A MASTERS, I USED TO READ THE SPORTS PAGE PRETTY MUCH EVERY MORNING, UH, OR EARLY IN THE WEEK AND I WOULD FIND OUT ...
I CAME HOME AT THE AGE OF 8 AND WANT - AND TOLD MY MOTHER I WANTED TO PLAY THE PGA TOUR. I WANTED TO PLAY WITH GARY PLAYER AND SAM SNEAD. SO THAT'LL TELL YOU HOW BACK - HOW FAR BACK IT GOES.
UH, BUT WHAT UH ... UH, WHAT I DO REMEMBER IS PICKING UP NEWSPAPERS AND FINDING OUT THAT THE TOUR THAT WEEK WAS IN CLEVELAND OR THE TOUR THAT WEEK WAS IN PORTLAND. AND WHEN I WENT TO THE GOLF COURSE THAT AFTERNOON, I WAS PUTTING TO WIN THE CLEVELAND TOURNAMENT.
AND NEXT WEEK, I WAS WINNING TO WIN - UH, PUTTING TO WIN THE, OR HITTING A SHOT OR CHIPPING ... UH, AND THE WEEKS THAT THE U.S. OPEN WAS BEING PLAYED, THAT'S WHAT I WAS TRYING TO WIN.
UH, BUT IT WAS NEVER ALWAYS THE OPEN. IT WAS NEVER ALWAYS THE MASTERS. IT WAS WHATEVER WEEKLY TOURNAMENT WAS GOING ON. LATER WHEN I GOT INTERESTED IN - IN CERTAIN PLAYERS ON THE TOUR, NICKLAUS BECAME MY IDOL,
I WOULD FIND OUT WHERE - WHAT TOURNAMENTS NICKLAUS WAS PLAYING IN AND I SEEMED TO PUT SOME EXTRA EMPHASIS ON THAT. JACK'S PLAYING THIS WEEK.
I WAS PULLING FOR HIM, BUT WHEN I WAS OUT PRACTICING THAT AFTERNOON, I WAS TRYING TO BEAT, UH, BEAT HIM IN, AGAIN, PORTLAND, CLEVELAND, WHEREVER JACK WAS PLAYING.
NOW THERE'S NO WAY PROBABLY FOR YOU TO HAVE KNOWN AT THAT TIME THAT JACK PLAYED THE KIND OF SCHEDULE - 16, 19 TIMES A YEAR - THAT LATER YOU WOULD ADOPT AS YOUR OWN.
WHEN HE WAS YOUR IDOL, HE WAS YOUR IDOL FOR HIS GOLF, I ASSUME, NOT FOR HIS BALANCED APPROACH TO LIFE WHICH YOU MUST HAVE FOUND OUT ABOUT LATER.
HE BECAME MY IDOL WHEN HE AND ARNIE SHOWED UP AT AN EXHIBITION AT UH PRAIRIE DUNES IN HUTCHINSON, KANSAS, IN 1962. I BELIEVE IT WAS THE MONDAY AFTER JACK WINS THE U.S. OPEN,.
UH, AND HE WAS PLAYING AN EXHIBITION WITH A COUPLE OF CLUB PROS, UH, FROM THE WICHITA, KANSAS, AREA AND THAT'S WERE I LIVED. IT WAS IN WICHITA, KANSAS.
UH, WE WENT AND WATCHED THEM PLAY. AT THE END OF THE ROUND, UH, ARNIE ... UH, THIS HAD TO HAVE BEEN A FREAK OF NATURE ... ARNIE KIND OF MADE A BEELINE FOR THE LOCKER ROOM AND SIGNED AUTOGRAPHS AS HE WAS WALKING,
BUT PRETTY MUCH MADE A LINE FOR THE, UH, LOCKER ROOM AND GOT INTO THE LOCKER ROOM. AND I WAS PRETTY NAVE AT THE TIME. I WAS 10 OR 11. UH, '62, I WAS 11 YEARS OLD. AND I JUST DIDN'T KNOW THE, UH, PROCEDURE AND I DIDN'T GET HIS AUTOGRAPH.
I TURNED AROUND AND THERE WAS NICKLAUS STANDING ON THE 18TH GREEN, AND HE HAD A GROUP OF KIDS AND ADULTS AROUND HIM. AND I GOT HIS AUTOGRAPH EVENTUALLY. AND HE BECAME MY IDOL THAT DAY.
AND BOY WHAT HAS NEVER BEEN LOST ON ME IS THE POWER OF THAT ... THAT CHILD THAT WANTS AN AUTOGRAPH. AND I'VE TRIED TO, UH, ACCOMMODATE EVERY CHILD UH THAT I CAN. AND I'VE PROBABLY TURNED AWAY A FEW, UH, THAT I DON'T KNOW ABOUT.
BUT THAT, THAT'S THE DAY THAT NICKLAUS BECAME MY IDOL, UH, 11 YEARS OLD, BECAUSE HE SIGNED MY AUTOGRAPH. I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW WHO HE WAS. I HAD HEARD HE HAD WON THE U.S. OPEN.
HE WASN'T AS BIG AS ARNOLD PALMER. UH, BUT HE SIGNED MY AUTOGRAPH AND HE WAS MY IDOL THAT DAY.
BEN CRENSHAW AND YOU ARE ABOUT 6 MONTHS APART IN AGE. YOU GREW UP IN THE SAME PART OF TEXAS. YOU WERE FRIENDLY. YOU COMPETED AGAINST EACH OTHER. BUT UNLIKE YOU, HE WANTED TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
DID THAT EVER CONFUSE YOU OR SET YOU BACK OR MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT IN SOME WAYS?
UH, NO, BECAUSE I DON'T THINK WE EVER SHARED THAT. UH, WE WERE CLOSE FRIENDS IN A LOT OF WAYS, COMPETITORS FOR THE MOST PART. HE LIVED IN AUSTIN. I LIVED IN BEAUMONT.
HE PLAYED FOR UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS. I PLAYED FOR UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON. SO WE, WE WERE COMPETITORS AT FIRST AND BECAME CLOSE FRIENDS THROUGH THE YEARS, BUT I DON'T THINK WE EVER SHARED THOSE KINDS OF INNER FEELINGS. UH ...
WE HAD A LOT OF THINGS IN COMMON. BUT UH, HE WAS AN - JUST AN OUTSTANDING, UH, JUNIOR PLAYER. AND I WAS A, PRETTY MUCH, RUN-OF-THE-MILL DECENT PLAYER THAT STRUGGLED AGAINST HIM. AND MY,
MY ONLY CLAIM TO FAME IN TEXAS JUNIOR GOLF WAS WINNING THE TEXAS STATE JUNIOR IN 1968, THE ONE YEAR HE DECIDED NOT TO PLAY. SO I'VE - I'VE HAD THAT GHOST FOLLOWING ME AROUND FOR YEARS. UH, SO MY GAME NEVER DID STACK UP TO HIS.
BUT I NEVER DID REALLY - WE NEVER REALLY DID SHARE WHAT OUR DREAMS WERE. BUT UH, BUT WE REMAIN GOOD FRIENDS TILL THIS DAY.
I MEAN, HE WAS ONE OF THE ORIGINAL CHILD PRODIGIES WHO FOUND HIS GAME LARGELY BY FEEL. I KNOW HE WORKED WITH HARVEY PENICK, BUT HE WAS A 'FEEL PLAYER'. AND, OF COURSE, OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, ALL HE THINKS ABOUT IS HIS GOLF SWING,
AND UNHAPPILY SO. 6 MONTHS FROM NOW, HE'S GONNA BE READY FOR THE SENIOR TOUR. IF HE ASKED YOU, WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE HIM IN TERMS OF ADVICE?
UH, WORK ON TIMING. THE YEARS OF GOLF THAT I'VE PLAYED WITH HIM, UH, THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I COULD SEE HIM MAKE A HARD SWING, THAT ALL THE PARTS OF HIS MECHANICS WERE WELL TIMED.
HIS HIPS DIDN'T GET AHEAD OF HIS SHOULDERS. OR HIS SHOULDERS DIDN'T GET AHEAD OF HIS FEET OR, OR WHATEVER. UH, AND THE WEEKS THAT WE PLAYED A LOT OF PRACTICE ROUNDS TOGETHER, WE PLAYED A LOT OF TUESDAY PRACTICE ROUNDS, IF I SAW THAT IN HIS SWING, UH, I - I COULD HAVE GONE TO A BOOKIE, IF I'D KNOWN A BOOKIE,
AND BET MONEY ON HIM. UH, THE WEEKS THAT HE HAD THAT TIMING, UH, 'CAUSE HIS PUTTING WAS THERE DAY IN AND DAY OUT. HE NEEDED THOSE GREENS IN REGULATION TO GET HIS PUTTER GOING. AND UH, AND I WOULD SEE THOSE WEEKS ON TUESDAYS WHEN ...
WHEN HE'D BE ABLE TO HIT THAT HARD DRIVE AND NOT LOSE IT LEFT OR RIGHT. AND THE WEEKS HE HAD THAT SWING WERE THE WEEKS THAT HE WOULD PLAY WELL.
AT THAT, HE'S GOING OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW TO LOOK FOR HIS TIMING.
WE'RE GONNA TAKE A LITTLE BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH BRUCE LIETZKE.
Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond
Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.
She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.
Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.
After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.
“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.
Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).
It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.
“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”
Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.
“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”
Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.
It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.
“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”
Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic
CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.
The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.
''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''
She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.
''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''
Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.
''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.
Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.
Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.
Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.
Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.
''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''
She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.
''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''
Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.
DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history
AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.
Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.
“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”
Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.
The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.
It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.
Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi
BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.
Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.
''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''
He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.
''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''
Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida
''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''
Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.
''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''
Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.
Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.
Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.