Golf Talk Live - Butch Harmon Transcript Segment 3
GIVE ME A SENSE OF YOUR APPRECIATION AT BEING A PART OF WHAT'S GOING ON IN GOLF NOW AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON BEING A PART OF THE CONSECUTIVE MAJOR SLAM THAT TIGER JUST COMPLETED WITH HIS WIN AT AUGUSTA IN APRIL.
AH IT WAS WONDERFUL PETER. I MEAN I, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN TIGER WAS AN AMATEUR AND HE WON THREE AMATEURS IN A ROW AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS FANTASTIC AND THEN HE WINS THE MASTERS IN '97 AND THEN THE PGA AT
MEDINA AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN FOUR MAJORS IN A ROW. IT'S JUST UNBELIEVABLE. I'M NOT SURE I EVER HONESTLY THOUGHT ANYBODY COULD WIN FOUR MAJORS IN A ROW. IS IT A GRAND SLAM? WELL YOU CAN CALL IT
WHATEVER YOU WANT. ALL I KNOW IS THAT NO ONE THAT'S EVER WALKED ON THIS PLANET EARTH HAS HELD FOUR MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS AT ONE TIME AND THIS YOUNG MAN DID IT, AND I THINK IT'S
JUST FANTASTIC. I ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. IT WAS NERVE WRACKING FOR HIM, FOR ME, FOR ALL OF US, IT WAS JUST WONDERFUL.
YOU KNOW I'VE NEVER HAD THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SLAM BUT I'VE BEEN THINKING THAT THERE'S THREE SLAMS. THERE'S THE CAREER SLAM WHERE YOU WIN ALL FOUR OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFETIME, AND HE'S DONE THAT. THERE'S THE CONSECUTIVE MAJOR SLAM WHERE YOU DO IT OVER A
COUPLE OF SEASONS. WELL HE'S JUST DONE THAT AND THEN THERE'S SORT OF THE BIG DADDY OF THEM ALL, WINNING THE GRAND SLAM WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE FEW MONTHS IN THE CALENDAR YEAR IN WHICH THEY TAKE PLACE.
WELL THAT'S TRUE. UNFORTUNATELY HE CAN'T DO THAT THIS YEAR BECAUSE HE WON THE FIRST ONE, DIDN'T WIN THE SECOND ONE. UH.... IN ALL HONESTY, TIGER WOODS MAY BE THE ONLY PLAYER
TODAY, WHO KNOWS WHOSE GOING TO COME ALONG IN THE FUTURE, THAT COULD HANDLE THE PRESSURE OF WINNING ALL FOUR IN ONE YEAR. PHYSICALLY I THINK THERE'S PEOPLE WHO COULD DO IT.
MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY I THINK TIGER WOODS IS THE ONLY ONE THAT COULD HANDLE THE PRESSURE. I MEAN THE PRESSURE WAS TREMENDOUS AT ST. ANDREWS TO WIN THE BRITISH OPEN TO GET THE CAREER SLAM. THE PRESSURE
WAS UNBELIEVABLE AT AUGUSTA TO HOLD ALL FOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS AT ONCE AND I THINK HE'S THE ONLY ATHLETE IN GOLF THAT CAN HANDLE THAT PRESSURE. NOW THAT'S JUST MY OPINION, BUT OF ALL THE GREAT PLAYERS THAT I KNOW,
HE HANDLES PRESSURE THAT'S PUT ON HIM BY THE MEDIA AND OUTSIDE AWAY FROM THE GOLF COURSE AS WELL AS ANYONE I'VE EVER SEEN AND I THINK HE IS THE ONE WHO COULD DO IT. NOW YOU
HAVE TO HAVE A LOT OF BREAKS, A LOT OF THINGS HAVE TO GO RIGHT FOR YOU TO DO IT, BUT I THINK THERE'S ALWAYS THAT POSSIBILITY.
WE FOUND OUT, PARTICULARLY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS OF THE U.S. OPEN, AND, AND TOURNAMENTS SUBSEQUENT TO THAT THAT EVEN TIGER, IF HE'S NOT PLAYING TERRIFIC GOLF CAN NOT PHONE IT IN AND STILL WIN. WHAT DOES THAT
SAY ABOUT HIS WORK ETHIC AND HIS DESIRE ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HAS TO DO TO KEEP THE EDGE THAT HE WAS BORN WITH?
WELL FIRST OF ALL, LET'S REMEMBER, IT'S DIFFICULT TO WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT. IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO WIN A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP. JUST BECAUSE YOU PLAY WELL DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE GOING TO WIN. YOU HAVE TO GET BREAKS.
SOMETHING HAS TO HAPPEN. A BALL HAS TO BOUNCE YOUR WAY, A PUTT HAS TO GO IN THAT LOOKS LIKE IT'S GOING TO MISS. SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO MISS ONE THAT, THAT THEY DON'T THINK THEY, THEY, THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE AND THEN
ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY, THEY MESS UP OR SOMETHING, SO YOU GOT TO GET LUCKY, TOO, NOT JUST BE GOOD. HE GOT A LOT OF BREAKS IN THAT SLAM RUN. I MEAN IN THOSE FOUR MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS HE GOT A LOT OF BOUNCES HIS WAY. HE
MADE SOME PUTTS WHEN HE HAD TO MAKE THEM. NOW THAT'S ALL PART OF WINNING. THAT HAS TO HAPPEN TO WIN TOURNAMENTS, SO YOU KNOW IT'S, DO I SAY THAT TIGER'S BEEN UNLUCKY THIS YEAR? OF COURSE NOT. TIGER WOODS
HAS WON FOUR TIMES. HIS STROKE AVERAGE IS 68 AND SOME CHANGE. VERY SIMILAR TO LAST YEAR. HE'S ALREADY WON ONE MAJOR. HE'S STILL HAVING A GREAT YEAR. IF YOU ASK TIGER WOODS IS HE HAVING A GOOD YEAR, NO, BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WIN EVERY TOURNAMENT HE
PLAYED IN BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY HE FEELS. IS HE IN A SLUMP LIKE SOME REPORTERS SAID? WELL THAT'S RIDICULOUS TO EVEN SAY THAT. I MEAN
WHAT'S HIS WORST FINISH THIS YEAR WAS LAST WEEK 20TH. WELL THAT'S A CAREER FOR SOME PEOPLE WHAT HE'S DONE THIS YEAR. HIS EXPECTATIONS ARE HIGHER THAN MINE. HIS EXPECTATIONS ARE HIGHER THAN YOURS. THEY'RE HIGHER
THAN OUR VIEWERS OUT THERE. HE WANTS TO WIN EVERY TIME HE PLAYS. HE WANTS TO PLAY HIS BEST EVERY TIME HE PLAYS AND HE'S REALISTIC ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT CAN'T HAPPEN BUT HE STILL DOESN'T LIKE IT, AND HE'S STILL UPSET WHEN HE DOESN'T.
GIVE US A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO THE RELATIONSHIP IN THE SENSE THAT, THE TWO OF YOU WERE GOING TO ATTEMPT TO TAKE HIM FROM WHAT I GUESS YOU WOULD CHARACTERIZE THIS AS OKAY PLAY OF RIGHT NOW TO BRILLIANT, AT,
NEXT THURSDAY AT THE START OF THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT ROYAL LITHEM. HOW DO YOU GO FROM HERE TO THERE?
WELL FIRST OF ALL, TIGER, I THOUGHT STARTED TO PLAY REALLY WELL LAST WEEK. HE STARTED TO FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH HIS GOLF SWING AGAIN. HE STARTED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE THINGS HE'S BEEN WORKING ON AND HE GOT HIS,
WHAT HE CALLS HIS DISTANCE BACK, MEANING HE COULD HIT THE BALL THEIR PROPER DISTANCES. HIS LENGTH OFF THE TEE CAME BACK WHERE HE'D FELT HE HAD LOST A LITTLE OF THAT AND YOU JUST GO THROUGH PERIODS IN GOLF
WHERE YOU SWING JUST GETS A LITTLE OFF AND YOUR TIMING GETS A LITTLE OFF EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE WORKING ON THE SAME THINGS. HE ACTUALLY FELT PRETTY GOOD ABOUT LAST WEEK. HE DIDN'T REALLY PUTT AS WELL AS HE THOUGHT HE COULD HAVE BUT HE, HE
FELT PRETTY GOOD ABOUT IT. HE'S IN IRELAND NOW JUST RELAXING WITH MARK O'MEARA AND SOME FRIENDS. GOING TO DO A LOT OF PRACTICE. I'M GOING OVER SATURDAY NIGHT. WE'LL SPEND SOME TIME BEFOREHAND, BUT I THINK YOU'LL SEE TIGER CONTEND AT LITHEM AND
ST. ANNE'S. I THINK IT'S A, IT'S A REALLY KIND OF UNUSUAL GOLF COURSE. IF YOU REMEMBER THE COURSE FROM WHEN TOM LEHMAN WON THERE OR WHEN SEVE WON THERE. YOU CAN REALLY GET SOME FUNNY BOUNCES OUT THERE ON THESE
FAIRWAYS. SO ONCE AGAIN, LUCK HAS TO COME INTO IT, BUT I THINK YOU'LL SEE TIGER HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN THE BRITISH OPEN. WHETHER HE DOES OR NOT, REMAINS TO BE SEEN.
WE TALKED ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS TO JUST WIN A TOURNAMENT LET ALONE A MAJOR AND I THINK THE LATE CHARLES PRICE SAID, WELL A REGULAR TOURNAMENT IS YOU'RE ON A TIGHTROPE 10 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND AND THERE'S
A NET IF YOU FALL AND AT A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP YOU'RE ON A WIRE 60 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND BUT IF YOU FALL THERE'S NO NET. THERE'S 156 PLAYERS IN A FIELD. THAT'S NOT TWO TEAMS, THAT'S 156 TEAMS. DO YOU THINK PEOPLE
APPRECIATE THAT NOT EVERY ONE OF THOSE 155 OTHER TEAMS ARE GOING TO LAY DOWN FOR YOU ON A PARTICULAR WEEK?
WELL IN ALL HONESTY THOUGH, IF YOU LISTEN TO WHAT JACK NICKLAUS SAID AND, AND BEN HOGAN SAID, HALF THE FIELD PRETTY MUCH ELIMINATES THEMSELF IN A MAJOR. THE OTHER 25 PERCENT, THEIR NERVES KIND OF ELIMINATE THEMSELVES, SO YOU REALLY
ONLY GOT TO TRY AND CONTEND WITH 25 PERCENT OF THAT 156 PLAYERS. NOW THAT'S NOT TO PUT DOWN THE OTHERS, IT'S JUST THE MAJORS ARE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT ANIMAL THAN A REGULAR TOURNAMENT. WE SAW THAT WITH RETIEF GOOSEN AT THE U.S. OPEN.
I MEAN HE'S GOT 12 FOOT PUTT. TWO PUTTS TO WIN. HE COULD DO IT IN HIS SLEEP, EYES CLOSED STANDING ON HIS HEAD, BUT BECAUSE IT WAS TO WIN THE U.S. OPEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN HE THREE
PUTTED, SO PRESSURE IS A HUGE THING. YOU HAVE TO HANDLE THE PRESSURE. WE'VE SEEN PHIL MICKELSON PLAY VERY WELL AND NOT QUITE HANDLE THE PRESSURE. IF YOU REMEMBER WHEN
PAYNE STEWART WON AT PINEHURST HE HAD A PUTT ON 17 THAT HE NEEDED TO MAKE THAT HE JUST DIDN'T MAKE. DOESN'T MEAN THAT PHIL MICKELSON CHOKED, BECAUSE HE DIDN'T, IT'S JUST PRESSURE. THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU IN
MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, IN YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM AND YOUR ADRENALIN RUSHES THAT DON'T HAPPEN IN THE TUCSON OPEN OR THE BOB HOPE DESERT CLASSIC. IT'S A DIFFERENT ANIMAL, A MAJOR, AND IT TAKES A UNIQUE PERSON
TO WIN THEM.
WHEN WE COME BACK LETS TAKE A LOOK AT A SERIES OF SHOTS FROM THE FOUR MAJORS THAT HE WON IN A ROW. HIS SLAM, AND WE'LL DO THAT IN JUST A MOMENT. AS WE LEAVE WE'VE GOT A
SPECIAL GRAPHIC OF TOURNAMENTS THAT YOU HAVE WON THAT TIGER NEVER EVEN SNIFFED. SO LET'S CHECK IT OUT.
HEY THIS IS A SERIOUS LIST, BUTCH, ALRIGHT?
ALRIGHT, HE DIDN'T WIN THE METROPOLITAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP.
ALASKA STATE AM.
HE COULD NEVER WIN THE ALASKA STATE AM BECAUSE HE CAN'T GET HIS AMATEUR STANDING BACK NOW.
AND THERE'S, AND THE B.C. OPEN.
B.C. OPEN. WELL HE HAS PLAYED IN IT, BUT HE
I MEAN YOU LED WIRE TO WIRE... AND OF COURSE HERE'S SOMETHING HE COULD NEVER DO. YOU WON FOURTH PLACE AWARD OUT OF FOUR PLACES IN EVERY HARMON CUP EVER HELD.
WELL, A LITTLE BETTER THAN THAT THOUGH.
HAVE NEVER WON THE HARMON CUP THOUGH.
WE'LL BE BACK.
Garcia bounced in Austin: 'On to Augusta'
AUSTIN, Texas – For the 16th time in his career, Sergio Garcia’s week at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play ended earlier then he would have hoped, but this time he has plenty of distractions to ease the sting.
Garcia lost his Saturday morning match to Kyle Stanley, 3 and 1, marking the 15th time in his Match Play career he’s failed to advance to Sunday, but at least he has plenty to keep him busy with a newborn at home and his return to the Masters looming in two weeks.
“On to Augusta,” said Garcia, who is not playing next week’s Houston Open. “It's exciting. Obviously when we get there, it's going to be interesting to see how we feel and everything. But it is definitely exciting.”
Garcia defeated Justin Rose in a playoff to win last year’s Masters, his first major triumph, so his return to Augusta National will be unlike anything he’s ever experienced.
His duties as defending champion will include hosting Tuesday’s Champions Dinner. No word on Garcia’s menu for the event, but various sources have confirmed it will be something “Spanish.”
Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Sweet 16
Here is how things played out in the Round of 16 on Saturday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The week began with 64 players taking on Austin Country Club,but the field is dwindling. Click here for Day 3 match results:
Match 97: Bubba Watson (35) def. Brian Harman (18), 2 and 1. Watson was 1 down going to the eighth hole, but he won four of the next five holes to turn around this battle of lefties. A 12-foot putt for eagle at the 12th dropped, giving him a 3 up lead coming home. It was Watson’s second eagle of the day. He looks as if he’s still riding the confidence from that Genesis Open victory last month. Watson will advance to play Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the quarterfinals.
Match 98: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) def. Charles Howell III (59), 1 up. Aphibarnrat won in a late comeback, winning the final two holes. He holed a 9-foot putt for birdie at the 17th to square the match and won with an 8-foot birdie at the last. He had not led all day, not until that last birdie putt dropped. The 28-year-old Thai improved to 4-0 on this world stage after sweeping his group in the round-robin play. A four-time European Tour winner, Aphibarnrat is looking for his first PGA Tour victory. He will meet Bubba Watson in the quarterfinals.
Match 99: Kyle Stanley (45) def. Sergio Garcia (7), 3 and 1. Stanley birdied the eighth, ninth and 10th holes to go 3 up, and then he held off Garcia’s run at him, eliminating the world No. 10 with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes. With the victory, Stanley has a chance at a nice Texas two-step, a chance to eliminate the two highest ranked players left in the field, the only players left among the top 10 in the world ranking. But, there’s hard work to do in the quarterfinals, where Stanley will meet world No. 2 Justin Thomas.
Match 100: Justin Thomas (2) def. Si Woo Kim (50), 6 and 5. Thomas remains on fire in this format, steamrolling Kim a day after completing a round-robin sweep of his group by blowing away Francesco Molinari, 7 and 5. The Kim match felt like it was over shortly after it started, with Thomas making the turn 5 up. Thomas will advance to play Kyle Stanley in the quarterfinals.
Match 101: Cameron Smith (46) def. Tyrell Hatton (12), 2 and 1. Smith found himself behind early, falling 2 down after Hatton opened with back-to-back birdies, but Smith quickly rallied to win one of the best matches of the day. He birdied four of the next five holes to go 1 up. Hatton lost despite making seven birdies on the round. He lost despite making birdies at the 15th, 16th and 17th holes to the red-hot Smith, who made eight birdies. Smith will meet Alex Noren in the quarterfinals.
Match 102: Alex Noren (13) def. Patrick Reed (19), 5 and 3. In this Fire vs. Ice match, Ice won, with Noren making easy work of Reed. Really, though, Reed never got a flame going, and Noren wasn’t going to help him the way Jordan Spieth did a day before. Reed was 2-over on his card before finally making his first and only birdie of the day at the 13th. Somewhere, European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn must have been smiling, watching Noren easily take down the formidable American match-play dynamo. Noren will meet Cameron Smith in the quarterfinals.
Match 103: Ian Poulter (58) def. Louis Oosthuizen (25), 2 and 1. Poulter’s match-play mojo is going strong again, with the Englishman summoning the intensity that has made him so formidable in the Ryder Cup over the years. He was on fire Saturday, making eight birdies over the first 15 holes, if you count the concession he received hitting a wedge to 18 inches at the 13th hole. Poulter put a special putter in the bag this week, using the same flat stick that helped him lead the Euros to their historic comeback victory against the Americans at Medinah in 2012. Though Oosthuizen made four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, he still couldn’t make it close. Poulter will meet Kevin Kisner in the quarterfinals.
Match 104: Kevin Kisner (32) def. Matt Kuchar (16), 1 up. Kuchar applied all kinds of pressure on Kisner on the back nine, but he couldn’t get Kisner to fold in the best match of the day. Kuchar was 2 down with four to go but managed to pull all square going to the last. After missing a 15-footer for birdie at the 18th, Kuchar watched Kisner sink a 12-footer for his birdie to win. Kisner will meet Ian Poulter in the quarterfinals.
JT advances to quarters, closing in on No. 1 ranking
AUSTIN, Texas – Justin Thomas continued his impressive run at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and finds himself another step closer to overtaking Dustin Johnson in the World Golf Ranking.
Thomas rolled past Si Woo Kim, 6 and 5, in the first knockout stage and will face Kyle Stanley in the Elite Eight. He must advance to Sunday’s championship match to overtake Johnson as the new world No. 1.
“It wasn't anything crazy or special. Just played solid golf tee to green. And it was forcing him to make a lot of putts,” said Thomas, who has played 61 holes this week, won 24, lost six and hasn’t trailed in four matches.
Stanley, who needed a playoff victory over Paul Casey on Friday to advance to the weekend, defeated Sergio Garcia, 3 and 1.
Bubba Watson also continued his solid play, rallying from an early deficit to beat Brian Harman, 2 and 1. He will play Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who defeated Charles Howell III, closing with back-to-back birdies for a 1-up victory.
But as impressive as Thomas has been, Sweden’s Alex Noren has quietly continued to impress, going undefeated in pool play and closing out Patrick Reed on the 15th hole for a 5-and-3 victory.
“He's such a tough competitor,” said Noren, who will face Australian Cameron Smith in the quarterfinals. “I managed to hole a few birdie putts. When we both had good chances, he just missed and I managed to make those.”
Former Match Play champion Ian Poulter also advanced with a 2-and-1 victory over Louis Oosthuizen. He will play Kevin Kisner, who converted a 10-foot putt at the 18th hole to defeat Matt Kuchar, 1 up.
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.”