Golf Talk Live - Chi Chi Rodriguez Transcript Segment 6

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 6, 2000, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
I KNEW THERE WAS A QUESTION SUBMITTED TO OUR WEBSITE TODAY, FOR YOU CHI CHI. I'VE HEARD YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR FATHER SEVERAL TIMES. HE SEEMS TO HAVE HAD A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE. WHAT WOULD HE BE MOST PROUD OF AS IT RELATES TO YOUR LIFE? JEFF, FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
WELL ONE OF THE UH, JEFF, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MY DADDY GAVE ME, HE GAVE ME SELF CONFIDENCE. HE, HE UH HE LET ME MAKE MY DECISIONS SINCE I WAS A YOUNG MAN, AND THE RESPECT OF MY DAD TO THE KIDS WAS INCREDIBLE. MY DAD WAS KIND OF A VERY STERN MAN. HE NEVER, HE NEV. HE NEVER KISSED US.

HE NEVER HUGGED US. HE JUST SHOOK OUR HAND, AND HE'D LOOK AT YOU IN THE EYE AND YOU KNOW WHEN HE LOOKED AT YOU IN THE EYE YOU ALWAYS LOOKED AWAY BECAUSE HE WAS A VERY STRONG PERSON, BUT, HE WAS OUR BEST FRIEND.

WE USED TO, MY FATHER USED TO COME FROM WORK, HE WORE BIG BOOTS, YOU KNOW, HE WORKED FOR THE SAME MAN FOR 30 YEARS AND NEVER PAID HIM OVER EIGHTEEN DOLLARS A WEEK AND UH MY DADDY GOT A HEART ATTACK AND HE FIRED HIM AFTER 30 YEARS. HE NEVER MISSED A DAY. HE NEVER MISSED A DAY WORKING 16, 18 HOURS A DAY, BUT ANYWAY, WHEN HE USED TO COME FROM WORK, HE HAD HIS BOOTS, WE USED TO TAKE HIS BOOTS OFF. MY SISTER, ONE OF MY SISTERS USED TO BRING THE, THE HOT WATER. WE PUT HIS FEET IN THERE. THEN WE TAKE SOAP. WE WASH HIS FEET. THEN ONE BROTHER WOULD DRY THEM OUT AND ANOTHER SISTER WOULD CUT HIS CORNS AND THE OTHER SISTER WOULD MASSAGE HIS FEET. THAT WAS THE KIND OF MAN HE WAS, AND I TELL YOU WHAT, HE WAS A SHARING MAN, BECAUSE ONE TIME, THIS REALLY HAPPENED, I MUST HAVE BEEN TEN YEARS OLD. I REMEMBER LIKE NOW, HE WOKE ME UP ABOUT 2:00 IN THE MORNING AND HE SAID DON JUAN, DON JUAN, WAKE UP, AND I SAID WHAT'S WRONG DAD? HE SAYS IT SEEMS LIKE SOMEBODY'S GOING TO STEAL MY BANANAS AND WE HAD A BANANA TREE IN THE BACK, THAT WAS, HAD A BANANA BUNCH AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL HE WAS SAVING IT FOR US TO EAT, YOU KNOW, SO HE WENT AND TURNED THE LIGHT ON IN THE BACK AND ONE OF OUR NEIGHBORS AS THERE WITH A MACHETE.

NOW MY DAD ASKED HIM, HE SAID DON SO AND SO, HE SAYS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? AND HE SAID WELL DON JUAN IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO RAIN AND I WAS UNDER YOUR HOUSE, YOU KNOW, TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM THE RAIN AND MY DADDY LOOKED AT THE, AT THE SKY AND THERE WASN'T A, THERE WASN'T A CLOUD IN THE SKY. IT WAS ALL STARS UP THERE, SO, HE WALKED DOWN THE STAIRWAY. HE, HE HAD TOLD THE GUY, HE SAID GIVE ME THE MACHETE. SO I SAID, MY GOD, HE'S GOING TO HIT HIM WITH THAT MACHETE AND MY DAD, THE GUY GAVE HIM THE MACHETE. HE WENT OVER, HE CUT THE BANANA BUNCH IN HALF AND HE GAVE IT TO HIM AND HE SAID DON SO AND SO, HE SAYS, FROM NOW ON, WHEN YOU WANT SOMETHING FROM THE BACK OF MY HOUSE, HE SAYS, COME THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR. JUST MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE ENOUGH FOR MY KIDS, AND THAT HAD A BIG IMPACT ON MY LIFE.

PETER KESSLER
ARE YOU SURE THIS FELLOW, TUCKER, WHO HAD THE FOOTBALL BETWEEN HIS LEGS AND THE TOWELS UNDER HIS ARMS WAS AN INTELLIGENT MAN?

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
HE'S A MILLIONAIRE. MAYBE

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
HE MAY HAVE INHERITED IT.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
MAYBE, MAYBE HE INHERITED THE MONEY.
(LAUGHS)

PETER KESSLER
TELL ME, TELL ME ABOUT THE CERTAIN TEED HALL OF FAME GOLF CHALLENGE.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
WELL WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THIS HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE, FROM THE 20TH TO THE 22ND THIS MONTH AND I'D LIKE TO INVITE YOU OVER, PETER, TO BE OUR GUEST AND PLAY IN IT.

PETER KESSLER
THANK YOU CHI CHI.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
YOU'LL, YOU'LL, YOU'LL ADD A LOT TO OUR TOURNAMENT, BUT CERTAIN TEED IS A CORPORATION THAT I'VE BEEN WITH FOR 28 YEARS. I'VE BEEN THEIR SPOKESPERSON FOR 28 YEARS AND I JUST SIGNED ANOTHER FIVE WITH THEM, SO WE'RE DOING THIS HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE. WE'RE GOING TO GET TEN WOMEN AND TEN MEN AND UH

PETER KESSLER
AND THESE ARE LPGA PLAYERS

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
RIGHT

PETER KESSLER
MOST OF THEM OVER THE AGE OF 40

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
RIGHT

PETER KESSLER
EVEN THOUGH WE SHOULDN'T TELL PEOPLE THAT, AND, AND FELLOWS FROM THE SENIOR TOUR.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
YES. AND UH WE ARE GOING TO PLAY WITH AMATEURS THE FIRST TWO DAYS AND THEN THE LAST DAY WE'RE GOING TO PLAY 5 FOURSOMES. IT'S GOING TO BE QUITE A TOURNAMENT BECAUSE IT'S, IT'S NEVER BEEN DONE LIKE THAT BEFORE AND UH, UH IT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT SUCCESS. IT'S GOING TO BE TELEVISED ON THANKSGIVING DAY BY, BY UH FOX TV. I WISH THE GOLF CHANNEL WAS DOING IT, YOU BEING THE, YOU BEING THE MAIN GUY BUT IT'S GOING TO BE QUITE A TOURNAMENT. IT'S GOING TO GO THE, THE CHARITIES ARE GOING TO BE MY FOUNDATION AND THE, THE, THE FIRST TEE FOUNDATION.

I THINK PRESIDENT BUSH IS COMING TO, TO RECEIVE THE MONEY BECAUSE HE'S THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OF THE FIRST TEE ASSOCIATION WHICH UH, WHICH THE TOUR HAS AND UH THOSE ARE THE TWO MAIN CHARITIES.

PETER KESSLER
TELL ME, IT'S 21 YEARS NOW SINCE YOU STARTED THE CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ YOUTH FOUNDATION. TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON NOW.

CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
WELL WE UH, WE HAVE KIDS THAT, WE HAVE TWO, TWO KIDS THAT ARE CAPTAINS, WELL THEY'RE NOT KIDS ANYMORE, THEY'RE CAPTAINS OF AN F16. WE HAVE DOCTORS, WE HAVE LAWYERS, WE HAVE THE SCHOOL TEACHERS, WE HAVE CAPTAINS IN THE NAVY, I MEAN WE HAVE, WE HAVE SO MANY KIDS THAT HAVE GRADUATED AND, AND PETER WE HAVE A, WE HAVE THE, THE ONLY PUBLIC SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES WHICH IS FUNDED WITH PRIVATE FUNDING. THAT'S WHY YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BELIEVE IN PRIVATIZING THE SCHOOL SYSTEM BECAUSE, YOU SEE, THE GOVERNMENT
CAN'T COME OVER AND TELL US THAT WE CAN NOT PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG.

I THINK WHEN A KID LEARNS TO RESPECT THE FLAG, HE CAN LEARN TO RESPECT THE OTHERS AND TO RESPECT HIMSELF AND THAT'S THE FIRST THING MY KIDS DO IN THE MORNING, IN OUR SCHOOL.

NOW, THEY CLOSED THEIR EYES. THEY DON'T HAVE TO PRAY. THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH GOD I DON'T THINK. YOU UNDERSTAND, SO, SO THEY CAN PRAY IF THEY WANT. IF THEY DON'T WANT TO PRAY THEY DON'T HAVE TO PRAY, BUT ANYWAY WE USE THIS SCHOOL AS A VEHICLE, YOU KNOW, THROUGH GOLF, WE USE IT AS A VEHICLE FOR THESE KIDS TO BECOME THE TAX PAYERS INSTEAD OF THE TAX BURDENS. TO BE THE EXECUTIVES INSTEAD OF THE FELONS. WE WANT THEM TO LOOK LIKE YOU, TO LOOK LIKE ME, TO LOOK LIKE JACK NICKLAUS, TO LOOK LIKE TIGER WOODS, TO LIKE LIKE, YOU KNOW, LIKE ARNOLD PALMER.

THAT'S THE WAY I WANT MY KIDS TO LOOK. I'M VERY PROUD TO TELL YOU THAT LAST YEAR, THEY DID A TEST ON ALL THE PUBLIC, PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES AND MY KIDS WERE NUMBER ONE IN ENGLISH AND MATHEMATICS, AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS HAPPENING, SO THEY REDID THE TEST AND THE SECOND TIME MY KIDS DID BETTER THAN THE FIRST TIME. SO, THESE ARE KIDS THAT HAVE BEEN, GAVE UP, BY, BY SOCIETY. THESE ARE KIDS, YOU KNOW, I'M VERY PROUD .

TO TELL YOU TOO THAT THE PINELLAS COUNTY JUDGE, INSTEAD OF SENDING A KID TO DETENTION CENTER, NOW, HE SENDS HIM TO US. WE'RE, WE'RE SUCCESSFUL, WE'RE 99 PERCENT OF ALL OUR KIDS, WE DO 150 KIDS A DAY. WE DO ABOUT 650 KIDS A YEAR. THEY'RE THE BEST DRESSED KIDS IN FLORIDA. THEY'RE THE BEST, YOU KNOW, WE DON'T ALLOW THOSE BAGGY PANTS. WE DRESS THE KIDS. WE MAKE THEM BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES. I, I THINK ONE OF THE REASONS THAT KIDS DON'T DO VERY WELL IN SCHOOLS IS THAT, I THINK A PERSON FEELS HOW HE, HOW HE LOOKS.

YOU KNOW, IF YOU WENT TO SEE A DOCTOR AND HE HAD A RED COAT ON YOU WOULD WALK OUT. HE'S GOT TO HAVE A GREEN ONE OR A WHITE ONE. THAT'S WHAT A DOCTOR'S SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. ANYWAY, WE MAKE THEM, WE GIVE THEM SELF ESTEEM BECAUSE THEY WORK AT THE FOUNDATION. WE PAY THEM. IT'S THEIR PLACE, REALLY. THE FOUNDATION HAS GOT MY NAME ON IT, BUT IT'S THE KID'S PLACE. THEY UH THEY BECOME, SOME OF THEM ARE GOLF PROS. WE GOT A BUNCH OF GOLF PROS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF THERE. ONE THING THAT WE TELL OUR KIDS IS DON'T

TELL ANYBODY WHERE YOU CAME FROM BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF THEM THAT HAVE SCAR IN THEIR HEARTS AND I DON'T WANT A KID TO BECOME VERY SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE AND SAY I CAME OUT OF CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ' PLACE AND THEN WHY, WHY WERE YOU THERE? AND HE HAS TO ANSWER. I DON'T WANT HIM TO HAVE TO ANSWER THAT, BUT YEAH, WE'RE VERY PROUD OF IT AND I HOPE THAT WHEN GEORGE BUSH WINS, HE CAN GO AND LOOK AND SEE WHAT WE DO THERE .

AND MAYBE THEY CAN COPY THAT PROGRAM THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES IN FEDERAL LAND BECAUSE IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PROGRAM. DAN QUAIL WENT THERE AND HE LOVED IT. HE SAYS IF WE WIN AGAIN, YOU KNOW, PRESIDENT BUSH AND I WILL, WILL REDO THIS, THIS ALL OVER THE FEDERAL LAND, THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND I SAID THAT WOULD BE BEAUTIFUL IF YOU COULD DO IT, BUT OF COURSE THEY LOST, YOU KNOW, AND WE NEVER DID IT, BUT I THINK THAT THIS PROGRAM SHOULD BE, SHOULD BE DONE ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES. NOT WITH MY NAME, BUT WITH OTHER DIFFERENT NAME. WHAT WE WOULD DO IS, WE WOULD GO, SAY MICHAEL JORDAN WANTED TO DO IT IN CHICAGO.

NOW WE WOULD GO OVER THERE AND TEACH HIM. TEACH HIM HOW TO DO IT AND THEY CAN PUT HIS NAME ON IT.

PETER KESSLER
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK AND NO MATTER WHO'S ELECTED PRESIDENT TOMORROW, THEY'RE GOING TO BE PROUD OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING. WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK. AS WE LEAVE YOU FOR JUST A MOMENT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THE NUMBER FOR THE CERTAIN TEED HALL OF FAME GOLF CHALLENGE AND THAT TELEPHONE NUMBER IS 904-940-0316. YOU CAN ALSO SEE THE WEBSITE CERTAIN TEED. I CAN'T READ IT ALL. YOU CAN PROBABLY SEE IT A LITTLE BETTER ON YOUR SCREEN AT HOME, BUT THERE'S THE WEBSITE AND YOU CAN SEE THAT IT WILL BE SHOWN ON

FOX SPORTS NET ON THE 23RD FROM 3:30 TO 5:30 PM EASTERN TIME. AGAIN, THE EVENT IS THE 20TH THROUGH THE 22ND . CERTAIN TEED HALL OF FAME GOLF CHALLENGE. THERE'S THE NUMBER TO BE INVOLVED OR MAKE A CONTRIBUTION.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(MUSIC CONTINUES)

(BREAK)
 
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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

“I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

“There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

“I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

“If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

“It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

“It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

“I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

“If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”