Golf Talk Live -Curtis Strange Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOUR DAD PASSED AWAY WHEN YOU WERE 14, DID YOU LOOSE YOUR WAY ON OR OFF THE GOLF COURSE AT ALL FOR A WHILE?

CURTIS STRANGE
WELL I THINK AL AND I AND MY SISTER ANN WERE, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY DEVASTATED, I MEAN THERE'S NO WAY TO, TO PUT INTO WORDS WHAT YOU GO THROUGH AT A TIME LIKE THAT. BECAUSE HE LET ME COME TO THE GAME ON MY OWN TERMS AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE

GAME MY OWN WAY UH... YEAH I FELT LIKE THE GAME AND, AND LIFE HAD TAKEN HIM FROM US, BUT YOU KNOW, IT WAS, HE HAD ALREADY ETCHED IN STONE, YOU KNOW, WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO WITH THIS GAME. I MEAN I WAS GOING TO CONTINUE TO PLAY, PLAY AS HARD AS I WAS GOING TO PLAY. I ALREADY LOVED

IT ENOUGH TO TRY TO BE THE BEST AND IMPROVE MY SWING EVERYDAY AND GRIP AND ALL THOSE THINGS YOU DO BEFORE YOU'RE 14 YEARS OLD, AND, AND, AND, AND I WAS GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO THAT AND I DID. THE PROBLEM WITH THAT AT THAT TIME, IS, IS I THOUGHT I

KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT THE GOLF SWING. AND EVERYTHING ELSE, BUT YOU KNOW, YOU NEED GUIDANCE. YOU NEED SOMEBODY TO, TO LOOK AT YOU ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR. I DON'T, I'M NOT A REAL FAN OF THESE COACHES NOW WITH THESE

KIDS, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT THEM EVERY OTHER DAY AND THINGS LIKE THAT BECAUSE I THINK KIDS BURN OUT IF YOU BRING THE KID TO THE GAME ON THEIR OWN TERMS AND IF THEY TRULY

FALL IN LOVE WITH IT LIKE I DID AND LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THE GOLF COURSE AND LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERY DAY, AT BOW CREEK OR WHITE SANDS THEN, YOU KNOW, I WAS GOING TO, ALWAYS BE IN LOVE WITH IT AND SO, THAT'S WHEN MR. HARPER CAME

IN. CHANDLER HARPER. HE WAS, YOU KNOW, A HALL OF FAMER AT THE TIME. LIVED ACROSS TOWN AND, AND ONE OF THE LAST OF DAD'S WISHES TO MOM WAS TO MAKE SURE CURTIS GETS HELP FROM CHANDLER.

PETER KESSLER
BOTH OF YOUR SONS ARE OLDER THAN YOU WERE WHEN YOUR DAD PASSED AWAY, DO YOU THINK SOMETIMES THAT YOU GOT CHEATED OUT OF THE FRIENDSHIP AND THE GOLF THAT WAS JUST STARTING TO BLOSSOM WHEN YOU WERE 14 BY VIRTUE OF THE RELATIONSHIP THAT YOU HAVE WITH YOUR OWN KIDS?

CURTIS STRANGE
NO. HE'S THE ONE THAT GOT CHEATED... BY DIEING AT 38.

PETER KESSLER
IN WHAT WAY DO YOU FEEL THAT? THAT HE DIDN'T GET TO SEE THE THINGS THAT YOU AND YOUR BROTHER DID?

CURTIS STRANGE
NO, HE DIDN'T GET TO LIVE THE LIFE THAT HE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE LIVED. YOU KNOW, HE WAS JUST IN THE PROCESS OF, OF BUYING THE WHITE SANDS COUNTY CLUB. HE WAS A WONDERFUL PLAYER IN HIS OWN RIGHT, A FIVE TIME, FOUR TIME

STATE UH STATE OPEN CHAMPION OF VIRGINIA. YOU KNOW, LATER, RECENTLY HE'S BECOME THE VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA HALL OF FAME, MID-ATLANTIC PGA HALL OF FAME, SO YOU KNOW, HE HAD A LOT OF LIFE AND GOLF AHEAD OF HIM, AND US TOO. TWIN BOYS AND MOM AND ANNE. HE HAD A

LONG LIFE WITH US, AND I THINK SOMETIMES I LOOK BACK ON IT. I CAN'T IMAGINE A FATHER LOOKING AT HIS SON WHO BECOMES, YOU KNOW, A VERY, VERY GOOD PLAYER AT ANYTHING. SUCCESSFUL. YOU KNOW THE BOND AND HOW PROUD THAT FATHER MUST BE.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOUR DAD WORKED FOR SAM SNEAD AT THE GREEN BRIAR, HE OBVIOUSLY LEARNED A LOT ABOUT SAM'S SWING. A LOT ABOUT GOLF.

CURTIS STRANGE
MHMM

PETER KESSLER
WHAT GOT PASSED ON TO YOU FROM THAT TOM STRANGE, SAM SNEAD CONNECTION?

CURTIS STRANGE
WELL I THINK JUST THE ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO HANG AROUND SAM A LITTLE BIT OVER THE YEARS. THERE WAS ALWAYS A CONNECTION THERE BECAUSE OF DAD AND, AND SAM HAS BEEN, HE'S ONE OF THE PHONE CALLS I RECEIVED AFTER THE

OPEN, AND, YOU KNOW, SAM HAS JUST BEEN WONDERFUL. HE'S BEEN MY, KIND OF HERO. SWING, KIND OF MODEL OVER THE YEARS. NOT A BAD ONE TO HAVE. ALAN AND I, WE WERE KIDS ON THE GOLF COURSE, NOT TO BORE EVERYBODY, BUT

WE WERE KIDS ON THE GOLF COURSE AFTER DAD DIED, AND WE WOULD ALWAYS SAY, WELL SAM DIDN'T DO THIS OR SAM DOES THIS IN THE GOLF SWING AND I'VE SAID TO BOTH MY BOYS AS THEY GREW UP. I SAID IF SAM SNEAD DIDN'T DO IT, IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU, AND THAT'S KIND OF THE MODEL I'VE ALWAYS USED WITH SAM. HE'S, HE'S BEEN WONDERFUL.

PETER KESSLER
DO YOU EVER HAVE TROUBLE IN YOUR OWN HEAD WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BROTHER IN THAT YOU BECAME THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, AND HE DIDN'T? DID IT AFFECT THE RELATIONSHIP OR THE WAY IN WHICH YOU TREAT EACH OTHER?

CURTIS STRANGE
NO, I THINK IF, IF ANYTHING, YOU KNOW, AS BROTHERS GROWING UP, YOU'RE NOT REAL CLOSE. WE CERTAINLY HAD OUR FIGHTS, BUT HE WAS A WONDERFUL ATHLETE. HE PLAYED OTHER SPORTS

AND I PLAYED GOLF AND BASKETBALL AND THEN HE PLAYED GOLF IN COLLEGE AND WENT ON TO PLAY ON TOUR IN '81, BUT EVER SINCE THEN, EVER SINCE HE QUIT AFTER '81, WE HAVE BEEN VERY CLOSE IN THAT HE HAS BEEN ONE OF MY

BIGGEST FANS AND, AND I HAD WORE HIM OUT BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAVE COME HOME FROM THE RICHMOND AIRPORT IN THE LAST 22 YEARS, I WOULD CALL HIM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT OR EARLY MONDAY MORNING AND WE WOULD

DISCUSS HOW I PLAYED WELL OR HOW I SCREWED UP AND WHAT'S BEEN SO GOOD IS THAT HE WOULD BE THE FIRST ONE TO TELL ME HOW BAD I SCREWED UP, SO, IT'S BEEN, IT'S BEEN FUN OVER THE YEARS, BUT EVERY SINGLE TIME I'VE MADE THAT PHONE CALL.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH CURTIS, DON'T GO AWAY.

CURTIS STRANGE
WITH ANOTHER PHONE.

(PETER AND CURTIS LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
RIGHT

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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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.


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“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.


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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.”