Golf Talk Live - Freddie Haas Transcript Segment 4
NOW YOU HAVE TOLD ME THAT YOU KNOW THE SECRET OF PUTTING AND THAT YOU UNDERSTAND PUTTING. TEACH US.
WELL, I THINK I UNDERSTAND HOW TO ELIMINATE STRESS AND STRAIN FROM YOUR PUTTING AND MOST OF YOUR STRAIN COMES ON A SIX FOOT AND SHORTER PUTT. WITNESS WHAT HAPPENED IN THE NATIONAL OPEN.
WHAT HAPPENED OVER THERE IN THE BRITISH SENIOR. WHEN YOU GET A PUTT FROM HERE, YOU'VE GOT NO CINCH TO MAKE IT, I CAN ASSURE YOU AND IF YOU'RE PUTTING BY FEEL, YOU'LL FEEL
EVERY DAY IS GOING TO CHANGE, BUT IF YOU'VE GOT A SYSTEM, IF YOU'VE GOT A SYSTEM THAT SYSTEM WILL HOLD UP AND GARDNER DICKINSON AND I WORKED VERY HARD ON FINDING OUT WHY WE MISSED SOMETIMES TO THE LEFT AND SOMETIMES TO THE RIGHT AND IT'S VERY SIMPLE.
WE FOUND THAT WHEN WE HIT THE BALL ON THE TOE OF THE CLUB IT GOES TO THE RIGHT.
IF YOU HIT THE BALL ON THE HEEL IT GOES TO THE LEFT. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU PULLED A PUTT AND YOU KNOW YOU'VE HIT THE DARNED THING IN THE HEEL? GRAVITY IS STILL
ALMOST EVERY TIME
(LAUGHS) I'D SAY EXACTLY. SO, SUPPOSE THAT IF WE KNOW THAT THE PUTT, IF YOU CAN READ IT, AND YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO BREAK FROM RIGHT TO LEFT, ELIMINATE ONE THIRD OF YOUR POSSIBLE MISSES. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT?
IF YOU LINE IT UP ON THE TOE, ON A RIGHT TO LEFT YOU SURE SHOULD NOT HIT IT IN THE HEEL, RIGHT?
REVERSE. LEFT TO RIGHT. IF YOU LINE UP IN THE HEEL, YOU'RE GOING TO HIT IT ON THE TOE, IF SO YOU'RE DEAD IN THE WATER BEFORE YOU STARTED. FORGET IT, SO YOU GOT TO HAVE A STROKE, BUT, I
CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IF YOU HIT THE BALL ON THE TOE IT'S GOING TO GO TO THE RIGHT AND IF YOU HIT THE BALL IN THE HEEL, I'VE MISSED A MILLION.
IT'S GOING TO THE LEFT. NOW THE TOUGHEST PUTT IS WHAT? A STRAIGHT PUTT. I TALKED TO NICK PRICE ABOUT THAT. WHAT A WONDERFUL RUN HE HAD IN THE 90'S RIGHT?
HE PLAYED GREAT. HE WAS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. I SAID TO HIM, WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND TIGER WOODS NOW? HE SAID TIGER'S MAKING THE 15, 20, 25 FOOTERS AND I'M NOT MAKING ANY.
I SAID WHERE ARE YOU TRYING TO HIT THE BALL? HE SAID WHAT DO YOU MEAN. I SAID WHERE ARE YOU TRYING TO HIT IT ON THE FACE.
HE SAID I'M TRYING TO HIT IT IN THE CENTER. I SAID YOU TRY TO HIT IT IN THE CENTER ON A RIGHT TO LEFT BREAKING PUTT? HE SAID YEAH. I SAID SO YOU'RE NOT PLAYING A 90 DEGREES, YOU'RE PLAYING WHAT? 91 AND A HALF DEGREE?
I SAID THAT'S KIND OF TOUGH ISN'T IT? I SAID IN
90 DEGREES BEING ABSOLUTELY SQUARE.
EXACTLY. PRECISELY. SO I SAID WHY DON'T YOU PLAY THE ODDS? ELIMINATE THE POSSIBILITY OF YOU PULLING THE BALL. BALLS DON'T GO UP HERE, THEY
GO DOWN HERE, SO I SAID KEEP IT ON THE HIGH SIDE, IT MIGHT FALL IN. IT'S NOT GOING TO COME UP. SO I SAID MAYBE THAT'S WHY YOU'RE TRYING TO HIT THE BALL IN THE CENTER OF THE BLADE ON
THOSE 15, 20 FOOT PUTTS AND YOU'RE MISS HITTING THEM A LITTLE. ARE YOU MISSING THEM ON THE LEFT OR THE RIGHT?
HE SAYS FRED I REALLY HAVEN'T GONE INTO THAT. I SAID WELL DON'T YOU THINK IT'S WORTH GOING INTO IT?... THINK ABOUT IT, AND IF IT'LL TAKE PRESSURE OFF OF YOU FROM SIX FEET AND IN, IT SURE AIN'T GOING TO HURT YOU ON A 20 OR 25 FOOTER.
ACTUALLY HE DID PUTT AFTER YOU TWO CHATTED MUCH BETTER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS AND SOME OF THAT MAY BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE CHAT YOU HAD.
WELL I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT BUT I KNOW HE WAS TIED FOR THE LEAD AND SHOULD HAVE POSSIBLY WON THE NELSON AND IT'D BE NICE IF HE'D USED SOME PORTION OF IT IF IT HELPED HIM.
NICK, KNOCK THEM IN THE CUP BABE, BUT DON'T MISS THE BALL BY HITTING IT ON THE HEEL OR THE TOE WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO HIT IT IN THE CENTER OF THE FACE.
YOU TOLD US EARLIER IN THE SHOW THAT ONE OF YOUR GOLF GOALS WAS TO WIN THE NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP
WHICH OF COURSE YOU DID IN 1937, AS WE GO TO THIS BREAK LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT A PICTURE OF YOU AND SOME OF YOUR TEAMMATES FROM THAT YEAR AT LSU.
OH THAT'S PAUL LESLEY, BRIAN ADAMS AND LAURENCE LARCADE.
YOU'RE SECOND FROM OUR RIGHT AS WE LOOK AT IT, YES?
WELL I'M THE ONE THERE THAT'S OFF SIDE RIGHT
(LAUGHS) SET UP READY TO HIT A GOLF BALL.
THAT'S RIGHT. THE BEST PLAYER IN THAT GROUP IS PAUL LESLIE.
Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.
According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.
Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.
Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.
Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.
And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.
Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.
Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:
The Monday morning headline will be …
REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.
RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.
MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.
JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.
Who or what will be the biggest surprise?
HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.
LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.
BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.
COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.
Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?
HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.
LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.
BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.
COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.
What will be the winning score?
HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.
LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.
BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.
COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.
Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty
Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.
Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.
This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):
While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:
Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.
McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.
Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.
“It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”
McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.
“Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”
He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.