Golf Talk Live - Johnny Bulla Transcript Segment 1
WHEN JOHNNY BULLA AND SAM SNEAD DROVE WEST TO JOIN THE TOUR IN 1936, SNEAD SUGGESTED THEY SPLIT THEIR WINNINGS FOR A WHILE. BULLA SAID NO BECAUSE HE WAS SURE SAM COULDN'T PLAY WELL ENOUGH TO MAKE ANY. MEET JOHNNY BULLA, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
WHEN JOHNNY BULLA BEGAN TO CADDIE IN 1925, HE KEPT HIS EYE ON THE BALL AND ALSO ON THE EVENTS THAT SHAPED THE 1920'S AND '30'S. HE REMEMBERS LINDBERGH'S SOLO FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK TO PARIS AND BABE RUTH'S 60 HOME RUNS IN 1927. THE STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1929, AND BOBBY JONES' GRAND SLAM OF 1930.
IT WAS A TIME WHEN LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND GEORGE GERSHWIN WERE INVENTING AND PERFECTING JAZZ. WHEN HEMMINGWAY AND FITZGERALD WERE RIVALS IN THEIR PRIME. AL JOLSON SANG ON FILM IN THE FIRST TALKING PICTURE. HICKORY GAVE WAY TO STEEL AND WINGED FOOT AND AUGUSTA NATIONAL AND CYPRESS POINT OPENED FOR PLAY.
SAM SNEAD HAD HAIR, AND GENE SARAZON PERFECTED THE SAND WEDGE. THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF JOHNNY BULLA'S TIME. HE WATCHED JONES AND McKENZIE BUILD AUGUSTA NATIONAL.
HE WATCHED SNEAD LOSE HIS HAIR AND HE LIVED THE LIFE HE WANTED, AS A PLAYER, AS A WINNER, AS ONE OF THE MEN WHO HELPED BUILD THE TOUR WHEN IT'S CAST OF CHARACTERS WAS AS FASCINATING AS THE TIMES THEY LIVED IN.
WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE, I'M PETER KESSLER AND IT IS AN HONOR TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF GOLF'S GREAT PIONEERS AND ONE OF THE GAME'S BEST FRIENDS, JOHNNY BULLA.
I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU AGAIN, JOHNNY.
THANK YOU, PETER. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, PETER. I'M GLAD TO BE BACK.
WELL THANK YOU SIR. SOMETHING I'VE NEVER ASKED YOU AND HAVE MEANT TO IS WHEN YOU AND SNEAD GOT IN THAT CAR IN '36 TO DRIVE OUT TO CALIFORNIA TO JOIN THE TOUR, WHY DIDN'T YOU THINK HE WOULD WIN ENOUGH MONEY
TO MAKE IT REASONABLE FOR YOU TO SPLIT THE WINNINGS WITH HIM?
WELL HE HIT IT RIGHT ON THE HEAD. HE WASN'T THAT GREAT A PLAYER UNTIL HE GOT A NEW DRIVER AND A NEW PUTTER. THOSE TWO THINGS JUST TURNED HIS GAME RIGHT AROUND AND BESIDES, IF WE HAD SPLIT, IF, IF I HAD WON A LOT HE'D HAVE SPLIT. THE FIRST TIME HE WON SOMETHING THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO SPLIT, I'LL GUARANTEE YOU.
SO YOU KNEW HIM PRETTY WELL, THAT WASN'T A HELLO, HOW DO YOU DO, WHEN YOU GOT IN THE CAR, WAS IT?
YOU GOT TO BELIEVE IT.
WHEN YOU WENT TO WATCH THEM BUILD, McKENZIE AND JONES BUILD AUGUSTA NATIONAL IN 1931, IT HAD TO HAVE BEEN SOMETHING THAT COMPELLED YOU AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I'M GUESSING COMPELLED YOU WAS THAT JONES' GRAND SLAM YEAR OF 1930 MADE AN
AWFULLY DEEP AND INDELIBLE IMPRESSION ON YOU. TELL ME YOUR REACTION TO JONES' 1930.
WELL JONES WAS OF COURSE THE, THE HERO OF GOLF. HE, HE REALLY BROUGHT THE ATTENTION TO THE WORLD WITH HIS GOLF GAME, AND I THINK THAT WAS REALLY THE BEGINNING OF THE REAL EXPLOSION INTO GOLF.
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION, THOUGH, AS HE WAS DOING SOMETHING THAT YEAR IN 1930 THAT HAD NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE, WIN THE OPENS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES, DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT THING NOW, WE CAN FIX IT LATER AND WINNING THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES IN THE COURSE OF A SINGLE CALENDAR YEAR?
WELL THAT, THAT SHOWED TALENT THAT NOBODY ELSE HAD. THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT HE WAS BY FAR, IN A WAY, THE BEST PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY AT THAT TIME, AND I THINK HIS RECORD SHOWS THAT HE WAS ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS.
WHEN YOU WENT TO WATCH THEM BUILD THE GOLF COURSE THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT STRUCK YOU THE MOST, WHAT'S THE MOST VIVID MEMORY YOU HAVE OF WATCHING THAT WORK?
WELL THE THING THAT IMPRESSED ME THE MOST, THEY HAD A STEAM SHOVEL THAT WAS DIGGING OUT RAZOR CREEK AND I'VE NEVER SEEN A STEAM SHOVEL BEFORE. THE GOLF COURSE HAD VERY LITTLE TREES ON IT, ON IT WAS A NURSERY.
I SAW THEM CUT DOWN PINE TREES THAT WAS ON THE 13TH GREEN TO MAKE THE GREEN AND THEY'D, THEY'D SAW IT DOWN AND THEN PUT A STICK OF DYNAMITE UNDER THE ROOTS TO BLOW IT OUT AND THEN FILL THE HOLES IN.
IT WAS A LONG TEDIOUS WORK. YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE EQUIPMENT THAT YOU HAVE NOW. IT WAS ALL DONE BY HAND, MOSTLY.
IS THE LONG TEDIOUS WORK THAT YOU WERE WATCHING THE REASON WHY YOU DIDN'T ASK HIM FOR A JOB?
NO, I WASN'T INTERESTED IN A JOB. I DIDN'T EVEN CONSIDER A JOB, I JUST WANTED TO SEE IT. I'D HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT IT. SO MUCH ABOUT THEY WERE GOING TO BUILD THIS GOLF COURSE THAT I, WELL, I WAS PRETTY YOUNG THEN.
I, I DON'T THINK THEY'D HAVE GIVEN ME A JOB IF I'D ASKED THEM UNLESS I'D BEEN WATER BOY.
RIGHT AT THAT TIME, THE CONVERSION WAS TAKING PLACE IN THIS COUNTRY FROM HICKORY TO STEEL IN THE EARLY 1930. EVEN WHEN JONES DESIGNED HIS FIRST SET OF CLUBS FOR SPALDING THEY CODED WITH PAINT THE STEEL SHAFTS
TAN TO MAKE THEM LOOK LIKE HICKORY, SO THEY'D BE READILY ACCEPTED TO THE EYE. WHEN YOU MADE THAT CONVERSION, WHEN ALL OF YOU DID, DID THAT ALLOW YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME TO
PRACTICE AS MUCH AS YOU WANT BECAUSE THE STEEL SHAFT COULD HANDLE THE POUNDING AND THE HICKORY SHAFT WAS TOO FRAGILE AND FICKLE TO HANDLE THE POUNDING OF PRACTICE?
WELL LET ME CORRECT ONE THING. THEY DIDN'T PAINT THE SHAFT. THEY PUT A CELLULOID SHEATH ON IT THAT LOOKS LIKE HICKORY. IT HAD LINES IN IT AND IT LOOKED LIKE A HICKORY SHAFT THAT WAS PUT OVER THE STEEL SHAFT.
I DON'T THINK IT INTERFERED WITH THE PLAY. SURE WE BROKE A LOT OF SHAFTS AND THEY GOT WARPED AND EVERYTHING BUT IF YOU WANT TO PRACTICE IT WASN'T TOO HARD TO PUT ANOTHER SHAFT IN.
WHAT DID IT MAKE YOU DO DIFFERENTLY IN TERMS OF THE WAY YOU SWUNG THE GOLF CLUB?
YOU KNOW PETER, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU... I DON'T KNOW.
BECAUSE I, BACK THEN IT WAS HIT THE GOLF BALL AND WE WASN'T THAT REFINED ON WHETHER HICKORY OR STEEL WAS BETTER. I KNOW THAT MOST OF THE PROS THOUGHT STEEL WASN'T EVER GOING TO GO BECAUSE IT WAS MUCH STIFFER, YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE FEEL
WITH STEEL THAT YOU HAD WITH HICKORY AND I GUESS IT WAS, MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT 33 OR 4 BEFORE THEY TOOK THE SHEATH OFF THE, OFF THE STEEL SHAFTS.
WHEN, AS YOU REMEMBER IT, WAS THERE A TIME WHEN, YOU WOULD HIT YOUR SHOT ON TO THE GREEN ON ANY HOLE AND THAT YOU COULDN'T FIX YOUR BALL MARK, YOU COULDN'T MARK YOUR BALL, YOU COULDN'T CLEAN YOUR BALL,
YOU COULDN'T REPAIR OTHER NEW BALL MARKS BETWEEN YOU AND THE HOLE, HOW LONG DID THAT LAST AS YOU REMEMBER IT BEFORE YOU COULD CLEAN UP A LITTLE BIT?
OH IT LASTED A LONG TIME, BUT I'LL TELL YOU SOMETHING, PETER. THE GREENS WASN'T THAT GOOD TO START WITH. THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE AGRONOMY, THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE MOWING, THE MACHINES, THE GREENS WERE VERY
ROUGH WHEN WE PLAYED AND THERE'S NEVER TWO GREENS THE SAME AND IT DEPENDS ON WHETHER HE'S PLAYING BERMUDA OR BENT. BENT GREENS GOT PRETTY FAST BUT BERMUDA GREENS ARE REALLY SLOW.
BUT IF YOU WERE PLAYING AND THE GREENS WERE WET OR SOFT, AND YOU HIT A SHOT IN THERE, IT'S STILL GOING TO LEAVE SOME KIND OF AN IMPRINT. IT'S STILL GOING TO LEAVE SOME MUD AND DIRT AND WATER ON YOUR GOLF BALL. HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. I HIT A BALL TO THE GREEN IN PHOENIX AND IT BURIED IN THE GREEN AND WE HAD A RULE ON IT AND I HAD TO PLAY IT. I COULDN'T EVEN TAKE IT OUT OF IT'S BURIED MARK, SO YOU PLAYED THE BALL AS IT WAS.
WAS THERE AN OUTCRY ABOUT THAT OR
YES, THERE WAS SLOWLY BECAUSE EVERY, ALL THE PROS THOUGHT THAT WASN'T FAIR. THEY WERE ALL FOR WIPING THE BALL AND FIXING THE BALL MARKS. THEY NEVER FIXED THE SPIKE MARKS WHICH WAS, WAS RIGHT BECAUSE
IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN FOREVER. IF SOMEBODY THAT WANT TO GET HIS LINE PERFECT HE COULD HAVE FIXED THE SPIKE MARKS FOREVER, BUT THE BALL MARKS, YES, AND CLEANING THE BALL, BECAUSE
YOU PICK UP A LOT OF MUD ON IT WHEN IT RAINED.
YOU KNOW WE USED TO HEAR THAT WHEN THE FELLOWS WOULD GET ON THE PUTTING GREEN AND LITERALLY THE BALL WOULD BE UNDER THE SURFACE, THAT, NOT ONLY DID YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT BUT THERE WAS NO QUESTION FOR
TIME ABOUT YOU HAVING TO PLAY IT. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN OFF THE GREEN IF YOUR, YOUR BALL WAS IMBEDDED, FOR EXAMPLE. DIDN'T THEY HAVE THE IMBEDDED BALL RULE FOR YOU TO FOLLOW AT THAT TIME?
WELL THEY'D HAD IT YEAH IF IT WAS RAINING AND THE BALL WAS IMBEDDING, THEY'D MAKE SPECIAL RULES. THERE WAS NO USGA RULES THAT COVERED IT AT THAT TIME, BUT THEY HAD THE LOCAL PGA WOULD, WOULD MAKE THE RULES. I REMEMBER ONE TIME I PLAYED WITH SAM
WHERE IT WAS RAINING PRETTY HARD. IT WAS VERY WET AND SAM HIT THE BALL LOW AND I HIT IT HIGH SO MY BALL WOULD EMBED EVERY TIME AND HE'D JUST RAISE CAIN BECAUSE I COULD PICK MY BALL UP AND WIPE IT OFF AND HE HAD TO PLAY HIS.
IS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I KEEP GETTING THE SENSE THAT NONE OF YOU WORKED ON YOUR PUTTING VERY MUCH IN THE EARLY 30'S WAS PRECISELY THE REASON THAT YOU SUGGESTED A COUPLE OF MINUTES AGO THAT THE GREENS WERE
SO INCONSISTENT AND THEY WERE SO BUMPY AND THAT EACH ONE WAS DIFFERENT THAN THE NEXT THAT THERE WASN'T A REASON IN MOST PLAYERS VIEW TO WORK REAL HARD ON YOUR PUTTING?
NO, BECAUSE THE GOOD PLAYERS, THE GOOD PLAYERS WORKED HARD ON IT. IT'S HACKERS LIKE ME THAT WOULD RATHER HIT THE DRIVER THAN TO WORK ON THE PUTTING AND IT WAS BORING TO ME, BUT THE GOOD PLAYERS, THEY, THEY PRACTICED PUTTING. THEY PRACTICED A LOT.
HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT THE SECRET TO PUTTING SINCE WE SAW YOU LAST?
YES BUT, YES BUT IT'S TOO LATE.
WELL WHAT'S THE SECRET? SHARE IT WITH US.
THE SECRET IS THAT YOU DON'T LET YOUR LEF... YOUR RIGHT WRIST BREAK DOWN. IF YOU CAN KEEP YOU RIGHT WRIST FROM BREAKING DOWN BEFORE YOU HIT IT THEN YOU'RE GOING TO KEEP IT, AND WHAT I THINK IS GOOD IS THAT YOUR LEFT ELBOW GOES OUT. SEE IF YOU STAY HERE YOU PULL IT IN. IF THAT GOES OUT AND THIS STAYS COCKED, WHITEWALL TOLD
ME, HE SAYS JOHN, I LEARNED IN THE VERY BEGINNING AND IF I DIDN'T LET THIS BREAK DOWN HERE, I COULD PUTT, AND HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST PUTTERS OUT THERE.
WE'LL TAKE A SHORT BREAK, AND BE BACK WITH JOHNNY BULLA.
M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead
LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.
Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.
Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.
Marina Alex was second after a 68.
So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.
Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.
Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.
Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut
It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.
Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.
When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:
Won't be needing this. pic.twitter.com/xbe9abvCjn— Skratch (@Skratch) April 20, 2018
It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.
Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.
Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.
Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36
SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.
He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.
''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''
Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.
They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).
Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.
Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.
Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.
It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.
Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.
The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.
Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.
''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''
The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.
''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.
The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.
Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2
RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.
Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.
''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''
On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.
''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.
Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.
''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''
Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.
''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''
Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.
First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.