Golf Talk Live - Johnny Bulla Transcript Segment 3

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 12, 2001, 5:00 pm
(MUSIC)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, IN 1944, AT THE TAMOSHANNER TOURNAMENT, YOU WERE THE FIRST CAUCASIAN TO OFFER TO AND TO PLAY WITH AN AFRO-AMERICAN PLAYER IN A TOUR EVENT. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT, JOHNNY?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL, GEORGE MAY WAS TRYING TO FIND SOMEBODY TO HELP HIS TOURNAMENT AND THERE WERE SIX AFRICAN AMERICANS THAT HAD SENT THE ENTRY IN TO TRY TO QUALIFY FOR THE NATIONAL OPEN AT OLYMPIA FIELDS AND THEY
 
TURNED THEM DOWN WHEN THEY SHOWED UP, SO I TOLD GEORGE, I WAS FLYING AT THE TIME WITH EASTERN AND I'D GET IN THERE IN THE MORNING SOMETIMES, I'D HAVE BREAKFAST WITH HIM, AND I SAID GEORGE, YOU CAN REALLY MAKE THIS GOLF TOURNAMENT A LOT GREATER IF YOU INVITE THE BLACK
 
BOYS TO PLAY AND THEY'LL BE WONDERFUL. JOE LEWIS WILL COME, TED RODES. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN TOURNAMENT, BUT THEY'RE PLAYING WITHIN A TOURNAMENT, AND I SAID, IF THEY'RE GOOD ENOUGH, PLAY THE REGULAR TOURNAMENT AND HE SAID
 
WELL, NONE OF THE BOYS WILL PLAY WITH THEM. I SAID I WILL. HE SAYS WELL, UH I'LL PAIR IF THERE'S ANY GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE THE TOURNAMENT AND IT TURNED OUT THAT SEARS, WHO IS THE CADDIE FROM NEW ORLEANS, WAS IN THE
 
EUROPEAN THEATRE AND HE WAS GIVEN A TWO WEEK LEAVE TO COME OVER TO GO TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND HE CAME BACK AND PRACTICED FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU, OUTSIDE OF TIGER, HE WAS, HE'S THE BEST
 
AFRICAN AMERICAN I EVER SAW PLAY. HE FINISHED SEVENTH IN THAT TOURNAMENT THAT YEAR, AND HE HAD ONLY PLAYED PRACTICE FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS BEFORE BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN IN THE ARMY FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. I THOUGHT HE WAS FANTASTIC AND THE SAD PART, HE WAS SHIPPED OVER TO THE PACIFIC AND WAS KILLED.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
AND OF COURSE 17 YEARS LATER, CHARLIE SIFFORD WAS THE GUY WHO GOT THE PGA OF AMERICA TO REMOVE THEIR CAUCASIAN ONLY CLAUSE TO ALLOW AFRO AMERICANS TO PLAY ON TOUR AND CHARLIE JOINS US BY TELEPHONE RIGHT OVER HERE, RIGHT, RIGHT NOW, JOHNNIE.
 
HELLO CHARLIE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
HEY. HOW YOU DOING?
 
PETER KESSLER
 
HOW ARE YOU, SIR?
 
DOING FINE.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
CHARLIE, ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
(LAUGHS) YES, I'M STILL LIVING, JOHNNY (LAUGHS).
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY THE SECOND OF JUNE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THAT'S RIGHT, I'LL BE 79.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL I'LL, I'LL BE 87.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
YEAH YOU GOT ME.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WE HAVE THE SAME BIRTHDAY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
I FIGURED THAT.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
I TOLD HIM I WOULD NEVER KISS HIM. HE'S TOO UGLY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
(LAUGHS)
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
(LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
TELL, TELL US ABOUT JOHNNY, CHARLIE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
I TELL YOU JOHNNY BULLA IS ONE OF THE FINEST, YOU KNOW, AND THE BEST PEOPLE NOW PERSON I EVER MET IN MY LIFE.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
HOW COME?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
BECAUSE HE'S JUST A GENTLEMAN. HE'S A MAN. HE, HE PLAYED WITH US WHEN NO, NONE OF THE OTHER GUYS WOULD PLAY WITH US... IN THE TOURNAMENT.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
DO YOU WANT TO REACT TO THAT?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
CHARLIE, THAT'S, THAT'S SWEET OF YOU SAYING THAT. I'M NOT THAT GOOD, BUT YOU KNOW I WAS ALWAYS FOR YOU.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THAT'S RIGHT.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
HEY CHARLIE, WAS HE AS BAD A PUTTER AS HE ALWAYS CLAIMS HE WAS?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
WELL HE WASN'T THAT BAD OF A PUTTER (LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
THAT'S NOT SAYING HE WAS VERY GOOD THOUGH EITHER IS IT, CHARLIE?
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
(LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THAT'S MY MAN, I CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT (LAUGHS)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
(LAUGHS) WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF CHARLIE'S GAME, JOHNNY?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
CHARLIE HIT THE BALL GOOD AND HE, HE HAD A LOT OF DETERMINATION AND HE WORKED HARD AT IT WITH ALL THE ADVERSITY THAT HE HAD I THOUGHT HE DID REMARKABLY WELL.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
CHARLIE, THANKS FOR CHECKING IN TONIGHT.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
THANK YOU CHARLIE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
THANK YOU (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
 
PETER KESSLER
 
GREAT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE.
 
CHARLIE SIFFORD, TOURNAMENT WINNER (MALE):
 
SEE YOU OUT IN PHOENIX, JOHNNY.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
THAT A BOY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
A COUPLE OF YEARS BEFORE THAT TAMOSHANNER THEY HAD, JUST AS, THE, THE U.S. HAD NOW BEEN, YOU KNOW, IN WORLD WAR TWO, IN EARLY '42, THEY HELD A TOURNAMENT CALLED THE HAIL AMERICA NATIONAL OPEN, AND HOGAN WON THAT TOURNAMENT AND THEY GAVE HIM A MEDAL THAT LOOKS IDENTICAL
 
BECAUSE IT IS, TO THE ONE THAT YOU GET FOR WINNING THE U.S. OPEN. WAS IT A U.S. OPEN IN YOUR VIEW, OR NOT?
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
NO, NO BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR IT. THIS IS FUNNY, FRANK STEININE CALLED ME A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND SAYS I PLAYED WITH YOU AND BOBBY JONES, I THINK, IN THE HAIL AMERICA.
 
I SAYS, FRANK, YOU DIDN'T PLAY WITH ME, I WAS FLYING FOR EASTERN IN '42, AND I SAID YOU DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR IT. BOB PLAYED IN IT AND THEN WENT INTO THE SERVICE, BUT NOBODY QUALIFIED FOR THAT TOURNAMENT AND IT WASN'T, IT WASN'T AN, AN OPEN. IT WAS UNDERSTOOD IT WASN'T AN OPEN.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
WHAT WAS THE THINKING IF, IF YOU HAVE SOME INSIGHT INTO IT INTO GIVING HOGAN A MEDAL THAT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAD JUST WON THE U.S. OPEN.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
WELL YEAH BUT THERE WOULDN'T BE AN INSCRIPTION ON THE BACK, U.S. OPEN. IT WASN'T ON THERE. THE, THE MEDAL, OF COURSE THEY HAD A LOT OF THOSE MEDALS FROM THE OPENS, AND THAT WAS GREAT, BUT IT WAS NOT A NATIONAL OPEN. IT, THEY, THEY, THEY DIDN'T HAVE
 
THE QUALIFYING FOR IT. IT WAS JUST ANOTHER TOURNAMENT AS FAR AS THE USGA WAS CONCERNED.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
AND OF COURSE IT WASN'T CALLED THE UNITED STATES OPEN,
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
NO NO
 
PETER KESSLER
 
IT WAS THE HAIL AMERICA NATIONAL OPEN.
 
JOHNNY BULLA
 
EXACTLY. EXACTLY.
 
PETER KESSLER
 
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH JOHNNY BULLA.
 
(MUSIC)
 
NEXT SEGMENT
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HOFer Stephenson: Robbie wants to play me in movie

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 4:20 pm

Margot Robbie has already starred in one sports-related biopic, and if she gets her way a second opportunity might not be far behind.

Robbie earned an Academy Award nomination for her work last year as former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in the movie, I Tonya. She also has a desire to assume the role of her fellow Aussie, Jan Stephenson, in a movie where she would trade in her skates for a set of golf clubs.

That's at least according to Stephenson, who floated out the idea during an interview with Golf Australia's Inside the Ropes podcast shortly after being announced as part of the next class of World Golf Hall of Fame inductees.

"We've talked about doing a movie. Margot Robbie wants to play me," Stephenson said.

There certainly would be a resemblance between the two Australian blondes, as Robbie has become one of Hollywood's leading ladies while Stephenson was on the cutting edge of sex appeal during her playing career. In addition to several magazine covers, Stephenson also racked up 16 LPGA wins between 1976-87 including three majors.

Robbie, 28, has also had starring roles in Suicide Squad and The Wolf of Wall Street.

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Monday Scramble: Who's No. 1 ... in the long run?

By Ryan LavnerOctober 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

Brooks Koepka becomes golf’s new king, Sergio Garcia enjoys the Ryder Cup bump, Danielle Kang overcomes the demons, Michelle Wie goes under the knife and more in this week’s edition of Monday Scramble:

Brooks Koepka added an exclamation point to his breakout year.

His red-hot finish at the CJ Cup not only earned him a third title in 2018, but with the victory he leapfrogged Dustin Johnson to become the top-ranked player in the world for the first time.

That top spot could become a revolving door over the next few months, with Johnson, Justin Thomas and Justin Rose all vying for No. 1, but it’s a fitting coda to Koepka’s stellar year that included two more majors and Player of the Year honors.

For a player whose team searches long and hard for slights, there’s no questioning now his place in the game.


1. DJ won three events this season, but he wasn’t able to create much separation between him and the rest of the world’s best players.

Koepka’s rise to No. 1 made him the fourth player to reach the top spot this year, and the third in the past month.

Who has the greatest potential to get to No. 1 and stay there? Johnson is the best bet in the short term, but he’s also 34. Koepka will be a threat in the majors as long as he stays healthy. So the belief here is that it’ll be Justin Thomas, who is 25, without weakness and, best of all, hungry for more success.  

2. Koepka had an eventful final round at the CJ Cup. Staked to a four-shot lead in the final round, his advantage was trimmed to one after a sloppy start, then he poured it on late with an inward 29. He punctuated his historic victory with an eagle on the 72nd hole, smirking as it tumbled into the cup.

It was his fifth career Tour title – but only his second non-major. Weird.

3. How appropriate that golf’s most underappreciated talent – at least in his estimation – became world No. 1 in a limited-field event that finished at 2 a.m. on the East Coast. Somehow he’ll spin this into being overlooked, again.



4. Sergio Garcia carried all of that Ryder Cup momentum into the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where he earned the hat trick by capturing his third consecutive title there.

While the rest of the world’s best gathered in Korea or rested for global golf’s finishing kick, Garcia won the weather-delayed event by four shots over Shane Lowry. Garcia’s foundation hosts the tournament, and he extended his crazy-good record there: In 14 career appearances at Valderrama, he has three wins, seven top-3s, nine top-5s and 13 top-10s.

Garcia, who went 3-1 at the recent Ryder Cup, became the first player since Ernie Els (2004) to win the same European Tour event three years in a row.

5. Gary Woodland probably doesn’t want 2018 to end.

He was the runner-up at the CJ Cup, his second consecutive top-5 to start the season. He made 11(!) birdies in the final round and now is a combined 37 under par for the first two starts of the new season.

6. This definitely wasn’t the Ryder Cup.

Four shots back, and the closest pursuer to Koepka, Ian Poulter had a chance to put pressure on the leader in the final round. Instead, he was left in the dust, mustering only three birdies and getting waxed by seven shots (64-71) on the last day. Poulter tumbled all the way into a tie for 10th.



7. It hasn’t been the easiest road for Danielle Kang since she won the 2017 Women’s PGA.

The 26-year-old said she’s dealt with anxiety for months and has battled both putting and full-swing yips. Her problems were so deep that a week ago, she stood over the ball for four minutes and couldn’t pull the trigger.

No wonder she said that she was “pretty stunned” to hold off a bevy of challengers to win her second career title at the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

“I’m finally at a place where I’m peaceful and happy with my game, with my life,” she said.

8. In the middle of the seven-way tie for second in China was Ariya Jutanugarn, who will return to No. 1 in the world for the second time this season.

9. Also in that logjam was another former top-ranked player, Lydia Ko, who had tumbled all the way to 17th. Ko hasn’t been able to build off of her slump-busting victory earlier this summer, but she now has six consecutive top-16 finishes and at least seems more comfortable in her new position.

“Sometimes you get too carried away about the awards and rankings,” she said. “It just becomes so much. I think it’s more important to keep putting myself there and … shooting in the 60s, and that way I think it builds the confidence and the rankings kind of sort itself out.”


Here's how Tiger Woods explained his pitiful performance at the Ryder Cup: “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf.”

Of course, he looked just fine a week earlier at East Lake, where he snapped a five-year winless drought with one of the most memorable weeks of his legendary career. His training wasn’t a topic of conversation there.

It's reasonable to expect that the emotional victory took a lot of out of him, but if he was so gassed, why did he sit only one team session and go 36 on Saturday? By Sunday night, Woods looked like he was running on empty, so either he wasn't upfront with captain Jim Furyk about his energy levels, or Furyk ran him out there anyway.

This week's award winners ...  


Can’t Catch a Break: Michelle Wie. The star-crossed talent announced that she’ll miss the rest of the season to undergo surgery to repair a troublesome hand injury. Maybe one of these years she’ll be able to play a full schedule, without physical setbacks.  

Grab the Mic: Paul Azinger. Taking Johnny Miller’s seat in the booth, Azinger will call all four days of action at every Golf Channel/NBC event, beginning at the WGC-Mexico Championship. He was the most logical (and best) choice to follow the inimitable Miller.

Take That, Dawdler: Corey Pavin. It was Pavin – and not the notoriously slow Bernhard Langer – who earned the first slow-play penalty on the PGA Tour Champions in what seemed like ages. The one-shot penalty dropped him to 15th in the event.

Long Time Coming: Jason Day. His tie for fifth at the CJ Cup was his best finish worldwide since … The Players? Really. Wow.



The Tumble Continues: Jordan Spieth. In the latest world rankings, Spieth is officially out of the top 10 for the first time since November 2014. A reminder that he finished last year at No. 2.

Clutch Performances: Andalucia Masters. Both Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Richie Ramsay both moved inside the top 116 in the Race to Dubai standings, securing their European Tour cards for next season. Gonzo tied for fifth in the regular-season finale, while Ramsay was joint 11th.

That’s Messed Up: CJ Cup purse. As colleague Will Gray noted, the purse for the 78-man event was $9.5 million – or $400K more than the first 15 events of the Web.com Tour schedule combined. The difference between the haves and have-nots has never been larger.

Blown Fantasy Pick of the Week: Justin Thomas. The defending champion never could get started in Korea, closing with his low round of the week, a 4-under 68, just to salvage a tie for 36th. Sigh.  

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Azinger: 'Can't see anybody beating Tiger' at his best

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 2:44 pm

There's a new world No. 1, and a fresh crop of young guns eager to make their mark on the PGA Tour in 2019. But according to Paul Azinger, the player with the highest ceiling is still the same as it was when he was walking inside the ropes.

Azinger was named Monday as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports, and on "Morning Drive" he was asked which player is the best when all are playing their best. The former PGA champion pondered new world No. 1 Brooks Koepka and former No. 1 Dustin Johnson, but he came back around to a familiar answer: Tiger Woods.

"I just can't see anybody beating Tiger when Tiger's at his best. I just can't see it," Azinger said. "He's not his best yet, but he's almost his best. And when Tiger's his best, there's more that comes with Tiger than just the score he shoots. That crowd comes with Tiger, and it's a whole 'nother dynamic when Tiger's at his best. And I'm just going to have to say that when Tiger's at his best, he's still the best."

Woods, 42, started this year ranked No. 656 in the world but had a resurgent season that included a pair of near-misses at The Open and PGA Championship and culminated with his win at the Tour Championship that ended a five-year victory drought. For Azinger, the question now becomes how he can follow up a breakthrough campaign as he looks to contend consistently against players from a younger generation.

"That's why we watch, to see if he can maintain that. To see what he's capable of," Azinger said. "Now longevity becomes the issue for Tiger Woods. In seven or eight years, he's going to be 50 years old. That goes fast. I'm telling you, that goes really fast."

When Woods returns to action, he'll do so with a focus on the upcoming Masters as he looks to capture the 15th major title that has eluded him for more than a decade. With bombers like Koepka and Johnson currently reigning on the PGA Tour, Azinger believes the key for Woods will be remaining accurate while relying on the world-class iron play that has been a strength throughout his career.

"I think he's going to have to recognize that he's not the beast out there when it comes to smacking that ball off the tee. But I'd like to see him try to hit a couple more fairways periodically. That'd be nice," he said. "If he can drive that ball in the fairway, with that putter, we've seen what his putter is capable of. The sky's the limit, boys."

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Spieth drops out of top 10 for first time since 2014

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 2:08 pm

As Brooks Koepka ascended to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, a former No. 1 continued a notable decline.

Jordan Spieth didn't play last week's CJ Cup, where Koepka won by four shots. But Jason Day did, and his T-5 finish in South Korea moved him up two spots from No. 12 to No. 10 in the latest rankings. Spieth dropped from 10th to 11th, marking the first time that he has been outside the top 10 in the world rankings since November 2014.

Since that time, he has won 12 times around the world, including three majors, while spending 26 weeks as world No. 1. But he hasn't won a tournament since The Open last July, and this year he missed the Tour Championship for the first time in his career. Spieth is expected to make his season debut next week in Las Vegas at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


Koepka and Day were the only movers among the top 10 on a week that saw many top players remain in place. Sergio Garcia's rain-delayed win at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters moved him up four spots to No. 27, while Gary Woodland went from 38th to 30th after finishing second behind Koepka on Jeju Island.

Koepka will tee off as world No. 1 for the first time this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions, where new No. 2 Dustin Johnson will look to regain the top spot. Justin Rose is now third in the world, with Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Day rounding out the top 10.

With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods remained 13th in the world for the fifth straight week.