Golf Talk Live - Karrie Webb Transcript Segment 6
ALRIGHT HERE'S THE QUESTION FOR YOU TONIGHT, KARRIE, THAT WAS POSTED TO OUR WEB SITE: 'I'VE READ THAT YOU'VE SAID THAT JULI INKSTER IS YOUR FAVORITE PERSON ON TOUR. IS THAT AS IN BEST FRIEND OR AS IN ROLE MODEL?' FROM JENNIFER SCANLON.
UH WELL, JENNIFER, I THINK UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S UM, IT'S - IT'S . IT'S A BIT OF BOTH. I JUST HAVE UM, SO MUST RESPECT FOR JULI AS A PERSON AND AS A PLAYER. UM, YOU KNOW, UH,
JULI IS THE FIRST PERSON THAT UM HAS WON TO GET INTO THE HALL OF FAME SINCE I'VE BEEN ON TOUR. AND SHE DID IT LAST YEAR, AND WE BOTH HAD GREAT YEARS. AND UH, YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST GREAT TO - TO SEE HER DO THAT BECAUSE UM,
YOU KNOW, SHE WORKS HARD AT HER GAME. SHE LOVES THE GAME OF GOLF. BUT UH, SHE HAS UH, SHE HAS ANOTHER LIFE. SHE HAS TWO GREAT KIDS AND - AND A GREAT HUSBAND, BRIAN. AND UM, SHE JUST HAS SUCH A WELL BALANCED LIFE.
AND UM, SHE - SHE HANDLES EVERYTHING SO WELL.
IN YOUR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, YOU'VE BEEN BLESSED BY HAVING SO MUCH GO SO WELL, ALMOST LIKE A FAIRY TALE. BUT YET, YOU'VE SEEN SOME OF THE SIDE OF LIFE THAT'S A LOT LESS FUN AND IS EQUALLY REAL,
UM, KEL BECOMING A PARAPLEGIC AND, OF COURSE, LOSING YOUR GREAT FRIEND, RENEE APPLEBY, WHO I KNOW GAVE YOU YOUR FIRST FAKE ID WHEN YOU WERE PROBABLY WHAT, FOURTEEN YEARS OLD .
SIXTEEN, SURE. TELL US ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND TELL US HOW THIS HIT YOU.
WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'S FUNNY YOU ASK THAT BECAUSE UH TODAY I WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING THROUGH A FEW OF MY OLD AMATEUR GOLF PHOTOS BEFORE I CAME UP HERE. AND UH, YOU KNOW, RENEE WAS UM A PART OF THAT. SHE WAS UH ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS UH THROUGH MY AMATEUR GOLF.
AND UH, YOU KNOW, SHE - WE PLAYED ON THE SAME STATE TEAM AND UH, SAME AUSTRALIAN TEAMS AND STUFF LIKE THAT. SHE WAS - SHE WAS A VERY GOOD GOLFER IN - IN HER OWN RIGHT BEFORE SHE MET STUART.
AND UH, YOU KNOW UM . YOU KNOW, IT'S HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE THAT IT'S ONLY TWO YEARS SINCE SHE DIED. AND UH, YOU KNOW UM, IT'S - IT'S REALLY HARD FOR ME TO TALK ABOUT, BUT I DO MISS HER.
WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR YOU TO CARRY THE OLYMPIC TORCH IN AUSTRALIA THIS SEPTEMBER? AND GREG NORMAN IS ALSO BEING HONORED BY BEING ASKED TO DO THAT.
UM, I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. I THINK UH, IT'S NOT TO A (???) - OKAY (CHUCKLE) . UM, IT - IT'S A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY, UM, TO - TO DO THAT. AND UH, THE FACT THAT I CAN DO IT IN SYDNEY, UM, IT'S NOT THE OPENING CEREMONY BUT UH,
IT'S UH RUNNING THROUGH UM, THROUGH SYDNEY ITSELF UM A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE THE OPENING CEREMONY. AND YOU KNOW, I'M GONNA STAY THERE FOR - FOR THE OLYMPICS. AND UH, YOU KNOW, I'M JUST SO GLAD THAT I CAN BE A PART OF IT.
HAVE YOU FOUND EACH YEAR WHEN YOU'VE GONE HOME TO AUSTRALIA, GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE CONTINUED TO DO THINGS TO BUILD YOUR LEGEND AND YOUR RECORD,
THAT YOU NOTICE A CHANGE IN THE REACTION TO YOU, THAT IT TOO IS GROWING AS THE QUALITY OF YOUR CAREER DOES?
YEAH UM, THIS UH - THIS LAST - THIS LAST TRIP THAT I MADE BACK THERE IN FEBRUARY UM, WAS UH DEFINITELY . UH, YOU KNOW, I HAVEN'T PLAYED TWO TOURNAMENTS IN A ROW DOWN THERE FOR A WHILE,
AND UH, WINNING THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN UH THE FIRST WEEK DOWN THERE UM, YOU KNOW THAT, JUST BEING BACK THERE AFTER THE YEAR I HAD LAST YEAR UM, WAS UH OVERWHELMING IN ITSELF.
BUT THEN UH WINNING THAT WEEK IN THE FASHION THAT I DID AND UH GOING TO DEFEND THE AUSTRALIAN MASTERS THE NEXT WEEK UM, YOU KNOW, IT - I REALLY UM . IT HAS CHANGED A LOT FOR ME. UM,
I'M A LOT MORE UM WELL KNOWN DOWN THERE NOW. AND I THINK, NOT NECESSARILY FOR ME IS A GOOD THING, BUT FOR WOMEN'S GOLF IN AUSTRALIA, I THINK THAT JUST SHOWS A LOT, THAT UM, YOU KNOW, AS MUCH AS THE AUSTRALIAN GIRLS ARE DOING OVER HERE, WE'RE GETTING A LOT OF PUBLICITY BACK THERE.
AND UM, YOU KNOW, I JUST HOPE THAT ALL THE PUBLICITY THAT I GET AND - AND THE OTHER AUSTRALIAN GIRLS GET, THAT WE CAN GET A FEW MORE TOURNAMENTS DOWN THERE.
LET'S CHECK IN WITH FOURTEEN YEAR OLD JOHN. HOW ARE YOU, JOHN?
JOHN, CALLER FROM INDIANA
HI, HOW ARE YOU GUYS DOING TONIGHT?
JOHN, CALLER FROM INDIANA
OKAY UM, GOOD. UM, WELL MY QUESTION IS UM, KARRIE, WHEN YOU'RE IN A PRESSURE SITUATION UM, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH, LIKE, THE PRESSURE? DO YOU, LIKE, UH SWING SLOWER OR DO YOU, LIKE, SAY STUFF - SAY SOMETHING TO YOURSELF? WHAT DO YOU DO?
WELL, JOHN, I THINK THAT UM, I TRY NOT TO GET TOO FAR AHEAD OF MYSELF. I TRY - TRY ONLY TO THINK ABOUT THE SHOT THAT - THAT I HAVE AT THAT MOMENT. I DON'T - I DON'T THINK ABOUT WHERE THE SHOT'S GONNA GO.
I DON'T THINK ABOUT THE NEXT TEE SHOT ON THE NEXT HOLE OR WHERE THE PIN POSITION IS ON THE NEXT HOLE OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. I THINK, YOU KNOW, ABOUT THAT SHOT AT HAND.
AND I THINK EARLIER WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT PRE-SHOT ROUTINE, I TRY AND REPEAT THAT. I THINK UM, WHEN YOU GO BACK TO BASICS AND THINK ABOUT UM, YOU KNOW, SIMPLE THINGS, I THINK YOU TOTALLY FORGET ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW IMPORTANT THAT SHOT IS AT THAT TIME.
AND UM, YOU JUST - YOU KNOW, FOR ME UM, I - I LOVE THAT - THAT PART OF THE GAME. I LOVE THAT SORT OF PRESSURE. AND UH, YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES YOU DON'T - YOU DON'T PULL IT OFF. UM, AND IT'S JUST NOT MEANT TO BE.
BUT UM, YOU KNOW, THE MORE THINGS THAT YOU CAN REPEAT AND - AND SINGLE OUT JUST ONE - THAT ONE SHOT AND NOT GET TOO FAR AHEAD OF YOURSELF, THE BETTER OFF YOU'RE GONNA BE.
DO YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO WELCOME THAT FEELING AND THEN LEARN TO LOVE THAT FEELING?
YEAH, IT THINK UM, SOME PLAYERS UH CAN DEAL WITH THAT A LOT EASIER THAN OTHER - OTHER PLAYERS. I THINK, FOR ME UM, THAT SORT OF PRESSURE TO - TO HIT A SHOT TO - TO WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT, TO ME, IS . I REVEL IN THAT.
I LOVE THAT MORE THAN . I - I FIND THAT EASIER TO DEAL WITH THAN FRIDAY AFTERNOON, YOU'RE ON THE BUBBLE OF THE CUT, YOU GOT TO MAKE A PAR ON EIGHTEEN AND YOU HAVEN'T HIT A FAIRWAY ALL DAY,
AND YOU GOT TO STAND OUT ON THE TIGHTEST DRIVING HOLE ON THE COURSE AND - AND HIT THE FAIRWAY. UM, I THINK IN THAT SITUATION, BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT PLAYING THAT WELL, THAT'S HARDER TO PULL OFF THOSE SHOTS THAN IT IS
WHEN YOU'RE IN CONTENTION TO WIN A TOURNAMENT. YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY PLAYING WELL, AND I FEEL LIKE 'JUST DO IT.' YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO IT. UM, YOU KNOW, GO AHEAD AND FIRE AWAY.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH KARRIE.
Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers
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.
“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.”
Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close
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.”
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.”
Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence
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.
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.”
Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection
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.”
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.”