Golf Talk Live - Loren Roberts Transcript Segment 1
IN A SPORT WHERE YOUTH SEEMS TO DOMINATE, LOREN ROBERTS IS DISRUPTING THE BELL CURVE. AT 45 HE ENJOYED ONE OF THE BEST YEARS OF HIS CAREER. A SILKY SMOOTH PUTTING STROKE EARNED HIM THE NICKNAME
BOSS OF THE MOSS. MEET HIM TONIGHT AND LEARN SOME OF HIS PUTTING SECRETS ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
LOREN ROBERTS CLAIMS HE'S A LITTLE BEHIND ON THE LEARNING CURVE. IF THAT'S TRUE, HE CERTAINLY CAUGHT ON QUICKLY. HE DIDN'T PICK UP HIS FIRST PGA TOUR VICTORY UNTIL THE AGE OF 38.
NOW A 7 TIME PGA TOUR WINNER, ROBERTS HAS WON FIVE OF HIS TITLES AND MORE THAN FIVE MILLION DOLLARS SINCE TURNING 40. NOT BAD FOR A FELLOW WHO SPENT HIS TIME AFTER COLLEGE IN A PRO SHOP AND DIDN'T TAKE UP GOLF PROFESSIONALLY UNTIL THE AGE OF 28. HIS 2000 SEASON INCLUDED A TOUR VICTORY.
A TERRIFIC SHOWING AT AUGUSTA, WHERE HIS MASTERFUL PLAY ON THE GREENS SURPRISED NO ONE. A VALIDATING PERFORMANCE HAS THE CAPTAIN'S SELECTION AT THE PRESIDENT'S CUP. AND HIS SIXTH TRIP TO THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS.
IF KEEPING THE BALL IN THE FAIRWAY AND MAKING PUTTS IS A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, LOREN ROBERTS HAS IT MEMORIZED. AMONG THE BEST ON TOUR IN DRIVING ACCURACY AND PUTTING, HE'S USED HIS PRECISION TO RACK UP NINE TOP TENS IN 24 EVENTS THIS YEAR, INCLUDING HIS WIN AT THE 2000 GREATER MILWAUKEE OPEN.
APPROACHING THE TALL SIDE OF FORTY, LOREN ROBERTS ISN'T ON A SLOW STROLL TOWARDS THE SENIOR TOUR, HE'S KEEPING THE PACE AND OFTEN SETTING IT FOR HIS YOUNGER PEERS ON THE PGA TOUR.
HELLO EVERYBODY. LOREN, WELCOME. GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE IN THE STUDIOS.
WE TALK ABOUT YOU SAYING THAT YOU WERE A LATE BLOOMER.
SO I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND TALK ABOUT GOLF IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU PLAYED BASEBALL, I UNDERSTAND, IN HIGH SCHOOL.
YEAH WELL, I REALLY WASN'T VERY GOOD. I UH
VARSITY BASEBALL, SO YOU MUST HAVE BEEN
WELL, I, I HAD TWO THINGS TURN ME TO GOLF. I HIT A LINE DRIVE SINGLE TO RIGHT FIELD AND GOT THROWN OUT OF FIRST BASE, SO I FIGURED THERE WASN'T MUCH CHANCE FOR ME IN THE BIGS.
WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING GOLF?
UM, I REALLY PLAYED MAYBE A COUPLE OF TIMES A YEAR WITH MY DAD, STARTING FROM ABOUT 8 YEARS OLD, BUT I DIDN'T REALLY START PLAYING ALL THE TIME UNTIL MY SOPHOMORE SUMMER IN HIGH SCHOOL, WHEN I QUIT BASEBALL.
AND AS FAR AS PLAYING, DID YOU JUST DECIDE THAT THIS IS A SPORT I LIKE. I'M GOING TO TAKE IT UP FULL TIME OR HOW SERIOUSLY DID YOU PLAY WHEN YOU STARTED PLAYING?
WELL, WHEN I STARTED PLAYING I KIND OF WENT AFTER IT ALL THE WAY. I, I LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE CLIPPINGS FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND YOU ALWAYS KIND OF THINK THAT YOU WERE BETTER THAN YOU REALLY ARE AS TIME GOES ON, AND I
LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE CLIPPINGS AND I REALLY COULDN'T BUST 90 VERY, VERY WELL, WHEN I WAS A JUNIOR, BUT THEN BY THE TIME I WAS A SENIOR I WENT TO THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA C-I-F PLAYOFFS AS AN INDIVIDUAL, SO
WHEN, AT THAT POINT, DID YOU THINK THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO IN MY CAREER?
NO, I, I NEVER REALLY THOUGHT OF IT AS PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY. I WAS ACTUALLY MORE OR LESS GOING ALONG THE LINES OF BEING A CLUB PROFESSIONAL. YOU KNOW I WENT TO, WENT TO COLLEGE. I GOT STARTED TOO LATE TO GET ANY KIND OF A SCHOLARSHIP, SO I PLAYED IN A DIVISION TWO SCHOOL IN MY HOME TOWN CALPALI, AND PLAYED FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS UNTIL THEY GOT RID OF THE GOLF TEAM.
WHICH YOU AND I TALKED, WE TALKED BEFORE THE SHOW, SO WE'LL LET YOU IN ON THAT SECRET. WE DECIDED WE'RE LEAVING TITLE NINE OUT OF THIS CONVERSATION.
YEAH, PLEASE DO.
STAY POLITICALLY NEUTRAL TONIGHT. BUT, SO THAT, THAT ENDED AND THEN WHAT DID YOU DO? DID YOU TURN PRO AT THAT POINT?
WELL, I, I, I WENT TO WORK AS AN ASSISTANT PRO AT THE COUNTRY CLUB THERE AND I WAS TRYING TO GO TO SCHOOL AND FINISH UP MY DEGREE AND ALSO TRYING TO WORK ON MY GAME AT THE SAME TIME, AND, AND SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE AND SO UNFORTUNATELY I LEFT SCHOOL AND CONCENTRATED ON GOLF AND UH, BUT I SPENT FIVE, SIX YEARS TRYING TO WORK AT BEING A CLUB PROFESSIONAL THEN I WOULD GO TO THE QUALIFYING SCHOOL JUST TO SEE HOW I WAS COMPARED TO THE OTHER GOOD PLAYERS AND THE THIRD TIME I WENT, LOW AND BEHOLD I GOT THROUGH.
SO YOU, THERE COULDN'T BE MUCH TIME TO BE PRACTICING, IF YOU'RE WORKING FULL TIME AND JUST GOING A FEW DAYS BEFORE A TOURNAMENT.
WELL, THE SAMOS COUNTRY CLUB WHERE I GREW UP WORKING AND, AND WORKING OUT OF THE BAG ROOM SO I COULD HAVE PRIVILEGES TO PLAY AND EVERYTHING, THE PUTTING GREEN WAS LITERALLY 15 STEPS OUT THE PRO SHOP DOOR SO AFTER ABOUT 2:00 IN THE AFTERNOON, I'D OPEN THE WINDOW SO I COULD HEAR THE PHONE RING IN CASE SOMEBODY CALLED AND I'D JUST GO OUT THERE AND CHIP AND PUTT ALL AFTERNOON.
IS THAT WHERE YOU BECAME SUCH A GOOD PUTTER?
WELL, I'M SURE IT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, ALSO, MY DAD BUILT A PUTTING GREEN IN THE BACK YARD AND IT WAS A REAL GRASS PUTTING GREEN AND I WOULD GO DOWN THERE AND, AND PUTT A LOT ALSO AT HOME.
YOU MADE IT ONTO THE TOUR IN 1980, I BELIEVE THROUGH TOUR SCHOOL
I MADE IT THROUGH THE, I MADE IT THROUGH THE FALL OF '80 FOR THE '81 SEASON, YES.
MHMM MHMM. AND THEN '83 I WOULD SAY ON, FROM THERE ON, YOU
BECAME NOT ONLY A REGULAR BUT, BUT DOMINANT AND
AND THEN I PLAYED, ACTUALLY, I LOST MY CARD AT THE END OF '81 AND I DIDN'T GO BACK TO THE QUALIFYING SCHOOL. I UH I CAME HOME AND, AND TIED UP A LOT OF LOOSE ENDS. I GOT MARRIED. FINISHED UP MY CLASS `A' FOR THE, IN CASE, YOU KNOW, THE, THE TOUR DIDN'T WORK OUT AND I HAD TO COME BACK AND GET A CLUB JOB AND, AND JUST KIND OF GOT ALL MY DUCKS IN A ROW AND THEN CAME BACK OUT AND REQUALIFIED FOR '83 AND I'VE BEEN PLAYING EVER SINCE.
WHERE DO YOU CONSIDER, YOUR, AT WHAT POINT, AS YOU WERE PLAYING ON TOUR DID YOU THINK ALRIGHT, THIS IS GOING TO WORK. I'M GOING TO MAKE A GO OF THIS.
WELL I, I KIND OF STROLLED (??)THE FIRST FEW YEARS. I, I DID KEEP MY CARD FOR '84 AND '85 AND THEN LOST IT AGAIN IN '86 AND '87 BUT, I WAS STILL MAKING MONEY ALL THAT TIME. I, YOU KNOW, BARELY LOST IT THOSE TWO YEARS AND UM I REALLY DIDN'T BECOME ANY KIND OF WHAT I WOULD CLASSIFY AS A GOOD PLAYER UNTIL PROBABLY ABOUT 1989 OR 1990.
1990 YOU HAD A, A NUMBER OF TOP TEN FINISHES.
AND THEN, '94 YOUR FIRST VICTORY WHICH CAME AT ARNIE'S PLACE, WHICH
IS NOT A BAD PLACE TO CALL YOUR FIRST WIN.
NO, I MEAN THAT, I COULDN'T HAVE PICKED A BETTER TOURNAMENT TO WIN FOR MY FIRST TOURNAMENT AND UH THEN TO FOLLOW IT UP, THE NEXT YEAR AND SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND IT IN '95.
THE FIRST YEAR, YOU KNOW, I HAD SOME HELP IN WINNING, AND THEN THE SECOND YEAR I WON IT VERY DECISIVELY, SO IT, IT WAS REALLY NICE, ESPECIALLY TO DO IT AT ARNOLD, YOU KNOW WHAT HE'S MEANT FOR THE GAME OF GOLF AND, AND WE ALL ASPIRE TO, HAVE ASPIRED TO PLAY LIKE HIM AND, AND TO BE LIKE HIM. BE THE GENTLEMAN AND THE GREAT AMBASSADOR OF THE GAME THAT HE IS.
DO YOU REMEMBER NOW OR RECALL THE FEELINGS YOU HAD IN '94 FOR THAT FIRST VICTORY? ARE THEY STILL SOMEWHAT FRESH?
THEY, THEY REALLY ARE. I JUST REMEMBER HAVING TO TWO PUTT FROM ABOUT 50 FEET ON 17 AND I KNOCKED MY FIRST PUTT PROBABLY ABOUT 8 FEET BY AND I, I MADE IT COMING BACK, AND FROM, WHEN THAT ONE WENT IN I, I FELT LIKE I HAD A LEGITIMATE CHANCE TO WIN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT AND BECAUSE I KNEW THE LAST TWO HOLES WERE PLAYING TOUGH AND I GOT A LITTLE HELP FROM FUZZY AND VIJAY COMING DOWN THE STRETCH THERE. THEY BASICALLY HAD SOME PROBLEMS AND I WAS ABLE TO PAR THE LAST TWO AND THAT'S WHY I ENDED UP WINNING.
A GREAT WIN THERE. YOU WON IT AGAIN IN '95 AS YOU SAID AND CERTAINLY THAT WIN IN '94 HELPED YOU IN THE EFFORT TO MAKE THE RYDER CUP TEAM IN '95.
IT REALLY DID, YOU KNOW I'VE, I'VE PLAYED ON ONE RYDER CUP TEAM AND TWO PRESIDENT'S CUP TEAMS AND I'M STILL, I THINK I'M STILL IN THE TOP TEN GOING INTO NEXT YEAR FOR, FOR THE RYDER CUP, AND I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MAKE ONE MORE SHOT AT MAKING ANOTHER RYDER CUP TEAM.
YOU, IS THAT A GOAL OF YOURS FOR NEXT YEAR?
IT IS. IT'S GOING TO BE A LITTLE TOUGHER GOAL BECAUSE I'VE KIND OF DECIDED THAT I MAY TRY TO PLAY A LITTLE BIT, A LITTLE BIT LESS. I'LL PROBABLY LIKE TO PLAY ABOUT 20 TO 22 TOURNAMENTS NEXT YEAR INSTEAD OF THE 25 OR 26 THAT I'VE BEEN PLAYING, SO, BUT I THINK I CAN DO IT. I, I THINK PLAYING A LITTLE LESS BUT BEING A LITTLE BIT MORE PREPARED TO PLAY I THINK WILL HELP ME.
YOU WON THE TOURNAMENT AT BAY HILL IN '94. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, JUST A MATTER OF MONTHS, YOU HAD THE, THE CLOSE CALL, WHATEVER, I'M GOING TO CALL IT , WOULD IT BE YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT TO MISS THE, THE U.S. OPEN.
UH. YEAH. I, I WOULD SAY THAT THAT'S SOMETHING THAT EVERY KID DREAMS ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HAVING A 6 FOOT PUTT ON THE LAST HOLE TO WIN THE U.S. OPEN AND YOU KNOW I HAD THAT AND UNFORTUNATELY I DIDN'T GET THE JOB DONE, BUT YOU KNOW, I, I COULD LOOK AT IT NEGATIVELY AND SAY, YOU KNOW, I, I BLEW A CHANCE TO WIN THE OPEN BUT I KIND OF LOOKED AT IT POSITIVELY AND SAID, YOU KNOW, I WAS GOING TO MISS THE CUT WITH, YOU KNOW, TEN HOLES TO PLAY ON FRIDAY AND, AND JUST HAPPENED TO MAKE EVERYTHING FOR A DAY AND A HALF AND GET INTO, GOT INTO THE POSITION TO WIN, SO THAT'S WHAT I KIND OF LOOK AT.
TO TURN THE NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE.
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL HAVE ANOTHER SHOT AT A MAJOR?
WELL, YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT GOING INTO THIS YEAR AND MR. WOODS KIND OF, KIND OF BLEW EVERYBODY'S CANDLE OUT.
AUGUSTA WAS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY. YOU WERE RIGHT IN THE, IN THE HOT SEAT
IT WAS, IT WAS, IT WAS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY MAKING THE TURN AND, AND I KIND OF STUMBLED GOING THROUGH 10 AND 11 AND AMEN CORNER BUT UM YOU NEVER KNOW, OBVIOUSLY AT 45 YEARS OF AGE THE CLOCKS TICKING PRETTY FAST.
I DON'T KNOW, YOU'RE SCARING ENOUGH GUYS OUT THERE WHO ARE 26 AND 7. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A QUICK BREAK. WHEN WE COME BACK WE'LL TALK A BIT ABOUT A NICKNAME `BOSS OF THE MOSS'.
THAT'S HOW A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW YOU, SO WE'LL BE BACK IN JUST A FEW MINUTES. STAY WITH US. GOLF TALK LIVE CONTINUES AFTER THIS.
Garcia leads as Valderrama Masters extends to Monday
Weather continues to be the enemy at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia remains in front as the tournament heads for a Monday finish.
European Tour officials had already ceded the fact that 72 holes would not be completed this week in Spain, but players were not even able to finish 54 holes before another set of thunderstorms rolled in Sunday afternoon to once again halt play. Garcia remains in front at 10 under, having played seven holes of the third round in even par, while Lee Westwood is alone in second at 7 under.
Officials had previously stated an intention to play at least 54 holes, even if that meant extending the tournament to Monday, given that this is the final chance for many players to earn Race to Dubai points in an effort to secure European Tour cards for 2019. Next week's WGC-HSBC Champions will be the final event of the regular season, followed by a three-event final series.
Garcia, who won the tournament last year, started the third round with a four-shot lead over Ashley Chesters. He balanced one birdie with one bogey and remains in position for his first worldwide victory since the Asian Tour's Singapore Open in January.
Westwood, who has his son Sam on the bag this week, made the biggest charge up the leaderboard with four birdies over his first eight holes. He'll have 10 holes to go when play resumes at 9:10 a.m. local time Monday as he looks to win for the first time since the 2015 Indonesian Masters.
Shane Lowry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are tied for third at 6 under, four shots behind Garcia with 10 holes to play, while Chesters made two double bogeys over his first four holes to drop into a tie for sixth.
Austin wins Champions tour's playoff opener
RICHMOND, Va. -- Woody Austin knew Bernhard Langer was lurking throughout the final nine holes, and he did just enough to hold him off.
Austin shot a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
Langer, the defending tournament champion and series points leader, made the turn one shot off the lead, but eight straight pars kept him from ever gaining a share of the lead. Austin's birdie from 6 feet on the closing hole allowed him to hang on for the victory.
''It seemed like he couldn't quite get it over the hump,'' Austin said about Langer, who also birdied No. 18. ''I'm not going to feel bad for the guy. The guy's kind of had things go his way for the last 12 years. Now he sees what it's like to have it happen.''
The 54-year-old Austin finished with an 11-under total for three rounds at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. He won his fourth senior title and first since 2016, and said windy and cool conditions that made scoring difficult played to his advantage.
''I was happy to see it. I really enjoy a difficult test,'' he said. ''... I enjoy even par meaning something. That's my game.''
Langer closed with a 70. The winner last week in North Carolina, the 61-year-old German star made consecutive birdies to finish the front nine, but had several birdie putts slide by on the back.
''I made a couple important ones and then I missed a couple important ones, especially the one on 16,'' Langer said. ''I hit three really good shots and had about a 6-footer, something like that, and I just didn't hit it hard enough. It broke away.''
Austin dropped a stroke behind Jay Haas and Stephen Ames with a bogey on the par-3 14th. He got that back with a birdie from about 5 feet on the par-4 15th and then got some good fortune on the final hole when his firmly struck chip hit the flag and stopped about 6 feet away.
''I always say usually the person that wins gets a break on Sunday,'' he said. ''That was my break.''
The 64-year-old Haas, the second-round leader after a 65, had a 74 to tie for third with Fran Quinn (69) and Kent Jones (70) at 9 under. Haas was bidding to become the oldest winner in the history of the tour for players 50 and older.
''Disappointed, for sure,'' Haas said. ''Not going to get many more opportunities like this, but it gives me hope, too, that I can still do it.''
The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 move on to the Invesco QQQ Championship next week in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
After Further Review: American success stories
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the global nature of Koepka's rise to No. 1 ...
Brooks Koepka is an American superstar, and a two-time winner of his national open. But his rise to world No. 1 in, of all places, South Korea, emphasizes the circuitous, global path he took to the top.
After winning the CJ Cup by four shots, Koepka was quick to remind reporters that he made his first-ever start as a pro in Switzerland back in 2012. He cracked the top 500 for the first time with a win in Spain, and he broke into the top 100 after a good week in the Netherlands.
Koepka languished on the developmental Challenge Tour for a year before earning a promotion to the European Tour, and he didn’t make a splash in the States until contending at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
It’s a testament to Koepka’s adaptability and raw talent that he can handle the heights of Crans-Montana as well as the slopes of Shinnecock Hills or rough of Nine Bridges. And as the scene shifts to China next week, it highlights the global nature of today’s game – and the fact that the best in the world can rise to the occasion on any continent. - Will Gray
On the resurgence of American women ...
American women are on a nice roll again. Danielle Kang’s victory Sunday at the Buick LPGA Shanghai was the third by an American over the last five events. Plus, Annie Park and Marina Alex, emerging American talents looking for their second victories this season, tied for second. So did American Brittany Altomare. Two years ago, Americans won just twice, their fewest victories in a single season in LPGA history. Overall, women from the United States have won seven times this season.
The Americans are making their move with Stacy Lewis on maternity leave and with Lexi Thompson, the highest ranked American in the world, still looking for her first victory this year. Yes, the South Koreans have won nine times this season, but with four LPGA events remaining in 2018 the Americans actually have a chance to be the winningest nation in women’s golf this year. With all the grief they’ve received the last few years, that would be a significant feat. - Randall Mell
In Buick win, Kang overcame demons of mind and spirit
Danielle Kang beat three of the most formidable foes in golf Sunday to win the Buick LPGA Shanghai.
Kang overcame these demons of mind and spirit to win for the second time on tour, backing up her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship victory last year.
“I’ve been going through a lot mentally,” Kang said.
Kang birdied four of the last eight holes to close with a 3-under-par 69, coming from one shot back in the final round to win. At 13-under 275, she finished two shots ahead of a pack of seven players, including world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and former world No. 1 Lydia Ko (66).
It hasn’t been easy for Kang trying to build on her major championship breakthrough last year. She started the fall Asian swing having missed three cuts in a row, five in her last six starts.
“I had to go through swing changes,” Kang said. “I had the swing yips, the putting yips, everything possibly you could think of.
“I was able to get over a lot of anxiety I was feeling when I was trying to hit a golf ball. This week I just kept trusting my golf game.”
Through her swoon, Kang said she was struggling to get the club back, that she was getting mentally stuck to where she could not begin her takeaway. She sought out Butch Harmon, back at her Las Vegas home, for help. She said tying for third at the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week felt like a victory, though she was still battling her demons there.
“Anxiety over tee balls,” Kang said. “People might wonder what I'm doing. I actually can't pull the trigger. It has nothing to do with the result. Having to get over that last week was incredible for me. Even on the first round, one shot took me, I think, four minutes.”
Kang, who turned 26 on Saturday, broke through to win last year under swing coach David Leadbetter, but she began working with Harmon while struggling in the second half this year.
“I was actually very frustrated, even yesterday,” Kang said. “Things just weren't going my way. The biggest thing that Butch tells me is to stay out of my own way. I just couldn't do that. If I had a short putt, I just kept doubting myself. I couldn't putt freely.”
Kang said her anger and frustration built up again on the front nine Sunday. She made the turn at 1 over for the round. She said her caddie, Oliver Brett, helped her exorcise some anger. After the ninth hole, he pulled her aside.
This is how Kang remembered the conversation:
Brett: “Whatever you need to do to let your anger out and restart and refresh, you need to do that now.”
Kang: “Cameras are everywhere. I just want to hit the bag really hard.”
Brett: “Here's a wedge. Just smash it.”
“Honestly, I thank him for that,” Kang said. “He told me there are a lot birdies out there. I regrouped, and we pretended we started the round brand new on the 10th hole. Then things changed and momentum started going my way. I started hitting it closer and felt better over the putts.”
Kang said the victory was all about finding a better place mentally.
“I'm just so happy to be where I'm at today,” Kang said. “I'm just happy that I won.
“More so than anything, I'm finally at a place where I'm peaceful and happy with my game, with my life . . . . I hope I win more. I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.”