Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 4

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
WHAT DID PAYNE STEWART SAY TO YOU AFTER ONE PUTTING THE LAST THREE HOLES TO BEAT YOU BY A SHOT IN THE '99 OPEN AT PINEHURST?

PHIL MICKELSON
HE, HE GRABBED MY FACE AND SAID PHIL YOU'RE ABOUT TO BECOME A FATHER AND IT'S THE GREATEST THING, AND I THOUGHT THAT IT WAS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE THAT WHEN HE HAD JUST WON THE BIGGEST TOURNAMENT IN GOLF

THAT, HE WOULD BE THINKING ABOUT WHAT I WAS GOING THROUGH AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY COOL.

PETER KESSLER
DO YOU BELIEVE AT ALL IN THIS BUSINESS ABOUT FATE PLAYING A HAND IN HIS WINNING THAT CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE HE DIED?

PHIL MICKELSON
I CERTAINLY DO. AT THE TIME I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED BUT GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT TOOK PLACE THEREAFTER, I THINK THAT THE OUTCOME WAS THE WAY IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOU THINK OF HIM NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL IT'S FUNNY. THE ONE THING THAT I, THAT COMES TO MY MIND WAS THE LAST TIME I SAW HIM WAS AT THE '99 RYDER CUP AND HE WAS ON TOP OF A PIANO SUNDAY NIGHT CELEBRATING WITH A
BEER IN ONE HAND, CIGAR IN THE OTHER

AND HE HAD THESE WILD SWEATS ON AND HE WAS JUST DANCING ON THE PIANO AND THAT'S, WE HAVE A PICTURE OF THAT IN OUR HOUSE AND THAT'S THE WAY I THINK OF HIM BECAUSE HE WAS A VERY FREE SPIRIT.

PETER KESSLER
EVERY TIME I SEE YOU WITH YOUR WIFE AMY IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S THE DAY THAT YOU'VE JUST FELL IN LOVE. WHAT'S THE SECRET, IN YOUR VIEW, OF KEEPING YOUR RELATIONSHIP APPARENTLY AS WONDERFUL AS IT SEEMS TO US AS WE LOOK AT HOW HAPPY THE TWO OF YOU ARE WHEN WE SEE YOU TOGETHER?

PHIL MICKELSON
WE BOTH HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF EACH OTHER AND I HAVE, I HAVE A WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL PERSON AND WHEN, WHEN I LOOK AT MY WIFE I JUST, I JUST THINK ABOUT HOW LUCKY I AM TO SHARE ALL THE EXPERIENCES THAT WE HAVE GONE THROUGH TOGETHER, AND CERTAINLY

THE BIRTH OF OUR DAUGHTER WAS THE MOST EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT WE'VE EVER HAD, BUT THE REASON I THINK OUR, OUR RELATIONSHIP IS SO SUCCESSFUL IS BECAUSE WE ACCEPT EACH OTHER FOR THE WAY WE ARE. WE DON'T TRY TO CHANGE EACH OTHER AND WE CHALLENGE EACH OTHER EACH DAY TO,

TO BECOME BETTER PEOPLE. SHE MAKES ME A BETTER PERSON WHEN I'M AROUND HER AND WE REALLY HAVE GONE THROUGH LIFE ENJOYING EVERY EXPERIENCE TOGETHER AND IT'S BEEN, MARRIAGE HAS BEEN THE MOST WONDERFUL INSTITUTION THAT I'VE BEEN A PART OF.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT KIND OF PLAYER DO YOU SUPPOSE YOUR BROTHER TIM IS GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE?

PHIL MICKELSON
THAT'S A, THAT'S AN INTERESTING QUESTION. I THINK THAT HE HAS A LOT OF TALENT BECAUSE HE HAS VERY GOOD TOUCH AND FEEL AND HE HITS THE BALL A LONG WAYS AND SO I THINK THE REFINEMENT OF BRINGING THE MISSES IN TIGHTER CAN CERTAINLY BE DONE. I'VE,

I'VE HAD TO GO THROUGH IT. I KNOW IT CAN BE DONE AND HE HAS THE ASSETS THAT NOT MANY PLAYERS HAVE WHICH IS LENGTH AND A GREAT SHORT GAME.

PETER KESSLER
SO HE HAS ESSENTIALLY THE SAME GIFTS THAT YOU FEEL THAT YOU'VE HAD?

PHIL MICKELSON
I, I BELIEVE SO. I THINK THAT HE JUST NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO WORK TO IMPROVE AND CONTINUE TO GET HIS MISSES REDUCED AND I THINK HE'S GOING TO BE A GOOD PLAYER.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT'S YOUR GOLF RELATIONSHIP AND YOUR FRIENDSHIP LIKE WITH HIM?

PHIL MICKELSON
WE GET ALONG REALLY WELL AND I REALLY ENJOY HIS COMPANY AND WE'RE VERY COMPETITIVE IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO AND HE'S BEEN A WONDERFUL BROTHER AND I THINK THAT HE'S BEEN A VERY, IN A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION

AS HAS MY SISTER BEEN IN THAT THEY'VE HAD A SIBLING THAT'S BEEN SOMEWHAT SUCCESSFUL AND IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT FOR THEM BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT THEY MEET ASK THEM

ABOUT ME AND THAT'S TOUGH TO BE AT, SITUATION TO BE IN AND I THINK THAT THEY'VE HANDLED IT VERY WELL AND I'M
VERY PROUD TO BE, OR TO HAVE TIM AND TINA AS MY BROTHER AND SISTER.

PETER KESSLER
PART OF YOUR ON COURSE PARTNERSHIP HAS BEEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JIM MACKAY. I THINK PEOPLE DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HIM, DON'T UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP OR WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO THE SUCCESS YOU'VE HAD.

PHIL MICKELSON
I, I HONESTLY FEEL AS THOUGH I, I'VE GOT THE BEST CADDIE ON TOUR BECAUSE HE'S, HE'S MUCH MORE THAN THAT. HE'S A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, AND ALSO IF YOU LOOK AT SOLELY HIS JOB REQUIREMENT, HE'S NEVER BEEN LATE IN THE NINE YEARS WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER AND HE'S

BEEN, BEEN WITH ME SINCE MY FIRST TOUR EVENT. HE'S A VERY INTELLIGENT INDIVIDUAL. HE KNOWS A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT A LOT OF, A LOT OF THINGS. HE KNOWS EVERYTHING

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)

PHIL MICKELSON
ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS. HE'S VERY INTELLIGENT. WE CALL HIM THE KING OF USELESS INFORMATION BECAUSE HE'LL COME UP WITH THINGS THAT NOBODY WOULD EVER THINK OR CARE ABOUT. HE, HE'S VERY GOOD AT YARDAGES, MEANING, WHEN WE'VE PLAYED IN TOURNAMENTS

FOR THE PAST EIGHT OR NINE YEARS HE WRITES DOWN WHAT I HAVE HIT. EACH CLUB THAT I'VE HIT. HOW FAR I HAD. WHAT THE TEMPERATURE WAS LIKE, WHAT THE WIND CONDITION WAS LIKE AND HOW FAR THE BALL CARRIED AND ENDED UP. NOW, THAT'S A LOT OF

INFORMATION AND OVER NINE YEARS PLAYING FIVE ROUNDS OF THE PRO-AM IN FOUR COMPETITIVE DAYS THAT'S 45 SHOTS THAT I HAVE HIT ON EACH HOLE THAT WE HAVE DOCUMENTED THAT HE HAS DONE.

SO WHEN WE GO TO TOURNAMENTS LIKE DENVER AT THE INTERNATIONAL WHICH IS THE HARDEST COURSE TO PULL CLUBS ON BECAUSE OF THE ALTITUDE, WE HAVE A HUGE ADVANTAGE AND CONSEQUENTLY I'VE DONE VERY WELL THERE DUE DIRECTLY TO HIM.

PETER KESSLER
WE'VE GOT THE FINAL PUTT FROM LAST YEAR'S COLONIAL. I THOUGHT MAYBE YOU COULD TELL US ABOUT IT AS, AS WE SHOW IT GOING TO BREAK.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL IT WENT IN, AND

PETER KESSLER
THAT PART WE, WE KNEW.
(LAUGHS)

PHIL MICKELSON
THIS WAS A, THIS WAS A CRITICAL PUTT BECAUSE AT THE TIME I WAS STILL A SHOT OR TWO BACK OF STUART CINK AND JUST TURNS A LITTLE LEFT TO RIGHT THERE IN THE END AND I GAVE IT A LITTLE

FIST PUMP BECAUSE I WAS A LITTLE EXCITED ABOUT THAT. THAT WAS A, THAT WAS A COOL TOURNAMENT. I WAS SEVEN BACK WITH NINE TO GO. I COULDN'T BELIEVE I HAD A SHOT AT WINNING.

PETER KESSLER
AND A LITTLE 63 TO CLOSE IT OUT.

PHIL MICKELSON
I'LL TAKE IT.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
Getty Images

Schauffele on close call: Nothing but a positive

By Ryan LavnerJuly 22, 2018, 8:41 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Playing in a final group at a major for the first time, Xander Schauffele awkwardly splashed out of three pot bunkers, went out in 40 and still somehow had a chance to win at Carnoustie.

Playing the 17th hole, tied with Francesco Molinari, Schauffele flared his approach shot into the right rough and couldn’t get up and down for par. He dropped one shot behind Molinari, and then two, after the Italian birdied the final hole.

Just like that, Schauffele was doomed to a runner-up finish at The Open.

“A little bit of disappointment,” he said. “Obviously when you don’t win, you’re disappointed. Hats off to Francesco. I looked up on 17 and saw he got to 8 under, which is just incredible golf and an incredible finish.”

Schauffele did well to give himself a chance. The 24-year-old was in the final group with Spieth, but both youngsters fell off the pace after rocky starts. The Tour’s reigning Rookie of the Year birdied the 14th but couldn’t convert a 15-footer on the treacherous 16th that would have given him a one-shot cushion.

“It’s going to go in the memory bank as a positive,” he said. “I had a chance to win a major championship. I was in the final group. I had to face a little bit of adversity early in the round, and I still gave myself a chance. Anyone can look at it however they want to, but I’m going to look at is as a positive moving forward and try to learn how to handle the situations a little better next time.”  

Getty Images

They came, they saw and Molinari conquered The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 8:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – From a perch above the 17th tee, next to a three-story grandstand that may well be the tallest structure on the Angus coast, the 147th Open Championship unfolded with more twists and turns than a Russian novel.

It was all there like a competitive kaleidoscope to behold. In quick order, Rory McIlroy’s title chances slipped away with a whimper, a par at the last some 100 yards to the left of the 17th tee. Tiger Woods, seemingly refreshed and reborn by the Scottish wind, missed his own birdie chance at the 16th hole, a half-court attempt near the buzzer for a player who is 0-for-the last decade in majors.

Moments later, Kevin Kisner scrambled for an all-world par of his own at No. 16 and gazed up at the iconic leaderboard as he walked to the 17th tee box, his title chances still hanging in the balance a shot off the lead.

Francesco Molinari was next, a textbook par save at No. 16 to go along with a collection of by-the-book holes that saw the Italian play his weekend rounds bogey-free. He also hit what may have been the most important drive of his life into what a Scot would call a proper wind at the 17th hole.

Xander Schauffele, who was tied with Molinari at the time at 7 under par, anchored the action, missing a 15-footer for birdie at the 16th hole. Moments later the Italian calmly rolled in a 5-footer for birdie at the last to finish his week at 8 under par.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


All this unfolded over a frenzied final hour of play at Carnoustie, offering just a taste of what the other four-plus hours of play resembled.

“I couldn't watch Xander play the last two holes, to be honest,” said Molinari, who became the first Italian to win a major. “That's why I went to the putting green, because I probably would have felt sick watching on TV,”

Carnoustie may not be the fairest of the Open rotation courses, but it certainly delivers the dramatic goods regularly enough.

Woods’ prediction earlier in the week that this Open Championship would come down to no fewer than 10 would-be champions seemed hyperbolic. It turns out he was being conservative with his estimate.

All total, 11 players either held a share of the lead or moved to within a stroke of the top spot on a hectic Sunday. For three days Carnoustie gave, the old brute left exposed by little wind and even less rough. Earlier in the week, players talked of not being able to stop the ball on the dusty and dry links turf. But as the gusts built and the tension climbed on Sunday, stopping the bleeding became a bigger concern.

If most majors are defined by two-way traffic, a potpourri of competitive fortunes to supercharge the narrative, this Open was driven in one direction and a cast of would-be champions with a single goal: hang on.

A day that began with three players – including defending champion Jordan Spieth, Kisner and Schauffele – tied for the lead at 9 under, quickly devolved into a free-for-all.

Kisner blinked first, playing his first three holes in 3 over par; followed by Spieth whose poor 3-wood bounded into a gorse bush at the sixth hole and led to an unplayable lie. It was a familiar scene that reminded observers of his unlikely bogey at Royal Birkdale’s 13th hole last year. But this time there was no practice tee to find refuge and his double-bogey 7 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard.

“I was trying to take the burn out of the equation by hitting 3-wood to carry it. It was unlucky. It went into the only bush that's over on the right side. If it misses it, I hit the green and have a birdie putt,” Spieth said.



Schauffele’s struggles coincided with Spieth’s, with whom he played on Sunday, with a bogey at the sixth sandwiched between a bogey (No. 5) and a double bogey (No. 7).

This opened the door to what the entire golf world has awaited, with Woods vaulting into the lead at 7 under par, the first time since the ’11 Masters he’d led at a major, and sending a low rumble across the course.

Since Woods last won a major, that ’08 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on one leg, Spieth and Schauffele, who Tiger spotted four strokes on Sunday, graduated from high school; McIlroy went from phenom to four-time major winner and Donald Trump was transformed from being a TV celebrity to the President of the United States.

But the fairytale only lasted a few minutes with Woods playing Nos. 11 and 12 in 3 over par. They were the kind of mistakes the 14-time major champion didn’t make in his prime

“A little ticked off at myself, for sure. I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn't do it,” said Woods, who finished tied for sixth but will have the consolation prize of moving into the top 50 in the world ranking to qualify for the last WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in two weeks.

But as Woods faded, McIlroy made a familiar move, charging in an eagle putt at the par-5 14th hole to tie Molinari and Schauffele at 6 under par. The Northern Irishman would run out of holes, playing the final four in even par to finish tied for second, but the moment wasn’t lost on him.

“It was great, just to be a part of it and hear the roars. Tiger being back in the mix. You know, everything,” McIlroy said. “There's a lot of big names up there. It was nice to be a part of it. For a while, I thought Tiger was going to win. My mindset was go and spoil the party here.”

By the time the final groups reached Carnoustie’s finishing stretch it was a two-man party, with Molinari proving for the second time this month that boring golf can be effective.

Although he’d won the European Tour’s flagship event in May, Molinari decided to add the Quicken Loans National to his schedule because of his precarious position on the FedExCup points list (122nd) – he won that, too. The week before the Open, he fulfilled his commitment to play the John Deere Classic, a requirement under the PGA Tour’s new strength of field rule, and finished second.

Although his track record at The Open was nothing special – he’d posted just a single top-10 finish in his first 10 starts at the game’s oldest championship – his machine-like game was always going to be a perfect fit for a brown and bouncy links like Carnoustie and a topsy-turvy final round.

“I told his caddie earlier this week, because I didn’t want to say it to [Molinari], I have a good feeling this week,” said Molinari’s swing coach Denis Pugh. “It was the perfect combination of clarity and confidence.”

With the sun splashing against the baked-out fairways, Molinari emerged from the clubhouse, wide-eyed and a little dazed after what could only be described as a major melee, his no-nonsense, fairways-and-greens game the perfect tonic for an Open that defied clarity until the very end.

Getty Images

Spieth and Schauffele were put on the clock Sunday

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 8:13 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Contending in a major championship on what is largely considered the toughest major championship course can be hard enough, but as Jordan Spieth reached the 10th tee box, he was given another layer of anxiety.

Spieth, who was playing with Xander Schauffele on Sunday at Carnoustie, was informed that his group had fallen behind and been put on the clock. On the next tee, he was given a “bad time” for taking too long to hit his drive.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I handled it OK, but looking back, you know, that was a turning point in the round,” said Spieth, who played Nos. 10 and 11 in even par and finished tied for ninth after a closing 76. “If you get 1 under on those two holes with a downwind par 5 left [No. 14], it's a different story.”

Spieth, who began the day tied for the lead with Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under, had dropped out the top spot with a double bogey-7 at the sixth hole. He was tied for the lead when officials put his group on the clock.

“I took over the allotted time on the tee on 11 to decide on 3-iron or 3-wood, but throughout the day, I think I played the fastest golf I've probably ever played while contending in a tournament,” he said.

Getty Images

Woods (T-6) qualifies for WGC-Bridgestone via OWGR

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 7:43 pm

After narrowly missing out on a 15th major title at Carnoustie, Tiger Woods can take solace in the fact that he earned a return to Firestone Country Club by the thinnest of margins.

Woods was ranked No. 71 in the world entering The Open, and the top 50 in the rankings on both July 23 and July 30 will earn invites to the upcoming WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Despite missing a short birdie putt on the 72nd hole, Woods' three-way tie for sixth was enough to lift him to exactly 50th in the updated rankings.

It means that Woods will return to Akron in two weeks despite starting the year ranked No. 656. Firestone's South Course is the site of eight of Woods' 79 career PGA Tour victories, including his most recent worldwide victory back in 2013 when he won by seven shots. He has not played the invitation-only event since withdrawing in 2014 because of injury.

That's also the last time that Woods played in any of the four WGC events.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Woods had stated for several weeks that he hoped to return to Firestone this summer, given that the tournament will permanently shift to TPC Southwind in Memphis beginning next year. While he had the option to play next week's RBC Canadian Open to bolster his world ranking, Woods reiterated in recent weeks that his status for Akron would simply hinge on his performance in The Open.

"One of my goals is to get into Akron one last time before we leave there," Woods said at The Players Championship in May. "I've won there eight times and I'd love to get there with one more chance."

Speaking to reporters after a final-round 71, Woods explained that he thought he needed a top-4 finish to qualify and had fallen short. Instead, his 5-under total and best finish in a major since the 2013 Open at Muirfield proved to be just enough.

Woods will now take a week off before teeing it up in Akron Aug. 2-5, followed by an appearance the following week at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.