Golf Talk Live - Tom Watson Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 29, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
IT'S BEEN SAID THAT BOBBY JONES AND BEN HOGAN AND BYRON NELSON ALL SORT OF VISITED BRIEFLY GOLF'S 4TH DIMENSION OF PERFECT BALL STRIKING FOR A PERIOD. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU TOUCHED THAT BRIEFLY TOO, YOURSELF?

TOM WATSON
I THINK, IN MY CASE, PROBABLY ABOUT 3 OR 4 TIMES IN MY CAREER I FELT I HAD THAT 99.9 % COMMAND OF MY GOLF SWING AND THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, I STILL MADE SOME MISTAKES BUT I MEAN IT IS, I, I HAD IT AT ABOUT 3 OR 4 TIMES. THAT'S ALL, BUT, AND, AND I WON, I WON 3 OUT OF THE 4

TOURNAMENTS SO IT WAS, IT WAS RIGHT THERE, BUT, THE OTHER TIMES YOU'RE, YOU'RE ALWAYS MAKING SOME SORT OF ADJUSTMENT. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE

SOMETIMES 75%, SOMETIMES 25% WHICH IS, THAT'S WHEN YOU'RE REALLY FEELING MISERABLE OUT THERE, BUT, I'VE SEEN SOME GOLFERS WHO WERE IN THAT ZONE. I SAW JOHNNY MILLER WHEN HE WAS IN THAT ZONE PLAYING TUCSON WHEN HE COULD HAVE SHOT 56 IN THE LAST ROUND. IT WAS

THE MOST AMAZING ROUND OF GOLF I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. GRANTED THE CONDITIONS WERE PRETTY GOOD, NOT A LOT OF WIND, BUT THE WAY HE STRUCK THE GOLF BALL THAT DAY, I, I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.

PETER KESSLER
JONES SAID, IF HE THOUGHT OF TWO THINGS, HE WOULDN'T PLAY VERY WELL. IF HE THOUGHT OF ONE HE COULD DO WELL, AND IF HE THOUGHT OF NOTHING THAT NOBODY

COULD BEAT HIM. IS THAT HOW YOU FELT ON THOSE THREE OR FOUR OCCASIONS THAT THERE WERE NO SWING THOUGHTS AND YOU COULD JUST THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU WANTED IT TO GO?

TOM WATSON
NO I ALWAYS FELT THAT IF I CONCENTRATED JUST ON THE TAKE AWAY THAT'S ALL I NEEDED TO DO.

PETER KESSLER
STILL.

TOM WATSON
YEAH, AND, AND YOUR TAKE AWAY, YOUR TAKEAWAY AND IF YOU HAD TO CUT THE BALL, IT WENT A LITTLE BIT OUTSIDE, A LITTLE BIT INSIDE TO DRAW THE BALL, AND YOU STILL HAD TO HAVE THAT, THAT, THAT, THAT ESSENCE OF THE FIRST THOUGHT OF THE BACK SWING AND THEN LET IT HAPPEN.

PETER KESSLER
YOU'VE GOT 5 SHOTS AND I WANT YOU TO TALK OVER 4 OF YOURS AND ONE OF SOMEBODY ELSE'S AND TELL ME IF YOU WOULD, IF ANY OF THESE PERIODS WERE CHARACTERIZED BY TOUCHING THAT 4TH DIMENSION.

TOM WATSON
(LAUGHS) OKAY. ALRIGHT.

PETER KESSLER
FOR LITTLE BIT. LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK AND WE'LL START 1977 AT TURNBURY AND WE'RE GOING TO LEAD UP TO HERE AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT YOU AND JACK. JACK'S A SHOT AHEAD, A SHOT AHEAD. IT'S THE FINAL ROUND. YOU'RE ON 15, ABOUT 60 FEET FROM THE HOLE. OFF THE GREEN, AND JACK'S GOT A MAKEABLE BIRDIE PUTT.

TOM WATSON
WELL HE'S ABOUT 40 FEET SHORT AND I'M OFF THE GREEN TO THE LEFT, FOR A 4 IRON SHOT AND I TAKE THIS PUTTER FROM OFF THE GREEN. THERE'S A SLOPE RIGHT, RIGHT OFF, RIGHT OFF THE BALL. THERE IT GOES DOWN AND IT BREAKS, THIS PUTT BREAKS AT ABOUT EIGHT FEET FROM LEFT TO RIGHT,

AND I KNOCK IT DOWN THE HILL THERE AND I'M, I'M JUST TRYING TO GET THIS THING CLOSE. I MEAN, AND IT GOES AND IT BANGS INTO THE HOLE AND GOES IN AND, YOU KNOW PETER, ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT ME IN, IN, IN GOLF, I'VE ALWAYS MADE A LOT OF

LONG, LONG PUTTS AND I HAVEN'T BEEN THE GREATEST PUTTER WHEN IT REALLY, WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN FROM 15 OR 20 FEET OR, OR 5 FEET, BUT, I'VE MADE MY SHARE, MORE THAN MY SHARE OF THOSE LONG PUTTS AND THAT WAS MAYBE THE BEST LONG PUTT I EVER MADE.

PETER KESSLER
AND HERE'S ANOTHER ONE AT JACK'S EXPENSE. OF COURSE THE '82 OPEN AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO SHOW THE CHIP IN BUT WE ARE GOING TO SHOW THIS DOWN HILL BIRDIE PUTT ON THE PAR 5, 14TH.

TOM WATSON
YEAH. I GIVE A LOT OF CREDIT TO MY CADDIE, BRUCE EDWARDS, ON THIS ONE, BECAUSE HE READ THIS PUTT PERFECTLY FOR ME AND IT'S A VERY SLICK PUTT. THE PEOPLE WERE HANGING OUT OF THE TREES


AS YOU CAN SEE RIGHT THERE AND I, I WAS PUTTING, THAT WAS THE BEST PUTTING ROUND I THINK I'VE EVER HAD IN, IN, IN THE END OF A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP AND I WAS,

THIS, THAT PUTT RIGHT THERE, KNOWING THAT JACK WAS, WAS A SHOT AHEAD, YOU KNOW THAT, WAS JUST ONE OF MANY PUTTS THAT DAY THAT WENT IN AND ANY ONE OF WHICH OR ANY 3 OR 4 OF WHICH PROBABLY

SHOULDN'T HAVE GONE IN, BUT THEY DID GO IN THAT DAY, AND IT WAS, IT WAS ONE OF THOSE, THAT WAS THE DAY OF, MY PUTTER WAS IN THE ZONE THAT, I, YOU CAN'T DESCRIBE THAT ZONE. EVERYTHING WENT IN.

PETER KESSLER
NOW ISN'T THIS THE CLUB YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TO HIT THE FINAL ROUND OF A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP, A FULL BLOODED TWO IRON?

TOM WATSON
HERE'S A TWO IRON, AFTER WAITING ABOUT 15 MINUTES FOR A, A, PEOPLE TO, PEOPLE TO CLEAR THE GREEN. I MADE A SWING RIGHT THERE THAT I DON'T THINK I EVER MADE A BETTER, EVER MADE A BETTER SWING WITH A LONG CLUB WHEN I HAD TO, AND THAT WAS, THAT WAS ONE OF THE BEST SHOTS I'VE EVER HIT WHEN I REALLY HAD TO

PETER KESSLER
AND OF COURSE YOU COULDN'T SEE IT

TOM WATSON

I NEVER SAW, I NEVER SAW THE BALL COME DOWN. YOU SAW THE CROWD JUST RUN RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT.

PETER KESSLER
BUT YOU KNEW WHERE IT WAS.

TOM WATSON
I WAS HOPING THE BALL WAS, I KNEW I HIT IT SOLID. I KNEW IT WAS REALLY CLOSE. CLOSE ENOUGH TO WHERE I COULD GAG IT AND STILL GET THE BALL DOWN IN TWO.

PETER KESSLER
NOW HERE OF COURSE YOU HAD GONE NINE YEARS, 141 EVENTS WITHOUT A TOUR WIN.

TOM WATSON
A LONG TIME... AND

PETER KESSLER
18TH HOLE

TOM WATSON
THE PUTTER WAS, THE PUTTER WAS NEVER, NEVER FELT THAT COMFORTABLE IN MY HANDS THAT DAY, BUT MY, I STRUCK THE BALL VERY, VERY WELL THAT DAY AND THIS

IS THE 18TH HOLE AT MUIRFIELD VILLAGE AND THE FIRST VICTORY IN NINE YEARS RIGHT THERE. MY WEATHER THOUGH, AND IT WAS MY WEATHER. IT WAS RAINING AND COLD (LAUGHS).

PETER KESSLER
I REMEMBER THE 69 YOU SHOT AT MEMORIAL IN SIX... IN SEVENTY-NINE OR EIGHTY.

TOM WATSON
IT WAS A LITTLE BIT COLDER THAT, THAT...

PETER KESSLER
AND THE NEXT CLOSEST ROUND WAS 74.

TOM WATSON
I WAS A LOT, LOT YOUNGER. I COULD HANDLE IT THEN.

PETER KESSLER
NOW HERE'S A SHOT YOU DIDN'T HIT BUT I'D LOVE TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT.

TOM WATSON
YEAH, THIS IS... ONE OF THE GREAT SHOTS OF GOLF RIGHT HERE. THIS IS A SHOT THAT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT FOR... FOR DECADES BECAUSE OF THE, BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY OF THE SHOT, ALL THE, ALL THE TROUBLE WITH THE SHOT. HE HIT, HE HIT

JUST A TREMENDOUS SHOT. I STILL THINK THE WAY HE LEANS WITH HIS BODY HERE, I THINK HE MISSED IT A LITTLE BIT RIGHT OF WHERE HE WANTED, WANTED TO HIT IT. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THAT QUESTION WAS EVER ASKED OF HIM, BUT

PETER KESSLER
IT WAS AND HE WAS AIMING LEFT AND HE WAS AIMING AT GRANT WAITE'S BALL WHICH WAS IN THE CENTER OF THE GREEN.

TOM WATSON
OKAY. ALRIGHT, BUT IT WAS A SPECTACULAR SHOT AND OF COURSE, WON THE TOURNAMENT FOR HIM AND, IT WILL BE REMEMBERED AS, AS I SAY, ONE OF THE GREAT SHOTS OF THE, IN THE GAME.

PETER KESSLER
DO YOU THINK THAT THE GREAT AVAILABILITY OF MONEY TO ALL THE GOOD PLAYERS ON TOUR NOW, WILL KEEP SOME GUYS WHO COULD OTHERWISE CHALLENGE TIGER, FROM REACHING THEIR FULL POTENTIAL BECAUSE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF MONEY?

TOM WATSON
PETER, GOOD QUESTION AND I THINK YES. I THINK THE ANSWER IS YES TO THAT. I THINK MONEY CORRUPTS. HAVING TOO MUCH MONEY CORRUPTS IT. YOU'RE JUST NOT AS HUNGRY. IT JUST, I KNOW IT, IT HAD AN EFFECT ON ME. I LOVE TO PLAY THE GAME, BUT PRIORITIES SOMEWHAT CHANGED AND

I GOT A LITTLE BIT SOFT. I STOPPED, I STOPPED PRACTICING AS HARD AS I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE, BUT, YOU KNOW, THAT, THAT WAS MY CHOICE AND THAT, I HAD A FAMILY, A GROWING FAMILY, AND I TOOK A LITTLE BIT MORE TIME WITH THEM AND DIDN'T CONCENTRATE ON THE GAME OF GOLF AS MUCH AS I NEEDED TO STAY THAT SHARP.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT DOES TIGER HAVE INSIDE OF HIM THAT YOU AND JACK AND NELSON AND JONES AND ARNOLD CAN ALL IDENTIFY WITH?

TOM WATSON
TIGER, ACCORDING TO WHAT I'VE READ, HE HAS ON THAT WALL, WHEN HE GREW UP, HE HAS JACK NICKLAUS UP THERE AND HIS MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORIES AND HE LOOKED AT THAT BEFORE HE WENT TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT AND HE WOKE UP TO

THAT EVERY DAY AND THAT, THAT'S, THAT WAS HIS DREAM AND IT IS HIS DREAM AND HE'S DOING A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF FILLING THAT DREAM RIGHT NOW. I MEAN THAT IS TO BE THE BEST PLAYER'S EVER PLAYED THE GAME.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. DON'T GO AWAY. AS WE LEAVE YOU, A LITTLE BIT OF INFORMATION ABOUT TOM'S MAJORS.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Defending champs Singh, Franco take senior lead

By Associated PressApril 22, 2018, 12:15 am

RIDGEDALE, Mo. - Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco took the third-round lead Saturday in the windy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Singh and Franco shot a 7-under 47 in wind gusting to 20 mph on the Top of the Rock par-3 course to get to 19-under 145, a stroke ahead of the teams of David Toms-Steve Flesch and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett.

''It was a tough day,'' Singh said. ''The wind was swirling, have to get the club right and we made some putts. Carlos played really well on the back nine and I played really well on the front nine, so we ham-and-egged it a little.''

Toms and Flesch also shot 47, and Broadhurst and Triplett had a 33 on the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course.

''We just paired well together,'' Toms said. ''I don't think either one of us played great. We picked each other up out there.''

Wind and rain is expected Sunday when the teams finish at Top of the Rock, again playing the front nine in alternate shot and the back nine in better ball.

''Make as many birdies as possible and see what happens,'' Singh said. ''That's all we can do.''

Singh and Franco are trying to become the first to successfully defend a title since Jim Colbert and Andy North in 2001. Singh won the Toshiba Classic in March for his first individual senior title.


Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf


Flesch won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic last week in Georgia for his first senior victory.

Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer had a 34 at Mountain Top to join Spanish stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jose Maria Olazabal at 17 under. Jimenez and Olazabal had a 33 at Mountain Top.

''It's great for me to be able to play with him as a team member,'' Olazabal said. ''We do have great memories from the Ryder Cup and other events, and it's always a great pleasure to play with a great player and a friend.''

Langer took the final-round forecast in stride.

''We've done it hundreds of times before and we'll probably do it again,'' Langer said. ''We'll make the best of it. We both have a good attitude. We're known to play in all sorts of weather and I just look forward to playing one more day with my partner here.''

Wisconsin neighbors Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly were 16 under after a 48 at Top of the Rock.

John Daly and Michael Allen, the second-round leaders after a 46 at Top of the Rock, had a 37 at Mountain Top to drop into a tie for seventh at 15 under.

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Landry shares Valero lead, eyes first career win

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 11:15 pm

After coming up just short of a breakthrough win earlier this season, Andrew Landry has another chance to earn his maiden victory at the Valero Texas Open.

Landry came within inches of winning the CareerBuilder Challenge in January, ultimately losing to Jon Rahm in a four-hole playoff. He struggled to find form in the wake of his close call, missing the cut in each of his four starts following his runner-up finish in Palm Springs.

But Landry took some time off to welcome his first child, Brooks, last month and he made it to the weekend in his first start back last week at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T-42. He made a move up the standings Saturday at TPC San Antonio with a bogey-free 67, and at 13 under shares the lead with Zach Johnson heading into the final round.

"I just did everything really good," Landry told reporters. "I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat, and I had a couple bad putts that I didn't really make. I'm happy with it, it's a good 5-under round. Gets me in the final group tomorrow and we'll see what happens."

Landry started the day one shot off the pace and in the final group with Johnson and Ryan Moore, and at one point he took sole possession of the lead after birdies on three of his first six holes. Now he'll have another chance in the day's final tee time where he's grouped with Johnson and Trey Mullinax, who sits one shot back after firing a course-record 62 in the third round.

For Landry, it's another opportunity to break into the winner's circle, and it's one for which he feels prepared after coming so close three months ago.

"I mean, I don't want to go too deep into it because I don't want to sound cocky or anything, but I just believe in myself. There's no other explanation for it," Landry said. "You can totally get out here and play with Zach Johnson, Ryan Moore, two top players in the world, and you can go out there and fold under pressure or you can learn a lot.

"Zach's always been a role model to me the way he plays golf, I feel like we have very similar games, and it's just going to be fun tomorrow getting to play with him again."

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Z. Johnson, Landry share 54-hole Texas Open lead

By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 10:56 pm

SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson birdied the par-5 18th Saturday at the Valero Texas Open for a share of the third-round lead with Andrew Landry, a stroke ahead of record-setting Trey Mullinax.

Johnson shot a 4-under 68, holing a 10-footer on 18 to match Landry at 13-under 203 at TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks. Landry birdied the 16th and 17th in a 67.

Johnson won the event in 2008 and 2009, the last two times it was played at LaCantera. The 42-year-old Iowan is trying to win for the first time since the 2015 British Open.

''I've got 18 holes to get to that point,'' Johnson said. ''I've got to do exactly what I did on the back side and that was give myself opportunities on every hole. I'm putting great, I'm seeing the lines well, my caddie's reading the greens well, so it's just a matter of committing and executing down the stretch.''

The 30-year-old Landry is winless on the tour.

''I'm a good putter and I just need to give myself a lot of opportunities tomorrow like I did today,'' Landry said. ''I'll be looking forward to tomorrow.''

Mullinax had a course-record 62. He played the back nine in 7-under 29, going 6 under on the last five with eagles on the par-5 14th and 18th and birdies on 16 and 17. He also birdied Nos. 10 and 12 and bogeyed 11.

''It's probably one of the best rounds I've ever had,'' Mullinax said. ''To go out there and shoot 62 on a hard golf course is really good.''

Johnson played the front nine in even par with two birdies and two bogeys. He birdied Nos. 11, 14, 15 and 18 on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos


''Different wind today early on, misjudged some numbers, misjudged some wind, made some bad swings, all of the above,'' Johnson said. ''But truthfully, my short game was actually pretty good, my putting was great. I missed some putts, but I hit some really good ones, hit some lines and I gave myself opportunities especially on the back side.''

Landry had a bogey-free round.

''I just did everything really good,'' Landry said. ''I was staying patient and just trying to make a bunch of pars. This golf course can come up and bite you in a heartbeat.''

Ryan Moore was two strokes back at 11 under after a 70. Sean O'Hair had a 65 to join 2015 champion Jimmy Walker (67), Chris Kirk (68) and 2013 winner Martin Laird (69) at 9 under.

''I just feel like I'm getting closer and closer to playing better and better golf, more solid golf, putting rounds together,'' Walker said. ''I'm excited for the opportunity tomorrow.''

Mullinax has made 42 of 44 putts from inside 10 feet this week.

''They just kind of remind me of greens from home,'' Mullinax said. ''My caddie, David (Flynn), has been reading them really well. We trusted each other on our reads and I've been hitting good putts. Been working hard on putting on the weeks off that I've had so it's good to see some results.''

The 25-year-old former Alabama player chipped in for the eagle on 14 and the birdie on the par-3 16th.

''It was just a little bit down the hill,'' he said about the 16th. ''All you had to do was just land it just past that little light grass spot. My caddie told me just read it like a putt, so I tried to just read it like a putt and it went in.''

On 18, he hit a 3-iron from 255 yards to 15 feet to set up his eagle putt. He broke the course record of 63 set by Matt Every in 201 and matched by Laird in 2013. The tournament record is 60 at LaCantera, by Bart Bryant in 2004 and Johnson in 2009.

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Z. Johnson looks to end victory drought at Valero

By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 10:45 pm

Nearly three years after his most recent victory, Zach Johnson has a chance to get back into the winner's circle at the Valero Texas Open.

Johnson started the third round at TPC San Antonio with a share of the lead, and he maintained that position after closing out a 4-under 68 with a birdie on the final hole. At 13 under, he is tied for the lead with Andrew Landry and one shot clear of Trey Mullinax as he looks to win for the first time since The Open in 2015.

"Different wind today. Misjudged some numbers, misjudged some wind, made some bad swings, all of the above," Johnson told reporters. "But truthfully, I mean my short game was actually pretty good, my putting was great. I missed some putts but I hit some really good ones, hit some lines and I gave myself opportunities, especially on the back side."

Johnson started slowly, making the turn in even-par 36, before carding four birdies on the inward half. It was a microcosm of his week at TPC San Antonio, where Johnson is even through three trips across the front nine but has played the back nine in 13 under while picking up more than six strokes on the field in strokes gained: putting.

Johnson won this event in both 2008 and 2009 when it was held at nearby La Cantera, but he has only cracked the top 10 once since it shifted venues in 2010. But facing off in the final group against two players who have yet to win on the PGA Tour, the veteran hopes to capitalize on his back-nine prowess this week in order to deliver career win No. 13.

"I've got to do exactly what I did on the back side, and that was give myself opportunities on every hole," Johnson said. "I'm putting great, I'm seeing the lines well, my caddie's reading the greens well. So it's just a matter of committing and executing down the stretch."