Golf Talk Live - World Golf Village Special Transcript Segment 5
WELCOME BACK. GREAT PLEASURE TO SEE YOU DEANE.
THANK YOU PETER.
YOU KNOW, IN YOUR CASE, THE LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORY IS SO PERFECT BECAUSE, NOT ONLY WERE YOU A GREAT PLAYER WITH YOUR 3 MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, THE TWO U.S. AMATEURS,
THE BRITISH AMATEUR, BUT YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GAME, MAKING THE TOUR FROM A SMALL ORGANIZATION INTO ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS OF ANY KIND IN THE WORLD. YOUR NOTION THAT A COURSE DIDN'T HAVE TO BE BUILT DURING THE DEPRESSION TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
YOUR VISION FOR THE WORLD GOLF VILLAGE, JUST TO NAME A FEW THINGS, WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
WELL, I, I SAID TODAY AND I'VE SAID A NUMBER OF TIMES THAT I'M MOST PROUD OF HOW HARD WE WORKED AND HOW SUCCESSFUL WE WERE TO KEEP THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME INTACT IN THE ERA OF BIG TIME MONEY SPORTS. NO OTHER SPORT HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT
AND WE'VE KEPT THE, THE RESPECT FOR THE GAME BY THE PLAYERS, RESPECT, A LOVE, CONTINUED LOVE OF THE GAME BY THE PLAYERS, RESPECT FOR THE RULES AND RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER AS COMPETITORS AND WE'VE, WE'VE KEPT THE FAITH WITH SPORTSMANSHIP IN GOLF
AND NO OTHER SPORT HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT IN THE ERA OF ALL THIS BIG MONEY.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR ASSISTANCE IN MAKING IT GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT A COURSE DIDN'T HAVE TO BE BUILT BETWEEN 1920 AND 1932, FOR IT TO BE WORTHY OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD.
WELL, UH, IT, REALLY THAT WASN'T THE, THAT WASN'T THE FOCUS OF MY ATTENTION. THE FOCUS OF MY ATTENTION, AND OF COURSE MOST OF THOSE GREAT GOLF COURSES WERE BUILT TO PLAY GOLF ON. STRICTLY TO PLAY GO. THEY WEREN'T BUILT TO HOLD
30 OR 40 OR 50 THOUSAND SPECTATORS AND WHAT I ATTEMPTED TO DO WAS TO RECOGNIZE THAT, EVEN THOUGH THE GAME IS THE SAME FROM A STANDPOINT OF THE AUDIENCE, IT'S MUCH DIFFERENT, AND A GOLF TOURNAMENT
CAN NOT BE SUCCESSFUL NATIONALLY UNLESS IT'S SUCCESSFUL LOCALLY, AND YOU CAN'T BE SUCCESSFUL LOCALLY UNLESS IT CAN COMPETE WITH OTHER FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT WITH BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL, AND BASEBALL WHERE YOU'RE VIRTUALLY SITTING IN A STADIUM WATCHING.
NOW YOU'VE GOT TO WATCH GOLF BY WALKING AROUND MAYBE TWO, THREE, FOUR OR FIVE MILES BUT WE CAN MAKE IT CONVENIENT FOR YOU TO SEE EVEN IF YOU'RE WILLING TO WORK, WALK THE 4 OR 5 MILES AND THAT'S THE CONCEPT AND
THE IDEA BEHIND STADIUM GOLF. IT WASN'T, WHEN WE BUILT THE FIRST TPC STADIUM GOLF COURSE, WE DIDN'T BUILD IT FOR THE PLAYERS. WE BUILT IT FOR THE FANS, AND WE BUILT ON THAT AND I, AND I FELT THAT IN GOLF THE FANS WERE SHORT CHANGED, AND UH, MORE, THE MORE OF THOSE KIND OF GOLF COURSES
THAT ARE BUILT THAT WILL ACCOMMODATE THE FANS, THE BETTER OFF THIS GAME IS GOING TO BE.
THE WORLD GOLF VILLAGE WAS REALLY YOUR VISION. IT'S NOW A REALITY. WHAT EVIDENCE WILL YOU REQUIRE TO JUDGE IT A SUCCESS IF IT HASN'T ALREADY COME IN?
WELL MY EVIDENCE IN, IN IT'S SUCCESS IS IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO AND IT'S SUCCESS WILL NEVER BE MEASURED IN IT'S FIRST YEAR OR IT'S FIRST TWO YEARS. ANYTHING OF THIS SIZE REQUIRES PUTTING TOGETHER, GETTING STARTED
AND IT'S CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO REACH IT'S ULTIMATE POTENTIAL AS SOON AS YOU LAUNCH IT AND UH IT, IT IS SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE IT'S HERE. IT'S GOING TO BE HERE. IT WILL BE HERE FOR LONG AFTER I'M GONE, AND IT WILL
CONTINUE TO GROW IN STATURE AND IT WILL CONTINUE TO BE ME. MORE MEANINGFUL TO THE PLAYERS AND MORE MEANINGFUL TO THE MILLIONS OF AMATEURS WHO LOVE THE GAME.
TO GET IN UNDER THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORY CLEARLY MEANS IN YOUR PARTICULAR CASE THAT YOUR PLAYING RECORD AND YOUR CONTRIBUTION RECORD AWAY FROM PLAYING THE GAME ARE BOTH BEING
RECOGNIZED. DOES THAT HELP RECONFIRM AND REVALIDATE IN YOUR HEAD THE WISDOM OF YOUR DECISION TO GO AHEAD AND GIVE UP THAT PART OF YOUR PLAYING CAREER SO YOU COULD MAKE THE OTHER CONTRIBUTION THAT YOU HAVE?
WELL I NEVER, I, I NEVER THOUGHT OF IT IN, QUITE IN THOSE TERMS WHEN I DECIDED TO, TO UH TO RETIRE FROM COMPETITIVE GOLF BECAUSE I WAS STILL A GOOD PLAYER AT THE TIME. I'D HAD SOME PHYSICAL DIFFICULTIES BUT I WAS
STILL WINNING GOLF TOURNAMENTS. I WON A TOURNAMENT, LITERALLY A WEEK BEFORE I TOLD THE BOARD I'D TAKE THE JOB IF THEY OFFERED IT TO ME, BUT UH I, I THINK THAT UH, I THINK THAT MY WHOLE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE IS, IS TO LOOK FORWARD AND NOT LOOK BACK. I MADE A DECISION AFTER
GIVING IT A LONG AND CAREFUL CONSIDERATION AND IN MY OWN MIND, IN MY OWN MIND, IF I HAD NOT TAKEN THE JOB, I MIGHT BE HERE AS A PLAYER BECAUSE I COULD STILL PLAY AND I MIGHT, NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW, BUT IN MY OWN MIND, I CAN TELL YOU I BELIEVE THAT I WOULD HAVE WON A LOT MORE GOLF TOURNAMENTS AND I WOULD HAVE
WON SOME MORE MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, BUT UH I, I DON'T, I DON'T LOOK BACK AT THAT WITH ANY REGRET AT ALL. WHAT I SAID AT THE TIME AND I'LL SAY AGAIN TODAY IS THAT I FELT I COULD MAKE A GREATER CONTRIBUTION IN THE JOB AS COMMISSIONER AND HELPING TO BUILD THE GAME AND BRING IT TO MILLIONS
OF MORE GOLF FANS AND TO MAKE IT A MORE IMPORTANT GAME IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS THAN I COULD AS A PLAYER. I STILL BELIEVE THAT AND I HAVE NO REGRETS AT ALL.
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. WILL YOU STAY WITH US FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES?
DON'T GO AWAY. WE'LL BE BACK WITH DEANE BEMAN.
Descending into golf's depths, and trying to dig out
Watching Alvaro Quiros finish second this past week in Morocco, I was reminded of just how rare it is for player to come back from the depths of golf hell.
Quiros, a player of immense ability, hype and length, won the Dubai World Championship – his sixth win in four years – to close out 2011 and then went down the rabbit hole of trying to change his golf swing. He would miss 11 cuts in 2012 and either miss the cut or withdraw in another 41 European Tour events over the next four years. Because he hadn’t won a major championship, his epic backwards slide in the world rankings (435th prior to this past week) mostly went unnoticed – but it was far from unusual.
Ian Baker-Finch won the 1991 Open Championship, but just three years later, when he played 20 events on the PGA Tour and missed 14 cuts, he no longer looked anything like a recent major champion. In 1995, he played in 18 events and either missed the cut, withdrew or was disqualified from every one of them. In 1996, he missed the cut in all 11 events he entered on the PGA Tour; and in 1997, he shot 92 in the first round of The Open, withdrew from the championship and stopped playing professional golf.
Like Quiros, Baker-Finch’s downfall came after his biggest win, when he finally thought he had the time, because of the 10-year exemption he received, to change his golf swing.
David Duval won the 2001 Open Championship and just two years later he shot 83-78 in the same event and missed the cut, which was one 16 events he either missed the cut or withdrew from that year. In 2005, he missed 18 cuts in 19 starts. Duval’s competitive demise may well have been precipitated by injuries and an existential malaise after winning golf’s oldest championship, but it was accompanied by queries far and wide as to how to correct his swing and thinking, just like Baker-Finch before him and Quiros thereafter.
These desperate searches for help, like the indelible ink stains on dyer’s hands, are the one common thread amongst those who suffer from the absolute negation of their technical and then creative abilities. Those who take as indisputable the theories of others are, in the deepest sense, wounding their own intuition. They are controverting the evidence of their own senses in such a way that is comforting to the insecure player, but tragic to the artist. To quote Carl Jung: “Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”
As I write this, PGA Tour winners Steven Bowditch (1,885th in the world) and Smylie Kaufman (337th) are in similar downward spirals in their careers and no doubt are desperate for, and susceptible to any suggestion.
One player they can look to who made it back from the frantic madness that accompanies losing one’s game, is Henrik Stenson. He put his trust in one man, Pete Cowen, even though while working with Pete he missed 14 cuts in 2002, followed by 15 missed cuts in 2003, and 11 in 2004. What Stenson did not do was panic and run from teacher to teacher, from shrink to shrink, as the missed cuts piled up.
Stenson, with Cowen’s help, slowly built one of the most reliable swings in the history of the game. A swing that regularly leads events in fairways found and greens hit in regulation. A swing that authored the lowest score ever shot in major championship history. A swing that is a far cry from the OB-launching swipes he was taking in late-2001 and 2002.
Given the soul-eating depths of where he came from, a place from which few have dug themselves out of, I watch Stenson play golf with a far great admiration than I otherwise would, and similarly was pulling for Quiros in Morocco. The same way I am pulling for Bowditch and Kaufman to find their games again.
Langer skipping Senior PGA for son's HS graduation
Defending champion Bernhard Langer will miss this year’s Senior PGA Championship to attend his son’s high school graduation.
Langer made the announcement Monday, during Senior PGA media day at Harbor Shores in Michigan. The event will be held May 24-27.
“I won’t be able to defend my title this year because my son graduates from high school that very same weekend,” he said. “Family comes first in my life, so I have to be there to celebrate.”
Langer said that his son, Jason, will play golf for the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Langer and his family live in South Florida.
Langer won last year’s event at Trump National outside Washington, D.C. The 60-year-old has no wins but three runners-up in eight senior starts this season.
Landry reaches OWGR career high after Valero win
After notching his first career PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open, Andrew Landry also reached unprecedented heights in the latest installment of the Official World Golf Ranking.
Landry shot a final-round 68 at TPC San Antonio to win by two shots, and in the process he cracked the top 100 in the world rankings for the first time at age 30. Landry started the week ranked No. 114, but he's now up to 66th. The move puts him within reach of a possible U.S. Open exemption, given that the top 60 in the May 21 rankings will automatically qualify for Shinnecock Hills.
Trey Mullinax went from No. 306 to No. 169 with his T-2 finish in San Antonio, while fellow runner-up Sean O Hair jumped 29 spots to No. 83 in the world. Jimmy Walker, who finished alone in fourth, went from No. 88 to No. 81 while fifth-place Zach Johnson moved up five spots to No. 53.
Alexander Levy took home the title at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II, allowing the Frenchman to move from No. 66 to No. 47. With no OWGR points available at this week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Levy is guaranteed to stay inside the top 50 next week, thereby earning a spot in The Players.
Idle since an MDF result at the Houston Open, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood dropped two spots to No. 100 this week. It marks the first time Westwood has been ranked 100th or worse in nearly 15 years, ending a streak of consistency that dates back to September 2003.
The top 10 in the rankings remained the same, with Dustin Johnson leading off at No. 1 followed by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose. Rickie Fowler remains No. 6 with Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top 10.
With no starts announced until the U.S. Open in June, Tiger Woods dropped two more spots to No. 91 in the latest rankings.
What's in the bag: Valero Texas Open winner Landry
Andrew Landry won his first PGA Tour event at the Valero Texas Open. Here's a look inside the winners' bag.
Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 65X shaft
Fairway woods: Ping G (14.5 degrees adjusted to 15.5), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75X shaft; (17.5 degrees), with Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85X shaft
Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW), with Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105 S shafts
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts
Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x