Golf Talk Live - Chris DiMarco Transcript Segment 5
WELCOME BACK. THIS EVENING'S INTERNET QUESTION COMES FROM SCOTT IN KANSAS. YOUR PUTTING GRIP IS A NOTICEABLE CHANGE TO WHEN YOU FIRST PLAYED ON THE NIKE TOUR. WHAT OTHER CHANGES HAVE YOU MADE TO GET YOUR GAME AT THE HIGH LEVEL IT IS AT NOW? GOOD QUESTION.
IS THAT JUST TALKING ABOUT MY PUTTING GRIP ALONE DO YOU THINK?
I, I THINK HE'S BEYOND YOUR PUTTING GRIP. WHAT OTHER CHANGES HAVE YOU MADE TO GET YOURSELF TO THIS POINT?
UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THE, THE MOST NOTICEABLE CHANGE FOR ME, IF YOU LOOK AT MY STATS LAST YEAR, OBVIOUSLY MY TOTAL PUTTING WAS A LOT BETTER, BUT MY TOTAL DRIVING WAS A LOT BETTER AND THAT'S WHERE, YOU KNOW, EVEN THOUGH I'VE PLAYED WELL
THIS YEAR, THAT, THAT'S THE ONE THING THAT I'M REALLY GEARED TO RIGHT NOW IS HITTING MORE FAIRWAYS AND I THINK I'M LIKE A 150TH IN THAT RIGHT NOW IN FAIRWAYS HIT SO I MEAN I'M STRUGGLING A LITTLE BIT WITH THAT PART OF IT. EVERYTHING ELSE IS RIGHT WHERE IT IS.
I T NEEDS TO BE. JUST HAVE TO GET THE DRIVER IN THE FAIRWAY A LITTLE MORE.
YOU'RE AMONG THE LEADERS IN BIRDIE PERCENTAGE, PAR 5, BIRDIE PERCENTAGE, THAT'S WHERE YOU MAKE SOME MONEY.
OH YEAH. DEFINITELY.
TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THAT? TO THE BETTER PUTTING? GOOD IRON PLAY?
YOU KNOW, I'M, I'M AN AGGRESSIVE PLAYER. PERIOD. I MEAN I'M, PAR 5'S, IF I FEEL I CAN GET IT UP AROUND THE GREEN, I'M GOING TO, I'VE GOT A GOOD SHORT GAME I CAN GET IT UP AND IN A LOT MORE. OBVIOUSLY, YOU KNOW, ON 18 IN ATLANTA LAST WEEK OR TWO WEEKS AGO. GOING FOR THAT GREEN, I MEAN
I'D LIKE TO PLAY?
YOU KNOW, WELL, I MEAN I LOOKED AT MY CADDIE AND I SAID I GOT 219 FRONT. I'VE GOT A 2 IRON IN MY HANDS. I MEAN 99, 100 OUT OF A HUNDRED TIMES I'M GOING TO GO FOR THIS GREEN UNLESS I'VE
GOT A 5 SHOT LEAD. I GOT TO NOT DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN I NORMALLY DO, I GOT TO, I GOT TO PLAY THE SHOT I PLAY AND I DID AND THAT'S JUST THE WAY I AM AND YOU KNOW, I'M NOT GOING TO HIT THE 7 IRON, AND THEN THE WEDGE ON THE GREEN. I'M, IF I HIT ANOTHER
GREEN AND TWO PUTT I'M, LOOK LIKE A GENIUS.
20:I JUST MISS HIT THE SHOT.
IT WAS A GOOD PLAY.
JONAS, FROM ILLINOIS. GOOD EVENING. YOU'RE ON GOLF TALK LIVE WITH CHRIS DIMARCO. HOW ARE YOU?
JONAS, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
HI MR. LERNER. THANKS FOR TAKING MY CALL.
JONAS, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
HI MR. DIMARCO.
HOW ARE YOU JONAS?
JONAS, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR PLAY IN THE MASTERS, FIRST OFF, BUT I THINK WE ALL KNOW TIGER JUST GOT LUCKY THAT WEEK.
YEAH, WELL UH, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THAT, BUT... IF YOU SAY SO.
JONAS, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
I WAS JUST WONDERING. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DID AT THE PENNSYLVANIA TOURNAMENT LAST YEAR THAT ELEVATED YOUR GAME TO ENABLE YOU TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT. WAS IT YOUR MENTAL FOCUS, OR YOUR, JUST YOUR ALL AROUND GAME OR DID EVERYTHING JUST FALL IN PLACE THAT WEEK?
YOU KNOW IT'S UH, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I HAD PREVIOUSLY FINISHED SECOND THREE TIMES BEFORE THAT AND EVERY TIME I DID I LEARNED MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND EVENTUALLY MY WEEK, IT WAS MY
TURN AND EVERYTHING, I WAS PUTTING GOOD, I WAS HITTING THE BALL GOOD, I WAS CHIPPING GOOD. I WAS DOING EVERYTHING JUST REALLY GOOD AND IT WAS MY WEEK.
YOU GOT A PHONE CALL THE MORNING OF THE FINAL ROUND IN PENNSYLVANIA FROM A GOOD FRIEND, BRENT GEIBERGER.
WHAT DID HE TELL YOU? AND HE HAD WON, PREVIOUSLY IN HARTFORD. WHAT DID HE TELL YOU?
HE JUST SAID, PLAY YOUR GAME. HE SAID YOU'RE PLAYING SO GOOD RIGHT NOW. HE SAID JUST KEEP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING. DON'T GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF. AND THAT'S
TO ME, WE HEAR THIS STUFF FROM THE TIME WE PICK UP A CLUB, PLAY YOUR GAME, DON'T GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF. WHY DOES IT TAKE, IT SEEMS, 18, 19, 20 YEARS FOR THAT TO REALLY SETTLE IN.
YOU KNOW THAT FIRST WIN IS SO HARD BECAUSE YOU NEVER, YOU NEVER KNOW IF YOU'RE GOOD ENOUGH TO DO IT UNTIL YOU DO IT, AND IT DOESN'T, IT'S NOT JUST PHYSICAL. IT'S SO MUCH MENTAL INVOLVED. IT'S SO MUCH NOT LOOKING AHEAD AND NOT THINKING ABOUT, I MEAN I'M OUT THERE, YOU KNOW TRYING
YOU KNOW THE SATURDAY NIGHT THING ABOUT WHAT I'M GOING TO SAY YOU KNOW, AFTER, WHEN I'M GETTING THE TROPHY AND YOU JUST CAN'T, I MEAN THERE'S 18 TOUGH
HOLES AND I MEAN I HAD SOME GREAT PLAYERS BEHIND ME. I HAD TO CONCENTRATE AND IT, IT'S A LOT OF IT IS THAT. I MEAN YOU JUST NEED TO JUST FOCUS ON ONE SHOT, I ALWAYS SAY, ONE SHOT AT A TIME, BUT IT'S THE TRUTH.
EAGLE AT THREE... ON THAT FINAL DAY.
CERTAINLY DIDN'T HURT
THAT WAS AWESOME. THAT
JARRED AN 8 IRON?
JARRED AN 8 IRON. I THINK LOREN WAS ONLY THREE BACK AT THAT TIME, AND HE THREE PUTTED SO I HAD A 6 SHOT LEAD OR 5 SHOT LEAD AFTER THAT AND THEN, YOU KNOW, I NEVER GOT OUT OF THAT ELEMENT. I DON'T THINK I EVER HAD LESS
THAN A THREE SHOT LEAD AND I NEVER GOT INTO THAT PANIC ZONE AND I JUST WAS ABLE TO, TO MAKE A COUPLE OF BIRDIES COMING IN AND, AND JUST EASE IN WHICH WAS NICE.
WHEN YOU FINALLY DO WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT, HOW DO OTHER PLAYERS VIEW YOU? AND HOW DOES IT CHANGE FROM WHERE YOU WERE PRIOR TO THAT?
YOU KNOW, I THINK, YOU KNOW OBVIOUSLY THE PGA TOUR IS A, IS A PRETTY GOOD FRATERNITY. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE, YOU BELONG AND WHEN YOU WIN, YOU JUST EVEN ELEVATE IT TO A HIGHER FRATERNITY AND YOU KNOW THAT YOU REALLY BELONG OUT THERE. I MEAN
YOU ARE A TOURNAMENT WINNER ON THE PGA TOUR AND NOBODY CAN EVER TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU, AND JUST TO KNOW THAT YOU'VE DONE IT, IS TO KNOW THAT YOU'VE BEATEN A FULL FIELD ON
THE PGA TOUR IS ONE OF THE GREATEST, GREATEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE.
PRETTY TOUGH LEAGUE, ISN'T IT?
IT IS AN UNBELIEVABLE, I MEAN IT'S, THERE'S ONLY ONE WHERE YOU, YOU KNOW REALLY, YOU LOSE, OTHER THAN TIGER, YOU LOSE 90% OF THE TIME.
YEAH. LET'S GO TO ILLINOIS AND JARED, GOOD EVENING. HOW ARE YOU?
JARED, CHILD CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
GOOD. HOW ARE YOU? THANK YOU FOR TAKING MY CALL.
JARED, CHILD CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
AND IT'S A PLEASURE TO SPEAK TO YOU, MR. DIMARCO.
THANK YOU, JARED.
JARED, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS (MALE):
UH MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS THAT WHEN YOU WERE IN COLLEGE, HOW DID YOU GET FROM COLLEGE TO THE PGA TOUR AND GET THE EDGE OVER ALL THESE OTHER GREAT COLLEGIATE PLAYERS?
UM, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION TOO.
WHEN I UM, GOT OUT OF COLLEGE, OBVIOUSLY MY GOAL WAS TO BE ON THE PGA TOUR AND I JUST WENT TO TOUR SCHOOL LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES, AND I MADE IT, NOT KNOWING MUCH, YOU KNOW, PRETTY ARROGANT COCKY KID
OUT OF, OUT OF COLLEGE. I HAD A REALLY GOOD SENIOR YEAR. TOTALLY EXPECTED TO GET RIGHT OUT THERE AND I DIDN'T. I GOT THROUGH THE HOGAN TOUR. BACK THEN, THE HOGAN TOUR, WHICH WAS ACTUALLY A BLESSING. I DON'T THINK I WAS MATURE ENOUGH TO BE ON THE PGA TOUR.
AND OBVIOUSLY I, I DIDN'T PLAY WELL THAT YEAR BUT I GOT BACK OUT IN '93 ON THE NIKE TOUR AGAIN AND FINISHED TOP 10 TO GET MY TOUR CARD.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THE GUY WHO'S A COLLEGE HOT SHOT TODAY ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT HE MIGHT BE TASTING IN A YEAR OR SO IF THEY'RE A COLLEGE JUNIOR OR SENIOR?
YOU KNOW, IT, IT, IT YOU JUST LOOK AT THE KIDS THAT ARE COMING OUT NOW. I MEAN NOBODY'S GOING TO DO WHAT TIGER DID. UM, YOU LOOK AT, EVEN A GUY LIKE BRAD ELDER, FOR EXAMPLE. THE GUY WAS A GREAT COLLEGE PLAYER. STRUGGLED A BIT, AND NOW HE'S MAKING
A STATEMENT ON THE TOUR, AFTER TWO OR THREE YEARS. NOBODY DOUBTED THAT HE WOULDN'T. YOU KNOW HE WAS GOING TO MAKE IT, EVERYBODY KNEW HE WAS GONNA BUT IT JUST TAKES SOME
TIME. IT JUST TAKES GETTING COMFORTABLE OUT THERE. WHEN YOU'RE COMFORTABLE IS WHEN YOU PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF.
MMM. WELL SAID. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK AND WE WILL COME BACK IN JUST A MOMENT. WE'RE GOING TO FIND OUT ABOUT THOSE TOUGH DAYS, TRAVELING THE NIKE TOUR. THEY WERE SOME FUN DAYS AS WELL, WITH HIS WIFE, AMY, LATER THE KIDS. YOU CAN JOIN US, ON LINE THIS EVENING,
THEGOLFCHANNEL.COM. E-MAIL US A QUESTION BEFORE THE SHOW, YOU CAN
READ A GOLF TALK LIVE TRANSCRIPT AS WELL. STICK AROUND, WE'RE BACK IN JUST A MOMENT.
USGA-player relationship at a breaking point?
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – For seven days each year, the American game’s preeminent governing body welcomes the best players in the world with open arms. They set up shop at one of the premier courses in the country, and line it with grandstands and white hospitality tents as far as the eye can see.
The players arrive, first at a slow trickle and then at a steady pace. And once they’ve registered and clipped their player medallions over their belts, they’re told how this year is going to be different.
How this time around, be it in a Washington gravel pit or on a time-tested piece of land on the tip of Long Island, the USGA will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That the process of identifying the best players in the world will not veer into the territory of embarrassing them.
Like a college sweetheart in search of reconciliation, the powers-that-be preach a changed attitude and a more even-handed approach. Then, inevitably, they commit the same cardinal sins they promised to avoid.
So year in and year out, the scar tissue builds. Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick the football and, for most of the players not named Brooks Koepka, he ends up on his butt in a cloud of dust and fescue.
Apparently the Blue Bloods of the @USGA do. I refuse to watch it because I know what the outcome will be. Mike Davis and his crew could ruin Christmas. #amateurhacks #giveusourgameback https://t.co/n3GgOJl02C— William McGirt (@WilliamMcGirt) June 16, 2018
After letting Shinnecock Hills plunge into avoidable yet all-too-familiar territory over the weekend – before being doused back to life – one thing is clear: in the eyes of many players, the USGA can’t be trusted.
“When are they going to get it right? I just feel like they disrespect these historic golf courses,” said Scott Piercy, a runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open who got swept away this week during a crispy third round en route to a T-45 finish. “I think they disrespect the players, I think they disrespect the game of golf. And they’re supposed to be, like, the top body in the game of golf. And they disrespect it, every aspect of it.”
Piercy, like several players in this week’s field, had a few specific gripes about how Shinnecock was set up, especially during the third round when USGA CEO Mike Davis admitted his organization lost control in a display that echoed the mistakes of 2004. But this was not an isolated case.
Players went with skepticism to Chambers Bay three years ago, only to encounter greens that were largely dirt and got compared to produce. Mismatched grass strains, they were told. Whoops.
The next year the USGA threw a dark cloud over a classic venue by allowing much of the final round at Oakmont to play without knowing the leader’s actual score as a rules fiasco reached a furious boil. Last year’s Erin Hills experiment was met with malaise.
At this point, the schism runs much deeper than a single error in setup. It threatens the core competency of the organization in the eyes of several of the players it looks to serve.
“They do what they want, and they don’t do it very well. As far as I’m concerned, there is no relationship (between players and the USGA),” said Marc Leishman. “They try and do it. They do it on purpose. They say they want to test us mentally, and they do that by doing dumb stuff.”
Thanks guys did Bozo set the course up or are the @USGA going to accept responsibility or just say “IF WE HAD A MULLIGAN” I would have liked about 6 mulligans today. But they are not allowed at this level. “Apparently” pic.twitter.com/O08vOpNlTx— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) June 17, 2018
By and large, players who took issue with the USGA’s tactics had a simple solution: put more of the setup choices in the hands of those who oversee PGA Tour and European Tour venues on a regular basis. While some of those personnel already moonlight in USGA sweater-vests for the week, there is a strong sentiment that their collective knowledge could be more heavily relied upon.
“I know (the USGA) takes great pride in doing all this stuff they do to these golf courses, but they see it once a year,” Brandt Snedeker said. “Let those guys say, ‘Hey, we see this every week. We know what the edge is. We know where it is.’ We can’t be out there playing silly golf.”
That’s not to say that a major should masquerade as the Travelers Championship. But the U.S. Open is the only one of the four that struggles to keep setup shortfalls from becoming a dominant storyline.
It all adds up to a largely adversarial relationship, one that continues to fray after this weekend’s dramatics and which isn’t helped by the USGA’s insistence that they should rarely shoulder the blame.
“They’re not going to listen, for one. Mike Davis thinks he’s got all the answers, that’s No. 2,” said Pat Perez after a T-36 finish. “And when he is wrong, there’s no apologies. It’s just, ‘Yeah, you know, we kind of let it get out of hand.’ Well, no kidding. Look at the scores. That’s the problem. It’s so preventable. You don’t have to let it get to that point.”
As a player and a golf fan myself, it’s sad to see how one of our biggest tournaments @usopengolf gets ripped apart because the @USGA can’t figure out the right set up for the great golf courses we play!!— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) June 17, 2018
But this wound festers from more than just slick greens and thick rough. There is a perception among some players that the USGA gets overly zealous in crafting complicated rules with complex decisions, a collection of amateur golfers doling out the fine print that lords over the professional game on a weekly basis – with the curious handling of whatever Phil Mickelson did on the 13th green Saturday serving as just the latest example.
The gripes over setup each year at the USGA’s biggest event, when it’s perceived that same group swoops in to take the reins for a single week before heading for the hills, simply serve as icing on the cake. And there was plenty of icing this week after players were implored to trust that the miscues of 2004 would not be repeated.
“To say that the players and the USGA have had a close relationship would be a false statement,” Snedeker said. “They keep saying all the right things, and they’re trying to do all the right things, I think. But it’s just not coming through when it matters.”
It’s worth noting that the USGA has made efforts recently to ramp up its communication with the top pros. Officials from the organization have regularly attended the Tour’s player meetings in recent months, and Snedeker believes that some strides have been made.
So, too, does Zach Johnson, who was one of the first to come out after the third round and declare that the USGA had once again lost the golf course.
“I think they’ve really started to over the last few years, last couple years in particular, tried to increase veins of communication,” Johnson said. “When you’re talking about a week that is held in the highest regards, I’m assuming within the organization and certainly within my peer group as one of the four majors and my nation’s major, communication is paramount.”
I wish the @USGA would realize that this course really is special. But it was never designed to have greens at 15 on the stemp. You look like you’re trying to embarrass the best players in the world!— Colt Knost (@ColtKnost) June 17, 2018
But the exact size of the credibility gap the USGA has to bridge with some top pros remains unclear. It’s likely not a sting that one good week of tournament setup can assuage, even going to one of the more straightforward options in the rotation next year at Pebble Beach.
After all, Snedeker was quick to recall that players struggled mightily to hit the par-3 17th green back in 2010, with eventual champ Graeme McDowell calling the hole “borderline unfair” ahead of the third round.
“It’s one of the greatest holes in world golf, but I don’t really know how I can hit the back left portion of the green,” McDowell said at the time. “It’s nearly impossible.”
Surely this time next year, Davis will explain how the USGA has expanded its arsenal in the last decade, and that subsequent changes to the 17th green structure will make it more playable. His organization will then push the course to the brink, like a climber who insists on scaling Mount Everest without oxygen, and they’ll tell 156 players that this time, finally, the desired balance between difficult and fair has been achieved.
Whether they’ll be believed remains to be seen.
Bubba gets inked by Brooks, meets Tebow
Bubba Watson missed the cut at Shinnecock Hills following rounds of 77-74, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his weekend.
Watson played alongside Jason Day and eventual champion Brooks Koepka in Rounds 1 and 2, and somehow this body ink slipped by us on Thursday.
And while we're sure Bubba would have rather been in contention over the weekend, we're also sure that taking your son to meet the second most famous minor-league baseball player who ever lived was a lot more fun than getting your teeth kicked in by Shinnecock Hills over the weekend, as just about everyone not named Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood did.
Already in Hartford, Watson will be going for his third Travelers Championship trophy this week, following wins in 2010 and 2015.
Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it
There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.
There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.
Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.
The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."
Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:
If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.
“The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”
The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.
Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).
We followed our defending champion Toto Gana during his registration! He even did his Donald Duck impression!— LAAC (@LAAC_Golf) January 17, 2018
Acompañamos a Toto Gana, defensor del título, durante todo el proceso de acreditación. ¡Incluso imitó a Donald Duck!#LAAC2018 pic.twitter.com/NGh7hS4cCz
Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in
There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.
Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.
While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.
Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:
1. Brooks Koepka
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Patrick Reed
4. Justin Thomas
5. Jordan Spieth
6. Rickie Fowler
7. Bubba Watson
8. Webb Simpson
9. Bryson DeChambeau
10. Phil Mickelson
11. Matt Kuchar
12. Brian Harman
On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.
Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:
1. Tyrrell Hatton
2. Justin Rose
3. Tommy Fleetwood
4. Francesco Molinari
5. Thorbjorn Olesen
6. Ross Fisher
1. Jon Rahm
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Alex Noren
4. Matthew Fitzpatrick
5. Ian Poulter
6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello